Windows Home Server version 2 hits public beta

Windows Home Server logoA new version of Windows Home Server has gone into beta. Codenamed "Vail," the next Windows Home Server release is built on 64-bit Windows Server 2008 R2. Big new features include new media streaming capabilities, improved multi-PC backup and restore features, simpler setup, and richer customization and development opportunities for OEMs.

To download the beta, register at Connect. The beta has a laundry list of known issues, and as with all Microsoft betas, it's not recommended for production usage. The hardware requirements are modest (1.4GHz x64 processor, 1GB RAM, and at least one 160GB hard drive). It'll run happily in Hyper-V.

One of Windows Home Server's main features is its pooled storage system, Drive Extender. In version one, this was not without its problems, with data loss bugs that took a long time to receive patches and poor handling of failing or failed disks. Drive Extender has been substantially overhauled in the new version; it has better detecting and handling of errors, and provides the ability to remove hard disks without downtime.

The new media capabilities have a lot in common with Windows 7, offering transcoding, streaming, and remote playback to other networked machines. These are all managed through the Windows Home Server web front-end.

Source: arstechnica

Tags: Microsoft, Windows Home Server

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