Windows Home Server for your studio…

So you’ve joined the digital age? You have made the move from film to digital. Instead of boxes or filing cabinets full of negatives, you now have file folders of images in computers spread through out the studio. You know you need a central filing area for everything, but the idea of how to manage this daunts you. When you hear about servers, you think that they are expensive and that you need personnel just to operate it. You imagine racks of computers sitting in a closet somewhere in space that you just don’t have.

There’s many solutions available to you. I’ll blog about other options during the week. But, tonight, I am going to suggest Windows Home Server. Windows Home Server is Microsoft’s striped down server software, based on Server 2003. It is designed for home use, but this is a perfect and affordable solution for a small to middle sized studio with less then 10 computers on your network. The software cost about $200.00 and can be placed on just about any computer. For the do it your self types, you can recycle an older computer by loading the software on it. The minimal requirements are fairly low. If you are not the do it yourself type, then you can purchase a Windows Home Server all ready to go for under $1,000.00.

Windows Home Server by HP

The cool thing about Windows Home Server is that you can add a drive any time. It sees all of the drives you connect as one large drive. It configures the series of drives for redundancy, in case one should fail. You can plug additional drives in through USB, firewire, or straight to the IDE or SATA connections inside of the box. Since you only the DVD drive for loading the software, you can use the connection originally for the DVD for yet another drive. It’s kind of like adding that extra filing cabinet or box for your negatives as you need it. But, instead you just buy and plug in an extra drive for more space.

There is other benefits to the Windows Home Server other then just storing your images. WHS will back up all of the drives on your network each evening. It does a whole drive copy, so you can restore an entire drive, or just files at a time, if you need. Now that you have your whole network of computers backed up to one location, it makes it easy to setup a centralized off-site backup. Amazon has a very affordable solution for this (15¢ a gigbyte) through free software called Jungle Disk.

The Windows Home Server is a very powerful device and you don’t need an I.T. person to manage it either. There are many other features built into Windows Home Server. Just follow this link to learn more.

During the week, I’ll write moew about other storage solutions and suggested file structures for organizing your files, so be sure to check back in regularly.

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