Windows Home Server 2011 price drop signals trouble with WHS?

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I have been really happy with self build Windows Home Server and it looks like it’s just got cheaper. Andrew is reporting that world wide prices have been cut for Windows Home Server 2011 to as low at £42.49 here in the UK. Perhaps this shows that the uptake of Windows Home Server 2011 has been slow and with the big manufactures not bringing out WHS boxes its not a good sign for the future of the product. It’s already a scaled back version from what was original planned for 2011 version you have to wonder if this will be the end of the line for WHS.

9 thoughts on “Windows Home Server 2011 price drop signals trouble with WHS?

  1. No availability here in Canada for the product. Nothing on Newegg, Amazon. Regular store can have it on special order. So, no way to have the product easily and quickly means not interesting product if you have to wait few days or weeks before getting your product. I remember when I purchased WHS V1, I looked on internet, found a store that was advertising the product, went there, bought the software and went back home to install it.

  2. In many ways , WHS 2011 doesnt really fit with the way MS are re-aligning themselves in the consumer space. It almost feels like Windows Mobile 6.5, the version before they go back to the drawing board and re-launch it…. tho while its wrapped up inside the server division i dont think we’ll be seeing anything , anytime soon.

    I know I have very mixed feelings over 2011. On one hand the product is the natural evolution of the V1 product we all know and love , but for me, the minute they took DE out of it the reason to have WHS almost disappeared.

    I know quite a few enthusiasts that are now switching to the idea of Windows 7 + Drive Bender.

    The best ‘beta’ config I have seen so far is Windows 7 Home Premium with a zontac board itx board, in a fractal design Array Mini ITX ( 6 bays ). Almost making the holy grail for some folks of homeserver with integrated mediacenter. ( and before anyone says remote desktop , Windows Live Mesh is a wonderful thing 🙂

  3. Microsoft won’t drop the price if the product isn’t selling as well as expected – they’ve proved this over and over again (think Windows Vista) – This is clearly a sign that they want to take market share in this space, and as such should be viewed as a positive move.

  4. tom,

    the advantage only comes when you look at how your using a machine , if you dont need backups from all your home PCs/laptops or the iffy streaming ( when compared to AirVideo etc ) then you hands are freed to look at other server solutions.

    In the situation I mentioned , I know some folks that had a home server and a windows media center, largely because a) WHS had DE and b) WHS didnt have either VMC or 7MC. In their situation, a single box machine that has the file duplication benefits of DE and the media playback capablites of 7MC can be achieved using Windows 7 and Drive Bender without the expense of running ‘yet another’ machine. The set up tends to follow :

    Homegroup enabled, so share access can be controlled
    Drive bender drive pool enabled and shared ( drive bender is beta but looking good )
    Drive bender folder duplication enabled
    5 2TB drives passed to the media pool ( assuming a 6 drive case )
    1 2TB drive for OS and TV recording.
    Blackgold tuner.
    Windows Live Mesh for remote access and file sync with any machines that have files you want to backup.

    One box , and no network latency to access your media , but with the safety of DE style
    file / folder duplication. ( reduced latency for extenders )

    They seem delighted and to be honest , having seen the solution , I understand why.

  5. Cool.

    Can’t the TV recording folder be part of the pool as well?

    is the DB Beta closed?

    A lot of people say the backup feature of WHS is great but what does it do that is so special? I mean, on my home network I just set clients to backup to the 2008 server each night which works fine.

    The windows 7 config looks great..it seems it’s geared toward people that have one machine. I tend to use my server for a few things like downloading, encoding, vm’s etc and keep the media center stuff just to the clients so i’m not sure I would get an advantage using win7. When I moved into my place the first thing I did was attack it and bury cables so i had a gigabit network so latency shouldn’t be an issue.

    Another question, why the dependancy on homegroups? does it just make the file sharing easier? i.e. you dont have to right click. properties, sharing, add user modify the checkboxes etc.

    1. Hi Tom,

      In theory the recording folder could be part of the pool, i dont know anyone whos tested this yet.

      Yes the beta is closed.

      Yes, the 7MC solution is pretty much aimed at folks who dont want two machines running , or cant due to poor network performance. WHS V1 backup feature works fine, and is easy to set up and is one of the reasons the product was created in the first place.. but as you rightly point out , their are alternatives.

      Most folks I know dont have hardwired networks around their homes, having various flavours of WiFi and/or Powerline style home plugs, which means options for streaming from a second box are limited or meet with mixed results. The popular workarounds to this have been to build a raid 5 equiped HTPC with all the challenges that RAID management challengs this brings to the average user. DB provides another option without some of the headaches of RAID ( drive matching , sizes , volume growth , broken disk sets )

      Homegroup just simplifies sharing, particularly recorded tv.

  6. EDIT – Can you use DVBLink Server software with Server 2008 and/or Home Server i.e an OS without media center

    I’ve always been skeptical of dvblink thinking it would be too good to be true but it seems it’s super popular now.

  7. Hi Tom,

    dvblink can be used with both versions of home server… the new beta version apparently allows for recording on the server (not entirely sure of the details, but their website may be provide further doc)

    Tony

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