I’ve been using Linux on my home server for a little over 7 years now. In that time, a single copy of Debian (never reinstalled, only upgraded) has gone from a file server to a full internet router and back again, as well as 3 or 4 hardware upgrades and various component failures. But in recent months I’ve grown tired of maintaining it.
I no longer have a use for actually running Linux on the machine; I replaced 90% of the functions with a router last year. It’s running Linux more because of the stability (127 days right now, and a couple of the small HDDs died 2 months ago!). That, and I believed it was the only good file server solution (that I could afford, anyway).
I don’t know how I missed it in the CES coverage, but I learned tonight about an upcoming release from Microsoft called Windows Home Server. This thing sounds like the solution to my problems, including ones that I wasn’t eager to do much about (backups). Automated backup of all networked windows machines, and duplicate copies of all files on the machine? Easy connectivity? A UI that is designed specifically to be easy to use but still powerful? I like the sound of it.
About the only thing that will stop me clearing Linux off and putting WHS on instead is the price. I really hope they don’t price themselves out of the enthusiast market, a group of people who are used to free solutions. There’s only so much I’m willing to pay for the convenience of a zero maintenance file and backup server; I’d be more than happy to see if Ubuntu Server can ease my maintenance pains instead. I guess only time will tell.
Oh, and for anyone worried about me ditching Linux completely – I will always use it to run my MythTV box. I can’t live without MythTV, and that means I can’t live without Linux.