Another update…I replaced my Seagate Mirra Server with an HP MediaSmart Server running Windows Home Server. Installation of the server was painless, it’s basically a black box. Installation of the client software, on each client, was also painless. Far better than Mirra, which required you to have a product ID handy for each client installation. The clients also seem more reliable as they never have trouble seeing the server. With the Mirra, the clients would frequently report problems seeing the server and it took a client reboot to fix the problem.
Beyond backup, I am using Windows Media Center’s shared folder feature, something missing from the Mirra. All our photos are now in a shared folder on the MediaSmart. I’ll copy our music there next, though the "real" copy lives on an Escient Fireball server. If I were building the house today I’d do things very differently, but for now we live with the Fireball.
So far, Windows Home Server lives up to its billing. It’s very easy to install and manage. But the real test is coming. When I get my desktop system back from Dell and try a full system restore. After all, what good is a backup server if you can’t restore from it! We shall see.