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Funeral Service For Windows Home Server on 7/5/12

post #1 of 44
Thread Starter 
http://www.wegotserved.com/2012/07/05/microsoft-draws-windows-home-server-era-close/
post #2 of 44
Well its too bad it just wasnt popular enough to convince MS to keep it going.

Im running a WHS 2011 system and its been rock solid, so Ill be using it for quite some time.

After that, Ill seriously look at Win 8 since MS made the effort to include features I was hoping to see in WHS 2011, but never saw. Storage Spaces alone is great improvement over WHS v1. Then you throw in the improvements to sharing, file transfers, etc, and its likely my next 'server' OS.
post #3 of 44
Ugh, I am literally finishing up my first WHS 2011 config today. I've been really impressed with it so far, and combining it with Flexraid gives me redundant and pooled expandable storage. Oh well. I guess there's nothing stopping me from using it for the indefinite future.
post #4 of 44
I am confused by this...
Quote:
Q: How long will customers be able to purchase Windows Home Server 2011?
A: Windows Home Server 2011 will remain available as an OEM embedded product until December 31, 2025, and will remain available in all other current channels until December 31, 2013.

So does that mean that OEM will be available to us forever aka 2025? Or that we can only buy it as consumers until 12/31/13 (both are a LONG time in the tech world, btw).
post #5 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

I
So does that mean that OEM will be available to us forever aka 2025? Or that we can only buy it as consumers until 12/31/13 (both are a LONG time in the tech world, btw).

Yes.

OEMs can continue to build WHS boxes until 2025, and you can buy retail until the end of 2013.
post #6 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by kegobeer View Post

Yes.
OEMs can continue to build WHS boxes until 2025, and you can buy retail until the end of 2013.

That's what I don't understand. So what's the big deal?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16832416443

The OEM is readily available to everyone. What did I miss? That they aren't making WHS2012/2013 for $50?
post #7 of 44
I'm guessing that you won't be able to buy a copy after 2013, but OEMs will have access to it and sell machines with it.
post #8 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by kegobeer View Post

I'm guessing that you won't be able to buy a copy after 2013, but OEMs will have access to it and sell machines with it.

That's almost 18 months from now. That's an eternity in the tech/software world.
post #9 of 44
In 2025, I won't have a WHS. I will have a hoverboard though and a Mr. Fusion.
post #10 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by StardogChampion View Post

In 2025, I won't have a WHS. I will have a hoverboard though and a Mr. Fusion.

Powered by an AssassinHTPC flux capacitor!
post #11 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

That's almost 18 months from now. That's an eternity in the tech/software world.

Well, at least you can't complain that MS didn't give adequate warning.
post #12 of 44
Yep , plenty of notice for sure rolleyes.gif

3 months after I just sank a tidy penny into a dedicated WHS2011 server ..... nice , REAL NICE mad.gifmad.gifmad.gif
post #13 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by flocko View Post

Yep , plenty of notice for sure rolleyes.gif
3 months after I just sank a tidy penny into a dedicated WHS2011 server ..... nice , REAL NICE mad.gifmad.gifmad.gif

I'm not concerned at all. Unlike some of my other electronics my server does everything that I will need it to do now and into the future. By the time I want or need a different server there will be completely different options out there anyway.

The cool thing about programs like FlexRaid is you can just install Win8, Win12, Win16, WHS2022, etc and then rebuild your array with your full drives.
post #14 of 44
Seems a little silly to me given their push for Windows 8 tablets. If they feel that the tablet market is where the future is, it would make sense to further develop WHS to make storing and sharing files between desktops and tablets easier.

Imagine seamless access to your WHS box from your Windows 8 tablet through your Windows Live account from anywhere in the world.
post #15 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by sebberry View Post

Seems a little silly to me given their push for Windows 8 tablets. If they feel that the tablet market is where the future is, it would make sense to further develop WHS to make storing and sharing files between desktops and tablets easier.
Imagine seamless access to your WHS box from your Windows 8 tablet through your Windows Live account from anywhere in the world.

Average Joe Best Buy Guy doesn't build a server. He gets an external USB hard drive. I would think the market for Home Servers is very small for M$.
post #16 of 44
I don't think people realize how small of a market we are. It seems that most people that know how to build a PC use them for gaming. Where big, flashy everything is pretty much a must. As flashy as the HTPC gets is a standard SSD, maybe one of those sleek fanless cases. The number of people that use a home server is even smaller.

And besides the software will be around for another 13 years. Does anyone even still have a PC from 13 years ago? And as a home server what features/functions can Microsoft add that will really make it that much better at what its purpose is? There is a very low ceiling for improvement.
post #17 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

I'm not concerned at all. Unlike some of my other electronics my server does everything that I will need it to do now and into the future. By the time I want or need a different server there will be completely different options out there anyway.
The cool thing about programs like FlexRaid is you can just install Win8, Win12, Win16, WHS2022, etc and then rebuild your array with your full drives.

