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Chapter 22. Setting Up a Small Network > Connecting Windows Vista to a Windows ...

Connecting Windows Vista to a Windows Home Server Network

Windows Home Server is the software side of a hardware/software package that’s designed to make it much easier to manage, access, and protect home networks. Windows Home Server is built on a slightly stripped-down version of Windows Server 2003 R2, which is Microsoft’s flagship server OS (at least until the next version—Windows Server 2008—ships). This is a great base because Windows Server 2003 is as robust and rock-solid as any operating system Microsoft has produced. Of course, Windows Server 2003 is also as large and as complex as any Microsoft operating system, and in its full glory it’s not something to be wielded by a networking novice. To that end, Windows Home Server takes that complexity and power and hides them behind a user interface—called the Windows Home Server Console—that makes it extremely easy for even novices to administer and access the network.

Enthusiasts and system integrators can purchase a standalone version of Windows Home Server to install on their own hardware. For everyone else (that is, the vast majority of Microsoft’s target market for this OS), Windows Home Server comes bundled as part of a tightly integrated, turnkey hardware/software package. Basically, you just plug the Windows Home Server machine into your network and turn it on. You don’t need to attach any of the usual peripherals to the server box because these machines are designed to be headless. This means that the server computer runs without a monitor, mouse, or keyboard. (In fact, almost every device that integrates Windows Home Server doesn’t even come with a monitor port!) You configure the server and access the network via the Windows Home Server Console, and if you need to run a program or configure some other aspect of the server, you can connect to it via Remote Desktop.


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