Windows Home Server goes CTP

Just got an email saying that the Windows Home Server team has released a CTP (Community Technology Preview) version today.  CTPs come after Beta’s (though it is technically still a beta) and before RTM (Release to Manufacturing). That means the WHS team must have the bits aligning nicely, and are on track for a release.

Check out the official WHS Blog for details on the CTP, and to sign up for the beta. (Hardware not included 🙁 )

When I first head about WHS, I thought it was a great concept, but couldn’t see it replacing the Terabyte NAS device I already had in my house.  Turns out I find myself using WHS more and more, and the NAS less and less.  With over 500 Gigs of data, the NAS device is not going on eBay anytime soon, but if I were buying today I would go with the ‘smart NAS’ (WHS) over a closed, traditional NAS.  It will be interesting to watch the market and ecosystem develop around this product…

PS – no this is not becoming ‘Ed’s WHS blog’ 🙂

Using Windows Home Server for Hard Drive Upgrades or Restores

If you’re like me, you probably spend a lot of time installing and uninstalling new software – either to try the latest and greatest programs or for a project you may be working on.  As we all know, sooner or later this starts junking up your PC, and you will see Windows start to slow down.

In the past I’ve always kept a drive image using Ghost or some other imaging tool to help with this problem.  Using a drive image I could quickly revert back to a prior, clean,  version of my drive and get the performance back without spending a day (or more) reinstalling & tweaking Windows and all my applications.  This would also let me image a new drive, each time I upgraded to a larger or faster hard drive, again saving the full reinstall time.  This worked pretty well, but is still time consuming, and you have to remember to keep manually making drive images to keep everything up to date.

Since I’ve started testing Windows Home Server (WHS), I’ve thought this may be a great way to solve the problem.  And sure enough, it is. I was reading Charlie Kindel’s blog today (Charlie is the WHS PUM and founder inside of Microsoft), and he had a great post on doing just this.  In his case, he was just expanding an existing drive, but using this same concept you can upgrade a drive or revert back to a prior (cleaner) version of Windows.  Great to know!

On a side note, still tinkering with the WHS SDK, trying to find some ‘killer apps’.  Suggestions welcome 🙂

Windows Home Server SDK Released

The Windows Home Server team has released a Software Development Kit / APIfor the product.  I’ve been using the beta for a while now, it’s great, but there are quite a few additions I would like to see – so I guess this opens up a lot of opportunities.  After a quick glance, this looks like a very well-rounded V1 SDK.  Nice work guys!

More Soon!