Thoughts on Home Server RRS feed

  • Question

  • First I want to say, I'm really glad to see a product that is smaller than Win 2003 targeted for home users.  Many of the features of Home Server are well thought out for the slightly above average Joe who will understand what a centralized server will bring them.

    On the other hand I believe that there are a lot of features missing, that anyone with multiple computers in a home atmosphere would use.

    First and foremost is centralized login management, I'm not saying we need full blown AD, but anyone with kids that have their own computers you have to limit logins from time to time aka punishment, or simply who can log onto who's computer.

    In my home each kid has their own computer, only they can log into their own systems, this keeps kid 1 from screwing with kid 2's computer.  being able to disable a login and manage login times per account is also very important to keep them from booting up in the middle of the night to IM friends. The parents of the house can log onto all computers.

    We don't need full blown AD and group policy, but a subset or functionality that behaves similarly would be a huge boon.  Not having to manage this by hand on each machine is what Home Server should bring to the family, as for the enthusiast who wants centralized disk storage, in all honesty can be done today with an old box laying around. In all honesty the cost of a server doesn't bother me its the extra cost each client being forced to use Ultimate instead of Premium.

    I want a single client window on my Vista box that allows me to manage my network as well as share data which I could do with MCE prior or a copy of Win 2003.  

    I'm not going to get into the right or wrong of it, I have my beliefs and others will have theirs as well, but centralized internet filtering/monitoring should also be considered.  I trust my kids, but only so far, everyone gets the fake link to see pokemon that leads to some sex site and if you feel that is ok for your 10 year old fine, but mine I would prefer to wait.  Vista has the start of content protection software built in but again no easy way to manage this centrally

    What we need is centralized Workgroup login management, with a subset of group policy enforcement in a Home environment.


    Tuesday, February 20, 2007 3:47 PM

All replies

  • I agree that having that sort of management functionality would be a great feature for WHS - but maybe not at this stage.  I think the major goals with the initial release of WHS are:
    • Consolidate Music / Video / Photo / shared files to a single location
    • Ensure complete system backups of all connected clients
    • Enable remote access to files / computers at home
    • Be able to manage disk and recover from disk issue with relative ease
    In a future release, or as a free plugin or add-on, your ideas would be another great selling point just like the idea of MCE extensions to enable Tuners on a WHS server.  However, I think we need to take these things one step at a time.  I'd rather see the initial release of WHS focused on fewer areas but with greater expertise / testing, then a jack-of-all trades-lets-code-everything that may have more problems starting off. 

    But yeah, good idea ... I'd like to see that functionality in the future ....

    - Jim
    Tuesday, February 20, 2007 4:26 PM
  • Thank you for your feature request, I am moving this to the suggestion thread.
    Tuesday, February 20, 2007 4:37 PM
  • I'd like to see better login integration but I'm not sure about management. When I bring a work laptop home I don't really want the traditional "logging in" happening with my home network. On the other hand, I would like to see something where I could pick individual computers and then create/remove logins for certain users. It could be something as simple as a script that then runs on the computer. The gotcha I see is that I have computers that all have the same user but with different passwords.

    I don't like the policy manager idea for the reason that I don't really want all my traffic flowing through the WHS box. It's a little cumbersome but I can manage access to the net via my router by IP address. I can also look at the logs to see which boxes are going to what sites. It's not perfect by any means but if I needed a better solution I would buy a dedicated firewall. For the average consumer there are products out there that do this sort of thing. I believe D-Link has something that sits between your modem and your router and let's you control all sorts of things. If memory serves, it's around $100 but requires a subscription.
    Tuesday, February 20, 2007 8:53 PM