Monday, January 19, 2009

Data Migration Almost Complete!

So, it has been a week, and my data migration is almost complete!  I've consolidated 665 gb of Video, 306 gb of Audio, 190 gb of games, and 22 gb of photos from my two old servers, two desktops and the laptop onto the WHS system.  

I've got backup running perfectly, I've sorted all the kids crap into personal shares for them, and have even started disconnecting and unplugging external drives from the old servers.  I'm hoping I will have time tonight to bring everything down in the basement so that I can unhook the kill-a-watt from the stack and isolate just the new WHS to see what kind of wattage it is burning.

Now I'm starting to think about what else I'd like the server to handle, and realized that I should check into the EULA to see what it allowed.  I made a post to the Home Server group asking for other people's opinions about some eula questions I have... I'll also post the same thing here, soliciting comments about the same topic:

I'm wondering what other people's interpretation of some of the clauses in the Home Server EULA is?

The sections I refer to are as follows:

d. Functionality Limitations.

  • Active Directory - You may not use the server software as a domain controller or otherwise make use of DCPromo.exe. You also may not join the server software to any Active Directory domain.
  • Terminal Services – You may only use Terminal Services functionality to the extent required to manage the server software in Remote Administration Mode. You may not use Terminal Services for any other purpose.
  • Server Roles - You may not use server roles other than the roles that are already enabled during the server setup process.

I am particularly concerned with the second and third limitation... the first is completely understandable.

But the second one: What does Microsoft define as "extent required to manage the server software?" Does that mean that, if I install some third party software that does not have a WHS add-in onto the server, that I am prohibited by EULA from RDP'ing to the server to manage it?

Which brings me to the third restriction, about Server Roles. According to TechNet Windows 2003 has a set number of different roles that it can hold:

  • File and print server
  • Web server and Web application services (Limited use in WHS)
  • Mail server
  • Terminal server (Limited use in WHS)
  • Remote access and virtual private network (VPN) server
  • Directory services, Domain Name System (DNS), Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) server, and Windows Internet Naming Service (WINS)
  • Streaming media server

According to my understanding, the items in bold are the roles that are (according to Microsoft) "roles that are already enabled during the server setup process."

I assume that means that I am violating the EULA if I install the Microsoft DHCP, DNS, or WINS servers. But what about DHCP4WHS, for example. This is a developer-written DHCP server, so you do not have to install any "illegal" Microsoft services, but isn't this still using the server for roles "other than the roles that are already enabled during the server setup process?" Or how about installing BIND for Windows for DNS? Again, no Microsoft software, but is it enabling roles that are prohibited?

What about something COMPLETELY undefined in the roles list: a HomeSeer home automation server? Is that changing roles?

The root of my question is two-fold; I really want to try to follow the EULA as completely as possible, since I know the kind of hard work that goes into a software package, and it is the developer's inherent right to limit the use of THEIR product as they see fit. But I also want to be careful what I blog about, and need to make sure that it is within the EULA's limit if I talk about something that I have done with my Home Server.

Thanks for any opinions that you'd like to share, especially you MVP types who might have an "in" to find out the real story.


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