This weekended I installed Windows Home Server (WHS). The project started because I had 2 spare 500GB SATA disks, and 2 USB based external boxes for these where to expensive compared to building a new NAS box based on the Intel Atom Dual Core® Desktop Board D945GCLF2D. The total cost for the project where around $300.
The installation was pretty straight forward, but I think the installation time was to long compare to e.g. Windows 2008.
After the installation was finished I did some Windows Update and opened TCP port 80, 443, 4125 in my firewall to be able to reach the WHS through the Internet. The shares and disks are automatically configure with Duplication in case of hard disk failure. I then moved My Documents catalog from my FreeNAS box to this new WHS.
With WHS I have access to my files trough the web console, but this is not good enough for me. I need synchronized folder for all my computers & Mac. Therefore I have install Live Mesh which I have used for many months now and I highly recommend it. The only drawback are the 5GB storage, but it is enough for my day to day access to documents.
Even tough I now have WHS with duplicated disks and my Private & Customers folders backed up in the cloud I still need an off site backup for my 55GB of pictures and videos in cause of fire or my NAS box getting stolen.
One option I tested was synchronized backup to an off site FTP server I have, but the box can still be stolen or the house burn down. The solution I ended up with today was Online Backup from IDrive with 150GB storage for $49,50 a year. The reason was pricing and probably a more secure site than my friends house. I have used Mozy for Online backup for many years, but Personal pricing do not support Windows 2003.