Well, its been a week since I had to install the CTP of Windows Home Server.
The long and the short of it is that the Upgrade option in the setup simply does not work - no way, no how. It stopped after the first reboot. It was insane. So I capitualted and copied all my data off the two secodnary hard drives as it was impossible to access data stored on the primary hard disk ( the one with the OS partition). I even tried recovering the hard drive to no avail. Which wasted the entire afternoon, I might add. So thanks to Folder Duplication - I did not lose one shred (no pun intended) of data - THANKS GUYS!!
So I did a new install over the old one and it worked like a Swizz car. It was a total breeze ( it might be going a bit far to say my grand mother could have done it).
I do like what they have done with the Console UI. Its more Vista-ish. Everything is well layed out. There is a helpful label at the bottom of the connector that informs you when storage is balanced.
The settings tab is re-designed. I like the inclusion of the Shutdown button under the menu instead of in a submenu - it saves a click. There are now settings for the Remote Access and Add-in bits. You can register for a custom domain from Live Custom Domains service that actually works very well (the wizard is supurbly designed). You can also auto-configure your router from here. I tried and it didin't work (Linksys router WAG54G if anyone wants to know).
The process that actually does the configuring is called portfwd.exe and it hogged my system for hours. This slowed down everything. There isn't actually an option to cancel the config (why???) and simply ending the process buys you a few minutes since it will start up again. the solution is to go into Control panel and click on Services (Control Panel should be in the Start Menu - if it isin't, customize the Start menu to show it). Find Portfwd.exe and disable it.
Besides that small hickup everything runs smoothly.
This release of WHS really is good. I just need to get my hands on an Add-on or two to test that functionality.
I'm wondering, though, if you can back-up programatically to WHS. This would/ could give finer-grained control over back-up shecedules than is currently possible. It might even allow a few people to write somthing to back-up Macs or PC's without the Home Connector.
If anyone is interest the WHS team do have a blog.