WHS 2011 Reaches RTM Milestone, But Do You Care?

by Alex Kuretz on March 29, 2011 · 44 comments

in News

The (Home and) Small Business Server team at Microsoft have announced that they have signed off on the RTM release of Windows Home Server 2011. This milestone starts the process of making it available for purchase via OEM solutions, MSDN/Technet, and hopefully via System Builder channels for those of you that want to build a DIY Home Server though we’ve not yet heard how and when it will be available for purchase.

Definitely take a look at the comparison datasheet for a nice dose of propaganda, personally I don’t see how they can make the “better protect” claim with a straight face.

With no news about OEM solutions for data protection and the infancy of the forthcoming DE-replacement Add-Ins, I’m still in “wait and see” mode on WHS 2011. What is becoming clear is that Microsoft only intends for this product to be usable by tech enthusiasts and is no longer targeted at the average consumer who needs an easy backup and storage solution for their growing media collections.

Post up in the comments and let us know if you plan on purchasing WHS 2011.

Here’s the full release from the Microsoft blog post.

Today, the Home Server engineering team signed off the release version of WHS 2011. An exciting milestone which now starts the process to make it available for purchase.

Affordable and easy-to-use, Windows Home Server 2011 is the ideal solution to help families keep their important digital files and data automatically backed up, organized, and accessible from virtually anywhere.

To help with questions we hear during this time of the product release cycle, I have provided further guidance below. If you have a specific question, please feel free to post in comments, on our WHS forum.

  • When will OEM’s offer WHS 2011?
    Many OEM’s and System Builders have already started building specific form factors and solutions based on WHS 2011. We expect to start seeing them in the market starting May.
  • What languages is WHS 2011 available in?
    WHS 2011 will be released in 19 languages including Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional, Taiwan), Chinese (Hong Kong), Czech, Dutch, English, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese (Brazil), Portuguese (Portugal), Russian, Spanish, Swedish, and Turkish.
  • When will the Evaluation for WHS 2011 be made available?
    Evaluation for WHS 2011 will be via an online hosted experience only. Further information will be released in early April.
  • When will I be able to download WHS 2011 via my TechNet or MSDN subscription?
    WHS 2011 will be made available on MSDN and TechNet also in early April.
  • What is the difference between V1 of WHS and WHS 2011?
    You can learn more about differences in our comparison datasheet.

During this time I would also like to thank all our MVP’s, partners and customers that have helped us get to this point. I look forward to sharing more information with you over the coming weeks.

Article by

I'm Alex Kuretz, and I'm the founder of MediaSmartServer.net. I was the Lead Test and Integration Engineer at HP for the MediaSmart Server until April 2008 when I moved on to other opportunities outside HP. I've kept active in the Windows Home Server community, creating several add-ins and helping users make the most of their Home Servers.


Fleon March 29, 2011 at 11:31 am

I tend to love these types of things, but for the first time, I have no interest in upgrading my WHSv1 to this version. I can’t see that it offers me much that is new or better, but the removal of Drive Extender certainly offers me less.

And yes, Microsoft, I tried your kludgy WHS 2011 wizard thing, but it’s just horrible. Horrible. I used to be able to put in a new hard drive and click add it to pool, and it was done. Now I have to move stuff all over the place? And my smaller drives are just useless. I don’t know who decided this was a good move, but he was wrong. I don’t know who continued to push this after seeing all the negative commentary, but he should be fired.

Damian March 29, 2011 at 1:03 pm

I think the problem is, if you are using WHS v1 is there enough there to get you to upgrade to 2011? I can say after installing 2011 RC there is no compelling reason for me to upgrade now that the pooling feature has been removed. It is so easy to just pop in a disk, click two buttons, and then it is added to the pool without having to think twice. I am testing out Drive Bender and what used to be a simple process I am now reading pages on how to set up, etc… The bigger question as well, what will it take for the community to trust their data with a DE type Add in such as Drive Bender? I know right now I wouldn’t feel comfortable (but that is to be expected since it is still beta), but once the beta tag is removed, will that be enough??? Also, what happens is WHS 2011 isn’t well received when it is finally RTM, will MS just eventually drop it, is that a risk worth taking as a user?

Anyways, there are still way too many open questions that need to be answered before I would consider WHS 2011 a legitimate replacement to my current WHS v1.

