At KitGuru we love our networking and spend a lot of time with gigabit switches and ensuring our home configurations run as fast as possible, both over wired and wireless. We have reviewed several NAS systems lately from makers such as Buffalo and Synology and today we are going to look at a Windows Home Server unit from Asus.
Many households have a network now, with parents having a computer as a media center in the living room with the kids doing their homework with network connections from their bedrooms. Network Assisted Storage (NAS) systems are picking up popularity in 2010 as prices continue to drop and people realise that having a centralised location for files and backups is both practical and useful.
Most NAS systems we have looked at so far have been running on Linux software and have been based on embedded ARM processor designs from manufacturers such as Marvell. Windows Home Server will run on a standard PC processor such as those from Intel or AMD. The processor in the Asus system for instance is an Intel Atom design.
Windows Home Server is basically a stripped down Windows Server 2003 operating system focusing on ‘ease of use’ for a mainstream user … roughly translated this means the person can get up and running with the minimum of effort. The tabbed and labelled program which runs on these systems (server console) ensures that everything is in one easy to access place rather than throughout a plethora of locations as would be the case on a traditional server style operating system.
The Asus system is based around a Intel Atom N280 CPU, paired with 2GB of Ram and has two small cooling fans built into the chassis and when idle it draws around 20W.
|CPU||Intel Atom Processor N280 1.66ghz|
|Hard Drive||500gb/1TB/2TB 7,200rpm|
|Networking||1x 10/100/1000 (Gigabit) RJ45 LAN|
|Interfaces||6x USB 2.0, 2 x eSATA, 1x K-Lock|
|AC Power Adapter (Watt)||Output: 19v, 90W
Input: 100-240V AC, 50/60hz Universal
|Dimensions||9.6″ (H) x 3.8″ (W) x 8″ (D)|
|Operating System||Microsoft Windows Home Server|