Last week we highlighted the benefits of having a Windows Home Server, including seamless backups and system restoration. This week we’re highlighting some great add-ins for making the most of your home server.
In our overview last week we briefly touched on the idea of using add-ins to enhance your Windows Home Server experience and get more out of the console. This week we’re highlighting five add-ins, providing a little more detail on their functionality and how they make Windows Home Server even better.
Note: For ease of use — some of the add-ins homepages are forum posts or in foreign languages — we’ve linked to the reviews at WHSPlus, a Windows Home Server enthusiast blog. It’s a great resource for finding more add-ins and each review has a link back to the author’s site.
WHS Disk Management provides a more detailed look at your disk storage than the basic view included in the console. You can use existing server wire frames (most commercial WHS frames are available) or create your own if you have a DIY build. WHS Disk Management makes it easy to see what’s going on with which physical disk in your server. The wire frame model includes disk bays in your tower and external drives for a comprehensive picture of what’s going on with your disks. Eventually when you have to replace a disk or want to upgrade one for additional space, having a detailed model like the one in WHS Disk Management makes it easy to ensure you’re unloading and extracting the right disk.
AutoExit makes it easy to send commands to Windows machines connected to your Windows Home Server through your home network. You can send messages to machines on the network, and perform a variety of shut down functions like suspending, hibernating, rebooting or completely shutting down the remote machine. When you have access to your WHS console remotely it’s a great way to have control over other machines on the network.
One of the great things about Remote Notification is that it forwards all notifications not just the default system notifications. If you have third-party plugins that handle things like downloads and you have them configured to issue system notifications, those will be forwarded to your email or mobile phone via Remote Notification too.
Have a favourite add-in for Windows Home Server? Let’s hear about it and your other WHS tips in the comments.