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WHS Team Meet – Have Your Say

I’m off to Microsoft’s headquarters in Redmond tomorrow for the yearly meeting(known as the Global Summit) of Microsoft’s Most Valuable Professional’s. The Summit is where the majority of the worlds MVP’s gather together for technical debate and discussion.

Most of the Windows Home Server MVP’s will be there, alongside the WHS team for a 3 day discussion on our home server’s. So, if you have any questions you would like me to ask Microsoft’s Home Server product team, leave your questions here and I’ll shall make sure that we get some answers to your questions

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  1. Mike Vogt says:

    Any chance or timeline when TimeMachine will work with Macs as announced at the WHS intro?

  2. Jason Trent says:

    I suppose my biggest question would be what they intend to do to protect system drive failures. Obviously we have the option of redundancy with our shared and user folders, but nothing for the actual operating system folder where, from what I understand, contains the tombstone files which point to the location of the files on other drives. If that were to be lost, wouldn’t that basically hose the entire system? In the WHS manual, they explicitly state that you should not use raid in conjunction with your home server, but from what I’ve found, there is no other way to protect your system’s drive other than to setup a raid 1 (which I did to be safe) which is less than efficient. Perhaps suggest (or ask if there are any plans to) provide an option to mirror that 20 GB system partition elsewhere, so that in case it dies, you could in theory throw in a restore disk, have it look for other drives connected, and from there restore. I know that I’ve been thumbing through the forums, and this appears to be a pretty big concern. Other than that, give them a high five from a very pleased consumer.

  3. Jason says:

    Philip, thanks for taking our questions to Microsoft.

    Any further details on a release date for Power Pack 1, or the x64 connector?

  4. Jeshimon says:

    Philip,
    I had a question when I headed here, but in a senior moment I lost my train of thought, it was after all, a short train.
    Because I lost my initial idea, I would like to see the the toolkit developed further, a hardware monitor tab added, the WHS logs added to the event viewer.
    Jim

  5. Dan says:

    Here is my question:

    Can you confirm or deny the NEXT version of WHS is going to be based on Windows Server 2008 instead of 2003?

    Right now, you have an api that allows our add-on code to be executed on the WHS server. How about an api where add-in code can run on one or more of the clients? (Good luck, but it’s a dream of mine…)

  6. Henri says:

    (adding to Jason’s question…)
    WHS will backup the clients, but how do you backup WHS? I have a client (a second one soon) that’s now running WHS mainly to backup the three client machines and to provide remote access. However, I can’t figure out how to provide off-site backups of the server. It would be nice to be able to add removable storage or maybe have some fee-based online option.

  7. Henri says:

    Got another one for ya. Can they make WHS a little greener? It would be nice if WHS could issue a wake-on-LAN, backup a client and then tell it to go back to sleep. A lot of environmentally aware people don’t like the idea of leaving their machines on all the time.

  8. Bob Crook says:

    Phillip, a lot of small business are running WHS on the same network as Small Business Server 2003 All Editions). It would be nice to have a White Paper on how to back up the Small Business Server on the WHS.

  9. Bob Crook says:

    Oops. My bad. Ther’s only one “L” in Philip. D’oh!

  10. Tim Hudson says:

    When will they provide an update so this can run on a 64bit system?

  11. Andrew says:

    Hi Philip,

    Thanks for all your coverage of WHS.

    As much as I value redundancy and offsite backups, I’m most interested in sharing media with my family simply and easily. When Microsoft makes this simple, safe and intuitive, my home server will be the envy of all my relatives. That’s what I want and is the significant step I think WHS can take to evolve from a geek tool to a mainstream phenomenon. Please emphasize this to the Microsoft team.

    Thanks,
    Andrew

  12. hoberion says:

    Will there be a better web interface? The current interface is inadequate, why do I need to run the remote app to watch its diskspace, I cannot do so on my macbooks so I need to remote control the server to do anything useful. Also, in 2008 I still cant see the long filenames in the webinterface.. you have to be kidding me..

  13. AndreasM says:

    Hi,

    as an AddIn developer I’d love to see them include (at least some) of the HomeServerControls in the SDK for official use. And also they should include some of the interfaces they use in their own AddIns in the SDK (i.e. ISettingsExtender). And I think every AddIn developer will agree that the ISettingsTab-interface should be extended by a Cancel()-Method, so that your custom Settings-Tab can react to the user’s click on ‘cancel’.
    Well, that’s just what I would love to see in the next version of the SDK.