Paavo March 29, 2011 at 1:23 pm

I’m trying to find out new features that would interest me but.. there isn’t any. For me WHS is backup and NAS – nothing more. I don’t use remote features or streaming so what’s left?

64bit OS? I don’t care if it’s 64bit or 32bit if it works. And since I’m running my WHS in virtual machine drivers aren’t problem.

I can understand if someone is interested those new streaming or remote features. I personally wouldn’t trade them for (working) DE.

Maybe I’ll switch to Vail some day when 3rd party “DE replacements” are mature enough, but not sooner.

Jason March 29, 2011 at 1:26 pm

Considering WS2008 R2 x64 is more current and stable than WS2003 x86, I intend to upgrade to WHS 2011 simply to leverage capabilities of more current hardware.

Jim March 29, 2011 at 1:41 pm

I want to see what the OEM guys manage to come up with. In particular, the DataCore entry intrigues me as this is a functioning application already. If there is a compelling OEM solution with supported and mature drive pooling, it’s on the radar. If not, I’ll hold off and see.

Awake March 29, 2011 at 1:44 pm

Do I care?

Will I care when there are add-ins to provide for drive pooling?

Will I care when there are add-ins to provide for data redundancy?

I’m shifting one of my 3 WHS systems to be used for workstation backup and DVR (via HD-Homerun and Sage-TV), and when the other two die out, I will just replace them with some form of NAS, because that’s all they do anyway.

The one think I don’t want is my data on some sort of kludgy WHS + a bunch of add-ins just to be able to get pooled redundant storage.

Geek Boy March 29, 2011 at 2:55 pm

Iv’e spent the last month testing RC1 of WHS2011 and lurking in their forum and comments threads. Even “talking” to a few MS geeks who jumped into the issues. IMHO:

1. Not well recieved by the Beta Testers and I concur.

2. Limited “budget” for the release and a few well intentioned MS geeks folks who don’t have the slightest clue or desire to understand the word “HOME” in Windows HOME Server. Take CAREFULL note of that Dashboard error text when the BU drive gets low on disk space for a perfect example. Are you kidding me!

3. Some parts of the build are clearly a “kludge” and half ass attempt to just finish the product on a limited budget and NOT make it work PROPERLY. Specifically the SERVER BU via the dashboard. If you are comfortable with Server08 as most of us are then you can make it work via the real deal native application BUT the HOME user is SOL. The client connector software is another example of a fast pass flawed implementation. It’s certainly far less functional than the one we use for V1. An obtrussive Pop up and can you believe this, NO WAY to see if your server is OFF line by looking at the tray icon. YIKES!

4. OEM hardware solutions don’t interest me because I already have the hardware. Iv’e yet to read ANY FIRM release date for an OEM hardware solution. Any geek can write a press release. Finally, from an OEM hardware perspective, please tell me where the business model is for a v2 product with a dwindling user base which was already a “secret” niche product?

5. I’m not even going to spend the time to download the “gold” from TekNet which is free for me. Sure, I will watch and observe but that’s it.

6. I DO appreciate the hard working developers who are writing add ins for the dashboard BUT I still have to wonder exactly what kind of business model they can exspect with v2?

Just my views :)

Ricardo March 29, 2011 at 3:10 pm

The only advantage I see to WHS 2011 is being able to support more/bigger hardware as in more memory and bigger drives. To be honest that is not enough. The current version works and that is all that matters. I really don’t see any reason why a storage server (in my opinion) would need more than 4GB of ram. In my case my current server WORKS, it does everything I need and won’t be upgrading. I hope the next version after WHS 2011 someone puts together a better team and works on a real upgrade to the current one.

JohnM March 29, 2011 at 5:34 pm

Am I excited?
hmm.. let me think about this… umm.. no.
Will I install it?
Will it replace my 16x2TB drive WHSv1 “Digital Media Hording” Server?
What will I use it for then?
I plan to install it in a 2 drive “MicroServer” for backups and webportal only.

while most people are upset at the loss of DE (and I cant blame them). This is a new animal based on 2008r2. It has better security, better networking speeds, the client back up and restore are much better, I can back the server itself up now, i no longer get a server health warning cause a family member plugs in a usb drive (among other stupid pop-ups), User account and share creation have been improved, RDP and Dashboard are much quicker, Native MAC support (that is broken ATM). The list does go on.

