"Not ready for prime time"1.0 starson by miller.90
Pros: The HP hardware is very good
Cons: The WHS software should NOT have been released
Summary: The WHS software is so buggy that Medion, a major German OEM has refused to allow their brand of a WHS server onto the market yet. It's to HP's discredit that they launched their version and that they continue to promote it.
1 -- The data-corruption bug is a show stopper, and MS announced today, March 11, that they'll probably not have a fix for it before June. It's true that it does not happen on one-drive servers, but without at least one more drive, data duplication cannot be enabled, defeating the purpose of such a device. MS originally stated that only files being opened from the server could be corrupted, but it's been shown that even read-only files can be corrupted.
2 -- The backup system is simply buggy. There are many reports of users not being able to restore failed computers and therefore losing lots of data.
3 -- Many users are frequently seeing "Health Notifications" that the SYS drive in the MediaSmart is failing. This means that it must be "Repaired," a WHS function that supposedly repairs corruption of backup indexes or something. It usually works, but could anyone be inspired by seeing a message that his WHS drives are "failing" all the time??
4 -- The backups cannot be validated, either manually or automatically, meaning that a backup can be corrupted and useless for months while the user is never notified. The user can find out about the corruption only by opening a backup. This means that if you want to rely on the WHS as a backup device, you have to try to open a backup almost every day. This is not a bug, just a show-stopping, deal-busting omission. I'd ask if anyone has EVER heard of ANY backup program that does not allow validation of its backups?
5 -- There is currently no way to backup the WHS, itself. Because of the Drive Extender technology, not even third-party programs can be used for this purpose. This is another show-stopping omission because if something happens to the C: drive in the WHS, the OS must be reinstalled. It preserves the data files, but it results in losing ALL the backups stored to that point. Many users have been forced to reinstall WHS: Bye-bye backups, start over. (This functionality may be added to WHS by the Power Pack due by July.)
The MediaSmart server is a very nice and reasonably-priced piece of hardware, but Microsoft's WHS software was released, IMHO at least 8 months too early. I'd advise that NO ONE buy any WHS software or hardware until MS proves that they've corrected the data-corruption bug -- i.e., not before mid-summer of 2008. Even then, it will probably be impossible to fully trust WHS backups, meaning that the MAIN REASON for the software's existence has not been met.