In my initial post, I wrote about the process of installing WHS. It was much more challenging than expected; however, to be fair, most people purchase systems pre-installed with WHS. In this segment I will review the installation of WHS’s client software which is required to manage and operate the unit.
The client installation
A WHS system is more than just a shared NAS system. It is architected as an entirely self-contained backup and recovery system, and the added functionality requires custom software which they call “Windows Home Server Connector.” (WHSC) The software only runs on Windows so Mac and Linux users are out of luck. (Note that they can still access the fileshares, but cannot administer the system or use the backup features.)
The installation process is streamlined. You insert the WHSC DVD and it runs a small executable that automatically locates your WHS. It prompts for a password to access the server and then you automatically download and install the WHSC software from your local WHS. The process was transparent and extremely efficient. Best of all, it ensured that your version of the connector matches the WHS release. Another nice feature is that connector will monitor the WHS for software updates and prompt to download/install a new versions.
I was impressed with the client installation process. The simplicity of relying on the WHS for the connector software and for updates is refreshing. The process was simple enough for the most basic user to understand.
Once the client installation is complete, you are brought to the blue login screen pictured here. This is presented by the local installation of WHSC and is used to remotely manage the system. There is no username and so it can only be access via the administrative passoword. Upon login you are presented with the home screen which presents the main configurable options.
In the next reviews we will discuss WHS functionality in more detail focused on the following three areas of functionality: