A great solution for small businesses with less than 10 users is Windows Home Server. This affordable server OS costs less
than $150 and maybe all your biz needs. Distributed by Tubemogul.
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Hi, I’m Bruce Naylor and welcome to the Frugal Technology Show. This a show that’s devoted to small business computing and talk about technology that’s good, maybe not so good, what makes you money, what’s saves you money. And this week, I want to start off the show and talk about what could be a very, very good value for your small businesses called “Windows Home Server”.
Now, I know the name “Home Server” but listen, for small companies, and I’m talking under 10 users and maybe you have three, four, five people something like that. Products like Microsoft Small Business Server or Microsoft Windows Server maybe overkill for you. If you’re looking for a server product, get that first server and you need things like file sharing, print sharing, maybe remote access then it’s an incredible value and showed up in my Microsoft Action Pack and that DVD just sort of language there for a good long time. And here, about a week ago, I have an old computer then I said, “What the heck, let’s just try putting that on.” And I did, and I got to tell you, it’s a remarkable product. Let me show you what is some of the things about “Windows Home Server” and why it might be good for your businesses.
Originally, Microsoft designed this product for home users in mind but as I said, up to 10 users or up to 10 computers I should say. Does feature things like what’s called media sharing, file print sharing, back-up, remote back-up of your computers through the server and remote access through the web. And it worked very, very nicely. So that’s just kind of—you can definitely take advantage of that. You can add users as for work observers there’s no active direct re-integration to deal with. It’s strictly at work groups, stand-alone type little server.
Now this operating system sells $110.00 to $150.00. You can buy pre-made, pre-build servers the HP Media Smart Server comes to mind. Very nice machine but actually—hardware requirements are very minimal for this thing is designed to run headless and without peripherals. And basically, what you do is once the server’s up and running is you install a client that’ll run on either XP or Vista that you can remote console to this server and it’s very, very easy to use. That basically uses the remote desktop protocol, RDP and they put a very easy to use graphical user interface on this so you can back-up your laptop, your desktops to this thing remotely. That’s how you’re supposed to access it. But yes, you can definitely get into it and essentially its Windows Server 2003 is two with a very easy to use interface and a lot of the oily bits of the operating system were hidden from view.
You can definitely use it for business there is no doubt about it. In fact, you can even write an application like Microsoft Share Point services on there. What you can’t really do with this thing of course is create active directory, server class products such as Microsoft Exchange won’t work on it, but there maybe other e-mail server solutions that will run on it. Microsoft Sequel Server, I don’t believe that it will run the on the however the Sequel Server Express would run fine. So this is a great product for up to about as I said, 10 computers.
Now look, it’s very, very easy to install with brain-dead simple to set this thing up. It did take quite a while on this particular machine but it’s a very under-powered machines sot it is probably not fair but it took about an hour maybe a little over an hour and a half somewhere in that range. Then even longer once it starts grabbing updates. But, it features an interesting technology that I like to call Drive Extender. And what Drive Extender does, it is a file-based replication system that provides three different key capabilities.
One is a multi-disk redundancy, so that if any given disk fails all data is not lost, kind of like raid in a way. Obituary storage expansion by supporting any type of hard disk drive whether it circulates the USB fire wire whatever, and in any mixture and in any capacity. So, it’s kind of similar in concept what’s called BOD. It’s definitely a very, very good system.
Now also you won’t see the hard drive space in there. That’s hidden from there. You just basically see folders. So it’s very, very simple to use, there’s very little IT administration to it. It’s going to be an excellent little first server for a lot of companies. What it does lack, okay, the server itself doesn’t have a built in back-up mechanism incase of a catastrophic failure. I want to point that out to you. It cannot join a domain. It is not designed for that. It’s a workgroup server operating system. However if you have a domain such as we do here at Frugal Brothers, when you browse networks, you can see the shared folders on the server.
Now we use it here internally as a media server. We keep videos, music, photos, and all that sort of stuffs on it. We don’t really use it for file, print sharing services so much. It works great by the way with the Xbox360 not as a media extender but as media connector, so that’s kind of cool. So, for those real small offices or got a smaller business, you want to step up from period to period file sharing but, you know the budget’s a killer. You know you don’t want to spend $500.00 to $600.00 for an operating system. $110.00 to $150.00 to old computer or just a bare made in machine will make you a nice little starter’s server. Check it out. It’s called Windows Home Server. Really powerful for what it is. Very inexpensive, you can do it off a lot with this thing, highly recommended.
I’m Bruce Naylor, your Frugal tech, remember if it’s in your office, not making any enough money or saving money, get it out there. Hey, if you like these videos make sure to leave a comment with us. And also do us a favor, join the community and subscribe to the Frugal Tech channel. Bruce Naylor, I’ll to you later.