At launch, Live Mesh wouldn’t talk to Windows Server. This especially rubbed salt in the wounds of Windows Home Server users, who even with Power Pack 1, won’t be able to remotely access Windows XP Home and Vista Home systems.
But, now, times appear to be changing. As of the latest update to Live Mesh, you can now install on Windows Server 2003, and it appears 2008 as well. I verified this with my own Windows Home Server. However, support is unofficial; Microsoft has not acknowledged Live Mesh works with Windows Server.
What does this mean for you? Well, if you have a Windows Home Server, I would suggest signing up for Live Mesh on all systems. Doing so will essentially replace the Home Server remote access backbone, but will enable you to now connect to all your systems. Ideally, the next version of Home Server will integrate Live Mesh into the platform… something I’ve suggested in the past.
It also means that if you have a Windows Server, such as 2003 SBS or 2008 Standard, you now have a much easier way to access all your servers… practically zero-configuration.
And, that brings me to one of the things I’d like to see in Live Mesh; Zones. I would like to group computers based on what I want to do with them. For example, I might want to have a zone with my home computers, a zone with my office computers, and a zone with family member systems.
Then, I could toggle features on and off. For example, on my family member systems… I just want remote access to help them out and install updates and such without having to bother them. On my office circle, I might want both remote access and synchronization. And, on my home systems, I might want the same settings as my office zone, but I may want them on a different tab just for organization.
Granted, you might be asking how many systems I have… but let me give you a typical scenario.
I have around four computers in my household. I have a Windows Home Server. I have a laptop that travels to the office, and a desktop there. At my office, I also have a Windows Server 2008 system. And, I have three family members that I maintain away from home remotely.
That’s about 10 systems right there. You can see why being able to group systems, and assign permissions to a group, is important for Live Mesh.