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Farewell Windows Home Server….

July 6, 2012

I just read that Microsoft have pulled the plug on Windows Home Server (and Small Business Server too)….I was going to do a joke about data corruption at this point but thought it would be in bad taste!

Thinking about Home Server does bring back fond memories for me, as I once ran it (the original version, not 2011).  After some time though I decided that full server hardware was too noisy for my living room and instead switched to my trusty Synology DS410J NAS.

If you are looking for an alternative to Home Server I really cannot recommend a Synology NAS enough.  I call mine “the gadget that keeps on giving” because Synology regularly release software updates and it just seems to get better and better and better.

File share for your Windows machines? Sure. NFS? Sure.  Act as an iSCSI target?  Sure.  Run Squeezebox on the device? Sure but you would be better off buying Sonos.  Snapshot backups? Yup. Back up to the cloud? Yes (Amazon S3).  Anti-virus? Yup (and it is free).  VPN dial in? Yes.   Back up to USB? Yes.  Awesome management interface?  Sure thing.  iTunes Server? Never tried it, but yes it does have it.  Plug in a Wireless dongle? Check. Active community of developers? Yes and Synology encourage them.  Run a web site from it? No problem.  Run a blog? Yup.

I could go on…really I could.

After several years of use I have only two issues with mine…

1. It doesn’t support wake on LAN.  I guess the idea is you leave it on all the time so you shouldn’t need it, I do prefer to turn mine off when I am not using it.

2. I would prefer two NIC’s as I use it with VMware and it would be nice to run Jumbo Frames on one NIC and not the other.

Oh and the eMule/Bit Torrent client was really slow (last tried that a couple of years ago, it might be better now).

The operating system on the NAS is called DSM and (at present) the latest version is v4.0 and you can read all about it here…

http://www.synology.com/dsm/index.php?lang=us

As I said, mine is the DS410J which means..

DS = Disk Station

4 = the number of disks

10= the model number (they have 11’s and 12’s out now)

J = The “home” version rather than the more expensive “SOHO” version (same name without the J, also the home versions are white and the SOHO versions are black).

I’ll be sorry to see the back of Windows Home Server, but I’m sure my Synology NAS will be there to comfort me for some time…

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