Regular readers know that I’m a web-client guy. I’d rather run web apps and store data remotely as opposed to locally because I generally have connectivity everywhere I go. Heck, I once lived in the browser for two months just to see if I could. (Yes, I could.) But not everyone is hunky-dory with third-party services having access to their data. I get that. That’s why I’m thinking of taking a closer look at Microsoft’s Windows Home Server. I gave it a cursory glance in the past, but never really gave it a fair shake.
The platform emerged in 2007 but has since matured with two power packs. I just happen to have a discarded desktop system that should work for testing. With a 2GHz Pentium 4 and limited hard drive storage, it’s not a cutting-edge system by any means. It ought to work for a testbed, though. In fact, I was pleasantly surprised to see what I think are meager hardware requirements for WHS. More is generally better, but a desktop from 2005 ought to work in a pinch, for example.
So why look at WHS? It provides some of the “personal cloud” attributes I’ve been thinking about: remote access to home computers, centralized backup of data for PCs, file-sharing, media streaming to my Xbox 360 and more. Today I’m storing my digital music in two locations: locally and in the cloud. I use the cloud storage for streaming tunes and since my iPhone only has 8GB of storage capacity, this helps me “carry” more music than that. The local copies are simply for archive purposes. One WHS can essentially cover both features and provide me all of the same benefits.
That’s simply one example of why I’d even consider this. Ideally, I think I’d like to run apps from my “personal cloud” as well. I can’t do this with WHS, but I could to a limited extent with Tonido, so maybe that will come into play as well. This is more of a side project for me but since it offers a mobile aspect, I thought to share. I’m sure some of you are already using WHS, so if you have tips, comments or experiences to share, please don’t be shy!