    AndreasM

  14. John N says:

    Echoing the concern about the system drive replacement. If one wanted to replace the system drive before a failure it would be nice to have a wizard where you could install a drive and choose it to be a replacement for the system drive and the actions would happen automatically.

  15. DaHoServer says:

    Ask them if they have ever thought about the concept of integrating Media Center machines with WHS – Or with other Media Center machines so they could act as extenders…

  16. Keith says:

    I’m not a big environmentalist, but I think its ridiculous how little Microsoft seems to care about energy savings. You should be able to set up a schedule by day for when the server is to start up and shut down. The server should not only start up a client to do a backup but shut it down when its done. There should be a facility from the server to startup a client, run a batch job, and shut down the client when its done. Add on vendors that run programs on the clients shouldn’t get the Microsoft seal of approval unless they utilize these energy saving services.

  17. Mike L says:

    Will WHS have any type of intergration with Media Center?

  18. Esteban says:

    1) It’s the environment, stupid! Add power saving features.
    2) It needs to work 100% of the time, NOT five 9’s. If it’s unreliable then it’s useless compared to known reliable products like Norton Ghost for disk imaging.
    3) Needs more information on why it fails during backups. Limited info/knowledge base is unforgivable.

  19. Coda says:

    I would not want Microsoft to enable a core function to share files and folders over the Internet by having them give an IP address (homeserver.com nameserver = ns1.livedns.msft.net). They could limit when, how much, and where anything is shared. In addition, it insures everything is done using Microsoft, which they would monitor and censor, and filter and block whatever files or data they wished.

  20. Henry says:

    For a product that’s suppose to be supported, being how it’s made by Microsoft own, it’s seems inexcusable to me in how Microsoft’s own products won’t even function with their own software products!

    Will WHS PP1 finally if ever be supported for Vista Bitlocker?
    On both versions for 32/64bit platforms?

    And when will WHS support Active Directory?

  21. Kevlin says:

    WHS won’t work on older PCs! Not even Microsoft’s own Windows 98, 95, ME or 2000. It also “doesn’t work” with Vista 64bit versions too.

    Is it any wonder why WHS doesn’t work with heterogeneous network clients like Mac and Linux here…

    How about playing fair?

    Backups should also have the option to be written in different data formats other than just Microsoft’s own proprietary too!!! Being how NTFS is all proprietary.

  22. Blue says:

    When will WHS support additional plug and play storage capacities without the current problem of drive balancing? Nobody wants to limit their WHS to just one hard drive, and as noted above, unable to even backup the WHS OS, which keeps all the records on the master drive to itself!!!

    That’s so dangerous, it’s not even funny. Backup your PC clients, but NOT the product that does the backing up. Nobody see any problem with that? Except when you go to do a restore and ALL of your PC client images, files and or data won’t be accessible when WHS fails to function, due to viruses, hardware failure, or just buggy code.

    WHS should have from day one provided the means to back itself up, and at the same time allowed the owner to replace the master hard drive that the WHS operating system sits, to be replaced in an easy manner without worries of having to wait until the drive totally fails.

  23. Ferni says:

    Why does WHS support the RoHS standard?

    Which adopts SoC system structure to reduce power consumption. Supports hard disk standby mode to save electricity expense.

    WHS is an energy hog! “Wake – to – Lan” needs to be supported in WHS.

  24. Lori says:

    Everyone would expect that a Home Server would at least have provided a print server, but WHS doesn’t! Why NOT?

    Please include this needed and missing function!

  25. Papa Bear says:

    Why doesn’t WHS support “Secure FTP” and “Secure Network Backup” so your critical data being accessed via Internet is protected???

    SFTP ought to be included, just as TLS/SSL support.

    Every home server should also be able to send and receive their own email. Include the email server being how WHS works with a domain IP address. Inexcusable to NOt provide this for home users using a server!

  26. Summer says:

    WHS should support PHP+MySQL for hosting your own websites!

    Which supports open source applications from the Internet, such as blog and bulletin board.

  27. Harpo Heaven says:

    WHS should have provided a total backup solution, support NAS to NAS, PC to NAS and NAS to external hard drive backup. That included it’s own WHS operating system here.

