Home Servers to replace CD-DVD libraries

Most digital media today is stored on an individual computer and then synched to one device or another or streamed through a home network to an entertainment system or other appliance. The drawback with such a system is that all files will be lost should the hard drive crash, and it’s very difficult to synchronize files across multiple computers, devices and users without overlap.

By contrast, a home server acts as a central storage hub for all the content in the home, and multiple devices can link to it in order to stream or otherwise access music, video or other content. A home server will even automatically backup and reconcile content stored on any connected device. And servers are far less prone to crashes.

The home server market is currently all potential, with only an estimated 400,000 U.S. households employing one today, according to multiple analyst reports, dominated primarily by tech enthusiasts and IT pros installing them in their homes.

But Forrester Research projects the U.S. market will grow to more than 4.5 million households by 2012, while the Diffusion Group predicts it surging to as high as 21.5 million in all of North America by 2015.