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My Windows Home Server Wish List RRS feed

  • General discussion

  • Greetings,

    Here's a list of the things I'd like to see changed in Windows Home Server before it goes gold.

    Some are very important to me and others should be important to Microsoft. None prevent the Home Server from being useful but it is supposed to be EASY and currently some things just aren't :-p

    Most of these have been raised on the Feedback site and I have voted for some of them. This comment is just so I can say that I, at least, mentioned them :-)

     Backup should survive disconnection and resume when reconnected.

    In this day and age of powerful laptops and concern over greenhouse emissions PCs will be disconnected and shut down at any time. For Windows Home Server to be truly foolproof and easy to use it needs to be able to recover from interrupted backups.

     Network health status warnings should be configurable.

    There are some home users that are intimidated by any sort of warning and the ability to configure which clients get which warnings will make life easier for those of us who administer the home network.

      Excluding files and folders from backup should be easier.

    Currently it is a pain to configure a backup with a reduced file set.

     Backup schedules should be more configurable and individually configurable for each client.

    I'd want some machines backed up daily and others weekly and even others monthly. Having one schedule that is the same for all machines is a bit inflexible.

     Server storage should be able to show that there is a difference between identical drives.

    Both my Seagate 160Gb drives show up with the same name and if one goes bad I won't know which one to replace.

     User passwords should be optional.

    I know this is poor security but in my home, some of my, users are intimidated by the technology but still want to use it. Careful allocation of rights can reduce the risk.

     The Console should be resizable.

    Such a little thing can enhance the user experience.

      Home Server should contain a SUS server.

    Currently it will tell me when a client need updates but I have to download from each client individually. This is a real waste of bandwidth.

     --
    Regards,
    Neale NOON

     

    Wednesday, March 14, 2007 11:34 AM

All replies

  •  noonie wrote:
     

      Home Server should contain a SUS server.

     

    Absolutely.  With a more user friendly interface than the normal SUSAdmin web page.

    Tuesday, May 8, 2007 8:52 PM
  • The Console should be resizable.
    With a 16x9 widescreen set to 1280x720 the bottom of the console is off the screen, not a big deal but would be nice
    Wednesday, May 9, 2007 11:03 PM
  •  

    It looks like they have addressed some of these in the April CTP.

     

    Network Health warnings can be turned off for any client.

    User Passwords can even be blank on the internal network. Complex passwords are still required for remote access (as it should be) and as an extra bonus the system prompts to keep passwords synchronised.

     

    Thanks Microsoft these two were the ones that annoyed me the most.

     

    I'd still like to see a Windows Update Server and improved backup configuration.

     

    Keep up the good work!

     

     

     

    Friday, May 11, 2007 10:43 AM
  •  Richard A Miller wrote:
    The Console should be resizable.
    With a 16x9 widescreen set to 1280x720 the bottom of the console is off the screen, not a big deal but would be nice

     

    Very big deal for me! When I access my computer from the office all the icons on the desktop are redistributed according to the 3:4 mode and when I come back home all the icons are in mess on my widescreen monitor and I have to redistribute them again. I thought I would cancel my GoToMyPC subscription but I can't due to many reasons and the screen size is one of them.

    Tuesday, April 29, 2008 10:27 PM
  • Could I add the following to the wish list:
    -> Real hardware RAID not OS based "Fake Raid" support.
    -> Loose the F6 fdd for additional drivers at install and add/replace with a USB option for additional drivers.
    -> Provide an approved SlipStream install method.
    Sunday, May 18, 2008 11:05 AM
  • Wishlists posted in the forums are all well and good, but Microsoft has asked that product suggestions be submitted through Connect. When you do so, search for similar suggestions first and vote; I understand that it can be difficult for the team to sort out multiple identical suggestions using the tools available in Connect. If you post a new suggestion, please be specific as to what you want:

    "The Remote Access web site needs improvement" is probably too general. Of course it needs improvement Smile, but what features are your points of pain? "Please add the ability to see a thumbnail view in the Remote Access web site, because it's impossible to identify photos I want to download otherwise." is much more likely to get some attention (please don't make that exact suggestion; it's part of Power Pack 1 Smile ).

