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  • Robert Watson
    Robert Watson created a new discussion
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      Posted on Friday, 02 September 2011

    I would like to begin a discussion about the ClearOS Home edition being considered.  I’ll give a brief, and certainly not all inclusive review of competing home server setups available along with my personal vision of where ClearOS Home should go. There are several options in the home server market ranging from attached storage devices with minimal functionality to true server operating systems with varying degrees of user friendliness.  I won’t discuss the simple NAS devices available on the market, nor the nix variants such as FreeNAS because I think we could all agree that we really want something more from a home server.  I briefly discuss the three main flavors of home servers available (Microsoft Home Server, Apple OSX home server and the Linux Amahi Home Server) along with some of their strengths and weaknesses. Microsoft offered the Windows Home Server (WHS) several years ago and in spite of several manufacturers WHS offerings it was never able to make big inroads in the commercial space.  If you asked yourself why I need a home server and then looked at WHS, you’d still be asking the same question.  While WHS was good as a network storage device and automated backup device for windows pcs there was little more offered.  Access to your files via the web was primitive at best.  The latest version of WHS2011 hasn’t changed their paradigm of home server software and I think it will die quietly within the next few years. Apple offers OSX Home Server and is reviewed here.  I haven’t had a chance to personally setup or use this software but I think it’s closer to a full featured home server that I’d purchase if it wasn’t a proprietary and expensive system.  The attractive parts are common among all apple products: intuitive user interface, tight control of applications so that everything “just works”.  The cons: ITS PROPRIETARY, only runs on mac hardware which makes it more expensive.  If anyone has real experience with this offering, please chime in J Fedora based Amahi Server, an open source “home server” product which attempts to bring in the “best of open source software” to produce a functioning swiss army knife home server.  Has a “marketplace” for apps which are designed to plug in and work according to what you want.  Unfortunately, I think this is really only useable to linux admins since the average home user is probably more familiar to either windows or apple products which are pre-configured to a consistent user interface and paradigm. Most windows or apple users aren’t going to be competent to setup and configure an amahi server where it’s bulletproof….and If you really want to crack the home server space that is what you’ll need.If you have any feedback, ideas or rants about what I've written here, please feel free.  In part 2, I'll layout what I think ClearOS Home should be capable of and how to get from here to there.  In part3, I'll layout the business model we can all engage in to make this 'the home server'. :)Robert