I've been reading up on Windows Home Server for a few weeks. There's an interesting article and discussion on Linux-Watch.com where the point is made that most if not all of WHS' functionality is available for free on Linux.
One poster listed key WHS functionality that users will want:
* Fast cluster-level incremental backups equivalent to full backups
* Bare-metal client recovery (restore a PC with a bare hard drive)
* Single instance storage (duplicate files don’t waste space)
* Previous versions (file journaling with Volume Shadow Copy Services)
* Remote Desktop gateway (multiple PC support)
* Media streaming with Windows Media Connect
* Print server with auto-driver loading
And another chimes in with
* Easily add and remove any drive of any size on the array.
* Automatic backups for all my desktops and laptops.
* Restore process for my desktops and laptops.
* Remote access
Linux can do this handily, these posters are reminded. In fact, it occurs to me that Windows itself has had much of this capability for years, sometimes provided through 3rd party tools such as Ghost. But WHS' key advantage is that it provides a convenient, easy-to-use interface for implementing these services that is accessible to mere mortals. I'm still learning Linux and therefore such convenience is an important selling point. Thus, advantage to WHS.
To me, this sounds like a prime opportunity for Ubuntu. What if someone with strong Ubuntu kung fu were to assemble a tutorial in configuring an UHS (Ubuntu Home Server) that mirrors WHS' functionality? Make it a detailed walkthough so that newbies can do it. Has someone already done that? I didn't find anything Googling; maybe I'm looking for the wrong thing.
Or better yet, what if someone could build a console application that provides much of the one-stop shopping features of WHS. (Maybe someone's already done it! If so, let's generate some buzz around their work.) From this console, you set up anything that you need for your UHS, and the console will automagically configure Samba, Apache, streaming server, imaging software, or whatever else for you. You may need to build equivalents to the Windows client applications that come with WHS as well, so you can configure your Windows boxes to back up to, stream data from, or do whatever with the UHS. This is all well beyond my capabilites. But it's an interesting idea for a project, isn't it? Has someone already done it?