    Specifically regarding Kudu's suggestions:

    RAID: I don't see RAID being a supported scenario in the OEM channel. The people who buy OEM Windows Home Server PCs don't want to deal with complex configuration issues, and RAID isn't at the point where your aunt Minnie can set up a RAID array unaided (well, my aunt Minnie can't; maybe yours is an IT pro, but you get my point, I'm sure). System builders are free to install on RAID today, but Microsoft doesn't provide end-user support for Windows Home Server, system builders and OEMs do. So if you're not able to configure and manage RAID on your own, RAID isn't an option. In addition, WHS uses MBR disks, so you're limited to 2 TB per volume anyway. I've submitted a product suggestion that would make RAID more practical here (you may need to log in to Connect to see it).

    The "Press F6" prompt: This is a legacy of Windows Server 2003. Microsoft would have to create a separate build of Windows Server 2003 just for WHS in order to do what you're looking for. It's not that I think it's a bad idea, I just don't see it happening anytime soon. (And since the installation process is geard toward system builders and OEMs, not end users, probably not at all...)

    Slipstreaming: There are ways to speed up multiple installations of Windows Home Server now. You should read the OPK (you should have received a copy with your system builder package), which describes how to use whssysprep. This is the method I use to quickly reploy my dev server. You could probably slipstream some components, but the way Windows Home Server installs (in multiple stages) means that it's not possible to slipstream WHS updates right now.
    Sunday, May 18, 2008 1:55 PM
    Moderator
  •  Ken Warren wrote:

    The "Press F6" prompt: This is a legacy of Windows Server 2003. Microsoft would have to create a separate build of Windows Server 2003 just for WHS in order to do what you're looking for. It's not that I think it's a bad idea, I just don't see it happening anytime soon. (And since the installation process is geard toward system builders and OEMs, not end users, probably not at all...)


    Hi Ken,

    Ok I'll concede that F6 has been questionable personal pain since initial release and to be fair I'm sure the ms dev teams have enough to deal with then refactor the setup routines.

    As far as RAID0 is conecerned, lets look at 2 use cases:

    Scenario 1:
    As a system builder I don't mind sourcing the correct hardware to build and configure the WHS that is going on display and for sale in my shop window baring my logo and my contact number for support.
    Problem is that aunt Minnie does not know her RAM from her DVD rom, So after aunt Minnie bought her WHS from me one of the 750GB drives fails, she knows this because the system told her and on the affected drive a little red light has come on permanently, after giving me a call I tell her to lift the little handle and pull out the drive and pop down to the shop where I replace the drive and tell her to put it back in and not to worry her blessed hart because the OS will rebuild the mirrored image.

    Scenario 2:
    Gladys told Minnie about SomeSoftware.net's new cool recipe syndicator application (unsigned software to make things worse) and she asks me how to add this application to her WHS. Knowing she has the tech savvy of sloth I tell her how to this but I also recommend that she pulls one of the drives out before she starts the install. Unfortunatelly during this install something blows up and corrups some required WHS config and WHS stops working, but Minnie is not worried because she knows all she has to do is put the drive she pulled out before she started back in  and select  Mirror B->A.

    It's an over simplified explanation of what my idea of a home server should be able to do but I'm sure you catch my drift.
    Monday, May 19, 2008 10:33 AM
  • RAID 0? I think you're confusing your RAID levels...

    System builders can build WHS hardware with RAID controllers today. It's "unsupported" in the sense that Microsoft doesn't permit OEMs to include RAID (for reasons of cost and complexity) and doesn't take bug reports related to RAID configurations. But it installs and runs. There are trade-offs around management and expandability that make it effectively an enthusiast solution, unless you're planning to build a custom add-in that supports your chosen RAID controller in the console. So if you want to use RAID in the servers you sell to customers, you can.

    Your scenarios are contrived. The first one is possibly realistic, the second one (intentionally, I hope) unrealistic. In the first case, I would have hoped that you would document the reason the little red light came on, and provide that documentation on purchase; Minnie would in theory have read it and would bring the drive sled around on her own. In the second case, Minnie either recognizes her own limitations and you're installing the software, or she doesn't. In the latter case, she follows the directions Gladys gave her and hoses up her RAID array.
    Monday, May 19, 2008 12:07 PM
    Moderator