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Essentials Experience Role in a WORKGROUP Environment


E3000
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Hey guys,

 

If using Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard in a WORKGROUP with no Domain/AD etc (as one would use Windows Home Server 2011), is it possible to install and fully use the Essentials Experience role without creating a new Domain and just staying in the workgroup environment? I ask as it mentions creating a new domain as part of the setup. If it is possible will everything still work as it should?

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No. 

 

The Essentials Experience role REQUIRES the server to be a Primary Domain Controller.

 

This is not optional. 

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No. 

 

The Essentials Experience role REQUIRES the server to be a Primary Domain Controller.

 

This is not optional.

 

Thanks for the reply. I'm guessing the Hyper-V role also does?

Is this the same for the Essentials version of WS2012 or just limited to the role for Standard/Datacenter?

That kinda means WHS2011 was never really directly replaced huh

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Nope.  The hyperV role doesn't require anything. 

 

And yes, this is the same for the Essentials SKU.  This SKU is a special licensing version that includes the Essentials role, the HyperV role (in a VERY specific config), and doesn't include some other features (like Deduplication). 

 

Otherwise, it acts pretty much identically on Standard/Datacenter. 

 

 

And you're correct.  The thing is, the Essentials SKU *is* a direct continuation of Small Business Server 2011 Essentials. Which was the SBS version of WHS2011 (almost identical, except it's a domain controller and supports up to 25 users, IIRC). 

So while WHS doesn't have a direct successor, the "Windows Server Solutions" family (WHS2011, SBS2011E and Windows Storage Server 2008R2 Essentials) does have a direct successor. 

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Don't forget that with Essentials you can "skipdomainjoin" which may be an option for you.

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Google Tinkertry for the skip domain option. I run in this method at home with the AD only really running the server for a couple management accounts.

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Thanks guys. Do I lose functionality by skipping domainjoin?

If I had not have 3 other PCs on the network is it worth setting up a domain?

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Thanks guys. Do I lose functionality by skipping domainjoin?

If I had not have 3 other PCs on the network is it worth setting up a domain?

 

Yes and no.  

 

You lose out on some of the management stuff, and other features like "Folder Redirection".  However, you CANNOT just reinstall domain controller.  If you do, you need to leave the domain and rejoin it. That wipes out the domain profiles on those systems (though you can opt to use the local profiles instead). 

 

Basically, if you're domain joining it, you need to make sure you have a good, working backup for the server. 

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