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Convince me...


Vertigo
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Hi all,

 

So I'm currently running WHS2011 and contemplating migrating to 2012 R2 Essentials.  Wondering whether it's worth the hassle or if I'd just be upgrading for the sake of it?  I've downloaded the trial and had a bit of a play in a VM but it all seems very much the same.  What would I gain by moving?

 

Also a couple of questions which have arisen from my testing, if I may:

 

1. I'm using Stablebit Drivepool on my WHS2011 server at present but it looks like I can do everything I need to with the in-build Storage Spaces in 2012R2, is this correct?

 

2. When backing up the server, I don't want it scheduled but will instead connect a USB drive at regular intervals for backup which will be moved offsite in between.  Can I ignore the schedule and force server backups manually when needed?

 

Cheers,

Toby.

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I will let other folks discuss the benefits of 2012 R2 Essentials vs a vs  WHS2011

 

 

But  on the topic of Drivepool vs Storage Spaces  here is my 2 cents

 

Tried Storage Spaces when I 1st went to a W8 based server.

 

Somewhat slow and inflexible -  but the kicker is that the drives arent  readable as NTFS drives -  so if you lost a couple of drives or a controller, you may be out of luck.  You could lose it all ( if you dont have a backup)

 

 

Drivepool solved this for me.   The combination of Drivepool and Scanner is great and the way to go if you love your data.   .   Lots of posts on the forum on this topic.

 

 

a 2nd license of drive pool is very reasonably priced,  so there is no reason not to use drivepool on your 2012 R2 box

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I would never upgrade a Production system for the sake of upgrading.  The key to staying or moving will eventually be the compatibility of your clients.  With Windows 9 coming out next month (the preview at least) we should have a good idea of how it plays with WHS 2011.

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If you have WHS2011 fully patched and the uefi hotfix applied and it is working for you, why change. I think it would be difficult to justify the cost of WS2012e R2, if WHS2011 meets your needs.

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I really really liked the direct access feature of my WHS2012R2E.

 

It was amazing to plug in my computer at a friends house and have access to all of my home resources without having to launch a vpn client or anything like that. 

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S2012R2E isn't worth the extra effort for me at this time but I continue to experiment with it -- WHS2011 continues to meet my needs at a fraction of the cost.

 

1.  Yes (sort-of)  I'm impressed by some things in Storage Spaces but the lack of transparency -- i.e. the inability to recover easily from a total systems failure like I could with Stablebit Drivepool + Scanner is a big deterrent for me.  I've experimented with Storage Spaces and have even run it with a duplicate of my entire database -- check the Forum Blog == go to  Podcast and search by clicking the tag field and selecting "storage spaces" and there's over 40 postings at this time.  In there you will find a lot of the testing I've done with SS in S2012E, S2012R2E, and S2012 plus a lot of testing that PCDoc has done. 

 

2.  Yes

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I really really liked the direct access feature of my WHS2012R2E.

 

It was amazing to plug in my computer at a friends house and have access to all of my home resources without having to launch a vpn client or anything like that.

I couldn't agree more. Perhaps the most underutilized feature of WSE12R2. I consider it the best kept secret. Rely on it daily. Both for my own laptop and family PCs on the domain states away for nightly client backups.

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I would not use Storage Spaces  over DrivePool.

 

Like Joe_Miner, I'm sticking with WHS2011 until such time as I'm forced to change because of new desktop OS'.

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Had a flaky drive in StorageSpaces on my Win8 drive, but couldn't isolate each drive individually to check it.

It could be I'm not that smart, but don't have that issue in DrivePool. It shows the pool and all drives

individually. Would recommend DrivePool over StorageSpaces from my experience.

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I actually moved from 2011 to 2012R2 with the essentials role this weekend.   For me it few reasons on the upgrade if these do not apply for you I would stay on 2011 with the UEFI hotfix

 

1. WHS2011 maxes at 8GB ram while 2012R2 does not have this limitation (for practical purposes say it maxes at 32 due to CPU and motherboards we can afford)

2. Due to #1 I am now running 16GB in a Gen8 Microserver with the HyperV role installed letting me move some of my VMs to HyperV

3. Support for backup greater than 2GB, while I don't need this now I do plan to use the Gen8 to also provide SMB connection to 2  VMhost and a vShere host for vMotion

4, PXE support (ok im probably the sole user for this but it do use it for deploying the same image between VM and HyperV)

5. DirectAccess while not used currently will probably use soon with a Surface3 Pro

 

My old WHS2011 box will become probably a esx host or hackintosh.  The gen8 was suppose to be my ESX host but had issues with sd card might go back to it (plan to keep 1 of the boot drives from whs2011 intact just in case)

My almost final plan with the reghacks to run in workgroup mode is mirrored 120SSD boot drive,  3-120 in raid0 for vm boot drives, mirrored 3tb for data and backup and mirrored 2tb for VM Data for esx and hyperv

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