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Server 2012 Esssentials Replacement


Server Grunt
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All,

Some time ago since i participated in the forums, but i have kept up to date with the podcasts.

 

Now the reason for my absence is basically that I have been very satisfied with my solution, using Server 2012E.

 

However, I have had my license on a TechNet subscription and now I am being reminded that this is about to expire and that I am welcome to purchase a full license.

 

Now for a fairly non-advanced user, as I am not running any ´web-, mail-, ftp- or virtual servers on my machine, the price for a full 2012E-lisenceis pretty steep.

 

Thus, I wonder what alternatives are out there at the moment that basically has the same functionality, uses drive pools – and is not an all your own hands-on Linux solution.

 

My hardware is a core i7, with 16 GB RAM and a 5 HDD drive pool.

 

//HG

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You could look around for a copy of WHS2011. I'm still running it and don't have any plans to move away any time soon. Unfortunately, you can't get it for $50 any more; more like $200. However, that's still half the price of WSE2012(r2).

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You could look around for a copy of WHS2011. I'm still running it and don't have any plans to move away any time soon. Unfortunately, you can't get it for $50 any more; more like $200. However, that's still half the price of WSE2012(r2).

ikon,

No disrespect but I think "Server Grunt" should know some of the limitations of WHS2011 before we recommend that. For one thing it does not work well for backup/restore of UEFI Bios clients, 2TB Limits, Max 10 Computer/Devices, Ect.

Edited by MrFixit
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There is no UEFI limitation - the hotfix fixes that. I back up my Win8.1 Desktop and 2 Win8.1 MS Surface units to it every night. And I have done restores successfully.

 

It's true that none of my Clients have more than 2TB to be backed up, so I'm not affected by any such limitation. To be honest, I don't recall all the details about the 2TB limitation. I think it mostly applied to WSB on the server.

 

It's also true about the 10 Client Computer limitation. It's good to point it out, but it's always been there so it's nothing new. Server Grunt needs to do what's best for him of course, but I think WHS2011 is still a good option for many home users.

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There is no UEFI limitation - the hotfix fixes that. I back up my Win8.1 Desktop and 2 Win8.1 MS Surface units to it every night. And I have done restores successfully.

Assuming you're not one of those unlucky folks that it completely breaks the backup engine....

It's rare, but it happens enough.....

 

 

As for replacing the server.... WIndows 8, with StableBit DrivePool (yes, I am shameless) or Drive Bender (or ... storage spaces)... and install one of the networked backup solutions (Acronis, Macron, etc have network backup solutions). And maybe a website with IIS or Apache HTTPD, and you're set. Not as good, but it works.

 

Also, while the subscription expires, the keys don't. I haven't had a subscription for 2 years now, but the keys still work (and yes, I use them mostly for testing). 

However, that is a violation of the license agreement (but so is using them in production)....

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Hi,

Thanks for the answers. Unfortunatelly my system runs on a UEFI board and I have 4TB HDDs and do back up/manage larger that 2TB files.

My main tasks for a server is backup, storage, media access and to some degree domain/network control (however these functions are not essential).

 

@Drashna: Do I understand you correctly that I can keep running the server and get updates - as long as I do not try to upgrade? -and Drashna no worries I already use DrivePool.

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UEFI only affects the system drive, really. It must be GPT. Aside from that, it doesn't change things really. Windows 7 supports GPT volumes (and even UEFI, actually). So it really shouldn't matter what OS you go to. But if you go to a client OS (aka, not Windows Server), you'll need some solution for client backups, and the solution will more than likely include the option to backup the "server" as well.

 

 

Yes and no. Microsoft doesn't expire (deactivate) the keys unless there is some major issue. They will work, even for reinstalls. Even on new systems. As long as you don't need to do the phone activation, or don't mind violating the EULA, you can definitely continue to use it.

Just remember that this will violate the EULA, and if if this is for business use, you can get into a lot of trouble. If it's for home/personal use, ...

However, the ~$400 pricetag is absolutely worth the cost of the OS. 

 

And glad to hear that you're using DrivePool.

 

 

Oh, speaking of Essentials, try installing the Windows Deployment Services, use the AD mode, and add the restore images to the "Boot" image section. Then try booting from "LAN" on a client machine. :)

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Well, I do like the Essential SW, but I am not even closely utilising all functions for Domain management, control or Web related server functions.

WHS2011 is an option, but the limitations and long term lack of support is an issue

Now it is strictly for private us – so -If I Would go ahead and buy a license can I migrate to R2 or must I do a complete reinstall?

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