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.
Chris, I totally feel you on the number of systems. I have a laptop at home, a laptop at work, my wife’s PC (which she gets frustrated at very easily), and an HTPC in my living room.
I am also supporting my mom’s two laptops (one in her office, one at home), my sister’s PC, and other various friends who call me at random times. It’s a lot to think about, sometimes. haha.
Unfortunately, it still doesn’t support 64-bit Windows Server 2003. Sigh.
Can you add new Live Mesh folders on Windows Server 2003 though?
I was able to install, login to the Win Server 2003 box via the Live Mesh Remote Desktop, but receive a “401 unauthorised” error message when attempting to add folders on Windows Server 2003 to my Live Mesh.
I don’t use Live Mesh Folders, but I suspect that may be because of the default group policies. Unfortunately, I don’t know which ones to switch.
Bear in mind, Live Mesh on Server 2003/2008 was enabled… but has not yet been integrated. With the recent commitment of the Home Server team to integrate Mesh though, it’s only a matter of time.