I promised myself that I wouldn’t essentially review Windows Home Server for this review, but I do feel it prudent to highlight some of the features of the OS.
Windows Home Server (WHS) is different spin of Windows Server 2003 aimed at the home user, as its name suggests. Disk management is highly simplified and all hard drives are simply pooled together in a semblance of a dynamically expanding RAID array. Approximately 20 GB is reserved for the OS (~2GB is actually used) and the rest is allocated to a “data” drive. The administrator can add more drives later on and these drives will automatically be a part of this data array-no extra configuration needed. The administrator can also create user accounts and groups. Each has a storage directory, in addition to several publicly-accessible directories.
WHS can be administered locally or through a web-based control panel running on the device. There’s also support for UPnP punching so that users can remotely access their shares. There’s apparently also support for UPnP DLNA for use with Xbox 360. The ARTiGO A2000 can do any of these.
VIA includes a hardware management console through which the administrator can view the CPU fan speed, system fan, and HDD capacity and free space. He or she could also set up a boot schedule for automatic power-ups at certain hours of the day. Lastly, it has a free space alarm which can trigger the system bell whenever the limit is breached.
I conducted some simple benchmarks to see how fast the ARTiGO could serve up data. Using a large movie file, I determined the speeds to be approximately 11.5 MB/sec write to device and 16.5 MB/sec read from using SMB, the only protocol available apparently. I found somethings in the IIS (web server) administration panel regarding WebDAV, but it doesn’t seem to be integrated as an alternative to SMB.
Colin Dean has been a writer for ThinkComputers since 2006.