Originally Posted by mizzer
Thanks guys. Good stuff.
I'm sure I could set up and run an HTPC easier than a WHS but my primary need is a back-up plan for all my data (movies, pics, my wife's writing/research, etc.). Everything I know about PC's I learned by putting my hands to building and maintaining my own. Even though I have little knowledge about setting up and running a WHS I think I'm gonna try it. My brother-in-law sets up and manages networks for banks so I know he can help me. And I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night.
If you are any kind of student you can get windows server 2008R2, 2008 and 2003 for free from Microsofts DreamSpark program https://www.dreamspark.com/default.aspx
. They also have some other cool stuff, mostly targeted at developers though.
Originally Posted by HiThere
My only other suggestion is this: Although WHS backs up all your PC's, and can be made to use redundant drives, the fact remains that this server will sit in the same house, on the same electrical system, as the rest of the PC's in your house. Backing up the backups, for things like keepsake photos and important long-term documents, to an off-site storage solution, is something I recommend. Maybe you can stomach if your movie collection is incinerated in a fire, zapped in an electrical storm, or soaked in a flood, but your family photos and such, imho, should be periodically copied off-site somewhere.
Google accounts are really great for this and space is pretty cheap or free. Google's Picasa is especially nice for backing up photos.