Ya ya ... I know . Just pisses me off that MS seems to be abandoning a lot of late . Thank goodness I am not a windows phone owner !

On a lighter note . In 2025 I'll be 60 years old ..... ugh .... wait , that's not a very light note tongue.gif
Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

Average Joe Best Buy Guy doesn't build a server. He gets an external USB hard drive. I would think the market for Home Servers is very small for M$.

True , true

Unfortunately sometimes we get so wrapped up in our own little world that we forget how much of a minority we are in this tech we love smile.gif
post #18 of 44
As far as media serving goes what does WHS do that can't be done with bog standard windows 8 (or even windows 7 with one of the drive extender alternatives)?

Setting up a large storage space and some shares doesn't sound particularly taxing.

The main problem is that having your own personal media collection is seen as so last decade.

You're supposed to get everything from the cloud these days and of course, Microsoft getting a nice monthly subscription for supplying this content is just a happy coincidence. smile.gif
post #19 of 44
I've been saying since January that the writing was on the wall for WHS. If an App was available in the Windows Store that replicated the single-instance Client PC Backup function of WHS, then I'd certainly jump ship to a WHS equivalent built upon Windows 8 Pro. There's no way that I'd buy Windows Server Essentials 2012 for home use, at a sticker price of $425.

While WHS 2011 will continue to work for me, it contains a ticking time bomb. There is no support for backup/restore of client PCs based on EFI/GPT hardware. Guess what most modern PCs use these days? So when I invest in my shiny new Surface, WHS 2011 won't be able to handle it...
post #20 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by gcoupe View Post

I've been saying since January that the writing was on the wall for WHS. If an App was available in the Windows Store that replicated the single-instance Client PC Backup function of WHS, then I'd certainly jump ship to a WHS equivalent built upon Windows 8 Pro. There's no way that I'd buy Windows Server Essentials 2012 for home use, at a sticker price of $425.
While WHS 2011 will continue to work for me, it contains a ticking time bomb. There is no support for backup/restore of client PCs based on EFI/GPT hardware. Guess what most modern PCs use these days? So when I invest in my shiny new Surface, WHS 2011 won't be able to handle it...

Are you saying that WHS 2011 won't be able to backup/restore a Surface or that it can't send/stream music and movies to it? I could care less about the backup/restore option but not sharing with it is a big deal.
post #21 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by JackDiesel14 View Post

Are you saying that WHS 2011 won't be able to backup/restore a Surface or that it can't send/stream music and movies to it? I could care less about the backup/restore option but not sharing with it is a big deal.

WHS 2011 cannot backup/restore PCs that use EFI/GPT technology, so it won't be able to handle the Intel-based Surface as a client PC for backup/restore. I doubt whether it will be able to handle the Windows RT-based Surface either.

In addition, while you can use WHS 2011 to send/stream music and movies to the Surface; the Metro Photos App can't access any pictures held on a NAS or WHS 2011 at the moment.
post #22 of 44
Isn't there a work around for the EFI/GPT problem? Just change out the hard drive in a different machine, restore to it; put that hard drive in your EFI/GPT machine. Never tried it, but I could see it working fine...
post #23 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by StanF View Post

Isn't there a work around for the EFI/GPT problem? Just change out the hard drive in a different machine, restore to it; put that hard drive in your EFI/GPT machine. Never tried it, but I could see it working fine...

You can't even make a backup from a GPT drive in a client machine, apparently. It fails after 1% of the backup is done.
post #24 of 44
I have been using WHS for backing up three client PCs for a couple of years. First V1, then 2011. While it does a great job of backing up data. I have not successfully done a bare metal restore. Twice I've had to reinstall the OS and applications then get the data from the WHS backup folders. I'm also skeptical it can restore itself. Mine is small. A 500GB system drive, two 1 TB data drives and one 2 TB USB WHS backup drive. And my drives are NOT GPT. Not sure why I can't restore. It "pretends" to restore a client but has both bombed and completed but system won't boot. The only real problem is goveling to M$ to allow the client OS to be installed again because a drive died. I have tried this a couple of times as a test as well as twice for a failure and drive upgrade. So there is room for improvement.
post #25 of 44
With a WHS 2011 server isn't the importance of backing up your OS on another computer significantly decreased? Back when your OS drive also contained all your movies and music it was important but now if I lose my OS drive I only loose a few programs and settings profiles all of which can be easily replaced.

Now WHS not being able to share files would be an issue but I bet that gets resolved. I hope Microsoft doesn't waste a system with such vast potential.
post #26 of 44
When i bought my then $49 copy of WHS2011 I decided that if it didn't work out then I wasn't really losing much. It's worked out ok. There's a lot I don't like but I can put up with it for what I do get and for the price.

