Acer is diving into the Home Server market today with the Aspire easyStore Home Server. The server is powered by an Intel Atom processor, runs Windows Home Server OS, and comes with 1 TB of storage out of the box, expandable to 7TB. Price? $399. The target market is home and small business use. The server makes it easy to share files, photos, video and documents on a network, plus it makes a backup of every PC on the network daily.
CNET reports that Microsoft has struggled selling these boxes, but it’s a mystery why. Got photos that you want to keep safe? A large music collection you want to share around with multiple PC’s in your home? Forgetful about making backups? This is the only way to fly. Chez Saunders our home server has been one of the best buys I’ve made in years. Every PC, sometime during the night, gets a backup. All of the files I store on the server itself are replicated on multiple disks, and once a week backed up to removable storage.
Compared to making backups on removable media such as a removable hard disk, Windows Home Server:
- makes incremental backups of all the devices on your network
- does it without any manual intervention on your part
- replicates those backups on multiple physical disks to guard against the failure of one disk.
I had a failure of one of the disks in my server earlier this year. I lost NO files. I simply pulled the failed disk out, put a new one in, and Windows Home Server replicated the content from another disk in the system.
Compared to online backup solutions, Windows Home Server:
- is faster and more efficient
- doesn’t charge you a monthly fee for storage
- doesn’t swamp your network bandwidth while doing its backup.
Bottom line: Windows Home Servers take the expense, the worry (and the work) out of running a small network. I wouldn’t go back.