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windows storage server

Sean Daniel has just posted a really good article on his blog called Announcing Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials and in it he compares some of the differences between Home Server Vail, Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials and Small Business Server 2011 Essentials.

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Sean goes on to look at the differences between Vail, WSS 2008 R2 and SBS 2011 Essentials:

As you can see, it looks a lot like the Windows Home Server Codename “Vail” Edition and the Windows Small Business Server 2011 Essentials Edition. That’s because it is! It shares the same underlying architecture, which means all the same add-ins work on WSS 2008 R2 Essentials, as they do on the other products.

So what is the differences?

Server comparison

Aside from the ability to Domain Join, and the user limit increase, there are some subtle differences you’ll notice throughout the product that have more of a business “tint”, like if you choose to use WSS 2008 R2 Essentials for Remote Web Access, you’ll notice the same defaults you see in SBS 2011 Essentials, instead of what you see in Home Server. There are also some changes to HomeGroup defaults as well. The last thing to note is while you can install WSS 2008 R2 into an SBS 2011 Essentials, or WHS Vail environment, the client connector from each of these products cannot be installed on the same PC.

So why should you consider WSS 2008 R2 Essentials for your small business or customer?

  • PC Backup for up to 25 PCs in your SBS 2008, 2011 Standard network. And yes, you can run multiple devices in the same network, and choose who has access via a domain group
  • Server backup – backup those PC Backups and other critical data on the WSS 2008 R2 Essentials server. (no, you can’t include the backup of this into your SBS backup)
  • Similar console management as our other products. But if you domain join, you don’t manage users from this console, and the password policy is inherited from the domain (even for local users left on the WSS 2008 R2 Essentials box)
  • If you are installing it into a standard server environment, enjoy the Remote Web Access functionality
  • Additionally, monitor the health of computers in your network
  • Media streaming in the business (training videos, etc)

Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 essentials should be released in the first half (H1) of next year (2011). While it can work as a stand alone NAS device, it’s primarily targeted at Small Businesses with an Active Directory in place and the need for PC Backup and media streaming functionality. When it’s released, it will be available through multiple OEM channels with multiple form factors.

You can read the whole of his post here.

And for anyone who read his post earlier, yes, it did say WSS 2011 and he has now changed it to WSS 2008 Smile Sean works very hard so we can let him off!

You can also check out our post from yesterday as well annoucncing WSS 2008 R2 Essentials.

Today Microsoft announced Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials – also known as Breckenridge – and it shares common features with both Windows Home Server Vail and Windows Small Business Server 2011 Essentials.

Here is what Microsoft posted on their TechNet blog:

Building on the Windows Small Business Server 2011 announcements and adding to that exciting momentum – today on the Storage Server blog, Microsoft announced a new edition targeted at small business, Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials. Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials is part of the Windows Storage Server family of network attached storage appliances. It shares common features and usability with both Windows Home Server code name “Vail” and Windows Small Business Server 2011 Essentials and is optimized for:

  • Server and PC backup, including file, folder and image based restore
  • Centralized storage for file data and easier sharing
  • Console driven administration for easier management
  • Access to your data from virtually anywhere through Remote Web Access
  • Network health monitoring for both Windows and Mac PC’s
  • Active Directory Domain join

With support for up to 25 users, Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials is an appliance form-factor with preconfigured hardware and software – vastly simplifying the deployment and management tasks normally associated with a new file server or additional servers for storage. Plus, Active Directory join capability enables Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials to easily integrate into existing infrastructure and networks.

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Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials Administration Console

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Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials Domain Join Wizard

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Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials User Administration

Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials is targeted at very small businesses such as home offices which are looking for an affordable entry server without line of business support. Further to this, it can also be used as an additional storage server for organizations with existing servers. We likewise anticipate Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials to be a viable solution to assist many current SBS 2008 and new SBS 2011 Standard customers with automated PC backup and further storage options. Upon release it will be available through many OEM vendors who will offer multiple form factors, and is expected in H1 2011.

To learn more about Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials, visit the Official Storage Server Blog.

Thanks
Michael Leworthy
Senior Product Manager
Windows Server Marketing

So, another new product from Microsoft based on the same code as Windows Home Server. This is great news. Expect more soon.

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