    Why can’t WHS OS be allowed to backup? It’s totally ridiculous that WHS didn’t provide this from day one, especially for being a backup product. Not to mention for a product with a proven design flaw that leads to data corruption! KB 946676

  28. Ann says:

    Easy IP filter management would be wanted in WHS too.

  29. Brian C. says:

    Why does WHS support UPnP/ DLNA multimedia technology?

    So you can share stored photos and home videos on TV, listen to music on Hi-Fi system via DMP.

    I also agree that WHS should “Plug your USB printer in to WHS, and share it to all your home computers”.

  30. ANNOYED says:

    The truth comes out about User Account Control!!!

    David Cross, a product unit manager at Microsoft, was the group program manager in charge of designing User Account Control stated, “The reason we put UAC into the (Vista) platform was to annoy users–I’m serious,” said Cross, speaking at the RSA Conference here Thursday.

    Source: http://www.news.com/Microsoft-Vista-feature-designed-to-annoy-users/2100-1016_3-6237191.html

    “We needed to change the ecosystem, and we needed a heavy hammer to do it,” Cross added.

    Source:
    http://www.dailytech.com/Microsoft+Designed+Vistas+UAC+to+Annoy+Users/article11464c.htm

    But by all means, Microsoft continues to annoy and destroy WHS users data, with a proven design flaw, in it’s Drive Extender code! KB 946676

    Keep it up, and Microsoft will have a boycott to the likes it’s never seen. There will be anti-blogs, anti-microsoft.com, there will be so many “ANNOYED” customers that finally once and for all, Microsoft stock will be sold as junk bonds!

    Stop annoying us customers, with buggy code, with proven design flaws that you delay, delay, and delay…

    KB 946676 inexcusable June 2008 patch! Way to long of a wait!

  31. Rufus Roper says:

    Some WHS system builders are going beyond the 512 MB for the O/S which was and is the recommendation by Microsoft. Is 512MB still sufficient to run the WHS O/S?

    Rufus Roper

  32. JohnCz says:

    A last minute question you may be able to pose to the WHS team. Will the Driver Extender fix (for data corruption) possibly boost performance of data duplication?

  33. Ryan says:

    You mean will the proven design flaw boost data destruction via duplication in all honestly. That’s because the WHS drive extender design flaw is mostly caused by drive balancing between multiple hard drives, that are pooled together as one.

    There’s no boost, unless you disable WHS Drive Extender crap, then you don’t have the bloody data corruption built over and on top of Windows Server 2003, and there isn’t the need to duplicate what you already got, so then, and yes performance would increase.

    Interesting how performance goes up when you disable more Microsoft bloatware code!

  34. Herin McDonald says:

    Remember what the Windows Home Server product manager Steven Leonard claimed that the KB 946676 bug cropped up only when the server was under an “extreme load”!!!

    How about an explanation?

    Remember when we all heard how the WHS Team was going to work around the clock during Christmas to patch this data corruption design flaw, that’s been put off until June 2008!

    Forget the explanation, stop delaying and provide what you had promised to be a working and functioning as a product that we should be able use as it was advertised, or refund and give us back our money!

  35. Something 2 Say says:

    Once the KB 946676 patch has passed internal quality bars, external participants will be asked to help test the fix.

    That’s an oxymoron if I ever read coming from Microsoft.

    Data corruption is a design flaw, built into WHS. Microsoft didn’t test it’s own software products on WHS, then pushed it out the door upon it’s 100,000 Beta testers which had reported this to Microsoft. So Microsoft just released it anyhow, as RTM to OEM, which had no choice left, being how real customers were experiencing in larger amounts the so called glitch.

    but wait, it gets better, despite knowing it, posting it, KB 946676, Microsoft continued to sell it to the public with a proven design flaw in WHS that leads and causes data corruption.

    So now, Microsoft wants us to be reat assured for the second time, that it’s WHS product will be fixed with this patch, or rather rewrite of it’s WHS DE code, that after passing it’s own internal bar quality code, which it obviously failed before, will be successful enough now for us all to give it yet another go?

    Shouldn’t we start charging Microsoft for our time, trouble, pain and suffering in all this, when we had paid good money upfront, for a working functional product?

    Or is it in that, broken cripple products are now all the rage which Microsoft fanboi’s have nothing else better to do than push and sell design flaws absurdities?

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