For me the big features were the easy of media sharing (how it creates the shares and then they automatically get added to client libraries when the client is installed) and the included backup client (no need to purchase one or have Win7 Pro for network backup). I don't do anything else with WHS2011. It works for the minimal things I do, 99% file sharing, 1% backup. Even the backup I only slightly care because if something died I'd likely do a reinstall. Nothing important is kept on the clients and I can set one up pretty quickly. The exception would be my office PC which has a lot of apps installed but the HTPCs are all minimal.

I tried a restore with WHSv1 and it failed miserably. It could never find the server, no matter what I tried. I have no had to try with WHS2011. I suspect it would be a PITA. I think it's really stupid that Win7 HP clients cannot backup to a network drive using Windows Backup. I'd just use that if it would.

Windows 8 is intriguing as a server OS since it has the two things most everyone wanted in WHS: storage pooling and tuner support. I'll take a look at that when the times comes. I'll also circle back an checkout FreeNAS and Amahi again.

For now though, it's chugging along in my basement serving and storing files just fine so no need to touch anything until something new doesn't work or some other things stops working.
post #27 of 44
I have a WHS 2011 setup for media streaming and backup. Media Streaming could be done with a Win7 or Win8 machine. In many ways it would be easier to deal with a Win7 or Win8 machine. No funky dashboard to deal with (I mostly just remote into my server), just normal folders and sharing of those folders.

But for backup, WHS 2011 is pretty good. The ability to keep multiple "image based" backups for each computer and hardly use any space is really nice (because it employs data de-duplication). That said, I have run into bugs. Sometimes the backup database gets corrupted and you have to run a repair. I haven't lost anything as a result of these "repair ops" yet, but it is probably only a matter of time. That said, I have done several bare-metal restores when HDD/SSDs have failed or become corrupt. It is a bit of a PITA to get the network drivers to work when you restore, but I've always figured it out. A better scenario would be if we could export the backup we want to a USB drive and use vanilla Win7 bare-metal restore. WHS 2011 is a lot better than WHS v1 in this regard as the latter required you to hunt down Vista 32-bit drivers (the restore software was based on Vista PE environment). But if they could provide some sort of backup add-on pack for Win7/Win8, I'd be there. That, combined with storage spaces, might be pretty nice.

And the way MediaStreamingAdmin is a separate user account with an unknown password makes it difficult to see what is going on with the WMP media library, since you can't just log into that account. My media library on my WHS external website is still non-functional due to this (or some other problem). I guess there is not much chance we get any fixes to some of these issues any time soon, since the product is being abandoned. Bummed, but really all they need to do is provide for backup of home PCs to a central Win7/Win8 machine.

I feel bad for some of the ISVs that have embraced WHS 2011. Folks like MyMovies... That's a lot of dev work for nothing.
post #28 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by DeanM View Post

I have a WHS 2011 setup for media streaming and backup. Media Streaming could be done with a Win7 or Win8 machine. In many ways it would be easier to deal with a Win7 or Win8 machine. No funky dashboard to deal with (I mostly just remote into my server), just normal folders and sharing of those folders.

I picked up a copy of Windows Home Server 2011 a few weeks ago when it was on sale for $30, with the intention of eventually building a budget server, to stay on all the time serving media content, along with hosting some multiplayer games such as Minecraft. But now I am having second thoughts. Basically, it is difficult for me to justify the expenditure to build a dedicated server, when I could instead build another PC that could accomplish some of the needed task of the server - and also provide regular PC duties for my family. Particularly if Windows 8 ends up including additional server type functionality. It seems I could get a lot more functionality and bang for the buck, if my server ends up providing my family with another full functioning PC, instead of sitting in a closet somewhere as a dedicated server. (The expense might be an easier sell to my wife that way as well, lol.)

My current HTPC as expected, ended up being used as more than just an HTPC, and is used also as a family PC, playing games, etc. Likewise, the HTPC that I am building now for my basement home entertainment system, I know will need to handle more than just HTPC duties. So now I am leaning towards using my second HTPC as a combo HTPC/Server, and skipping the dedicated server altogether. I realize for some folks needs, a dedicated server is a key component. But just thinking for my needs and low budget, perhaps it is not the right way to go, particularly because my family could use another PC more than simply a server.
post #29 of 44
I don't think I'd want my family to have direct access to the PC that has all the family media. At least as a separate PC (as a server) they can't install anything, accidentally erase anything or mess with it in any way. It's something to consider.
post #30 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by StardogChampion View Post

I don't think I'd want my family to have direct access to the PC that has all the family media. At least as a separate PC (as a server) they can't install anything, accidentally erase anything or mess with it in any way. It's something to consider.
+1...

I treat my server much like my dedicated media center computers. Dedicated. You want the thing to be stable, and you don't want random people running random stuff on it. Even if I transition to Win8 or something else for my server, it would remain headless (no keyboard, mouse, or monitor) and stuffed away from reach. Right now, my server lives in my garage, up high on a shelf where it runs 24x7.
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