Those familiar with the expansion of WHS to “Windows Home Server” will probably be wondering why I’m writing a blog post on this particular product in an Enterprise Windows Desktop blog. Good question, but I’d also like to observe I’m a dedicated home theater PC aficianado as well as an enterprise desktop kind of a geek. And this is an inarguable case where those who might read this blog, but who also run Windows at home, simply must know about a current and ongoing promotional pricing deal available for an OEM version of WHS 2011 at both Newegg ($69.99) and Amazon ($57.11).
Windows Home Server 2011 logo
This is an OEM version for which you’ll need to assemble your own hardware, and it is a 64-bit version (which requires a 64-bit capable processor, but that’s not too much of a stretch these days). I’ve got an HP Media Smart server running their customized variant of an older WHS version (2010) that I’m going to try it out on, but just about any kind of SFF or Home Theater encased modern AMD or Intel rig should do the trick. I’d recommend using 4 GB of RAM (I’m not sure more than that will really do a whole lot of good, but you can use more if you like; I do know that you want at least 2 GB to get reasonable performance out of this kind of runtime environment).
The usual price for this software is $150, so $60-70 really is a heckova deal. It presents more or less the same interface as Windows 7 and behaves in much the same way, so if you know your way around the desktop OS you’ll be reasonably proficient at doing likewise with WHS 2011. And it really is a good deal, hyperbole notwithstanding. If you’ve got a substantial media collection to manage and stream around the house, and can also use a good local network backup option, WHS 2011 should be a good fit for your home network.