Yes, there are new bugs/annoyances with this version like the dashboard and toolbars are annoying and it is overly gimped down. Remember what WHS was like before the PowerPacks’s came out. After you get past that. It has a place in the home, it is just getting a bad wrap because Microsoft removed one of its key selling points. I think that in combination with HP dropping the product is to little to late. They already shot themselves in the foot.

David March 29, 2011 at 7:49 pm

New operating systems have been a fact of life since the beginning of computers. Some upgrades have been better than others, but overall there is an improvement in functions and stability. Each of us decides which new release we will implement. JohnM identified a lot of good reasons to implement the new version of WHS.

I too was disappointed when HP dropped out of the market place, but I can’t say I blame them when users around the world complained about the $25 price for the significant upgrade. They must have lost millions on that upgrade.

Since I have an old EX470 with WHS V1, WHS 2011 offers welcome new features, and speed when I upgrade the Server box. I’ll be migrating.

Rhinoevans March 29, 2011 at 11:27 pm

I will upgrade!!! DE is not a show stopper for me. Minor inconvenience. Not sure I liked the unknown magic of where my files where going anyway with DE. “There all somewhere in the POOL!” Now I know exactly where they are, I am more in control of my backups and where the data ACTUALLY resides. Been running systems with multiple drives as multiple drives since the beginning. All the reason listed above by JohnM, more than enough for me to buy. So much negative over the loss of DE. You know, my Atari 800 was awesome, but sure glad I moved on!

Mario March 30, 2011 at 12:07 am

Looks like this is the Vista of the home server world – nothing to see, wait for the next one!

Geoff Coupe March 30, 2011 at 1:28 am

The one good point of WHS2011 is the fact that it’s based on Windows Server 2008 R2. For the rest, I think Geek Boy nailed it in the points he made above.

It certainly doesn’t feel to me as a product built with the home consumer in mind.

It strikes me as a damp squib.

Alex Kuretz March 30, 2011 at 9:21 am

I had to do a search to figure out what a damp squib is. :)

CraigC March 30, 2011 at 8:10 am

I’m glad they removed Drive Extender; it forced me to buy a real server with raid 1. Now I don’t have to worry about a C drive failure and spending half a day rebuilding my server.

Bryan March 30, 2011 at 10:27 am

Alex et al,

I have a couple of questions. I’m still on WHS v1 for the HP Mediasmart server. Its doing everything I want it to do currently, is there any reason to migrate off of it? I first thought is NO, but wanted some feedback from everyone.

Second – has anyone tested any of the following solutions to see how they would work?

Liquesce, DiskBuncher, Greyhole?


GPKing March 30, 2011 at 12:21 pm


I am also in the happy camper category with my MSS 495 running WHS v1. But after careful consideration I will probably upgrade – because of one lame reason – support. Even if MS dumped WHS altogether, support for Server 2008 R2 would continue much longer than for server 2003 R2.

In addition I have a Proliant Microserver lying around and WHS V2 works like a charm on it. Do I miss DE, yes, but then again I do not have terrabites of data – a few hundred GBs. Do I miss duplication, yes but then again backing up the most important folders (photos, documents, etc) every 30 minutes is more than sufficient. I also store a backup offsite, but that is something that I do right now so no change here.
Yes, you need to be a bit more technical to design your server but for most people a 2 TB drive is sufficient for their data.
I know there are some people out there who have tens of TBs of movies and tinker with all kinds of streaming tools and boxes. But those people can run a hardware RAID configuration with tons of redundancies built into it.
And lets face it – WHS v1 was butt naked when it came out. What made it great and easy to use were a handful of wonderful add-ins that the community developed. Yes, the pants probably dropped down a bit further with V2, but I firmly believe that once that handful of add-ins is ported to v2, the experience will be at least as great!

Drashna (WGS) March 30, 2011 at 12:27 pm

Better off spending the $350 on something useful: technet. then you get WHS2011 *and* real OSes.

Geoff Coupe March 30, 2011 at 1:09 pm

True, but then I feel that you get into a grey area in licensing – you’re not supposed to run any software “in production environments” – only for testing purposes. Perhaps Microsoft turns a blind eye to people running the stuff in what amounts to a production environment at home, but it’s something I wouldn’t feel comfortable about doing.

Luke March 30, 2011 at 3:01 pm

I do care!

WHS V2 has one key feature that really interested me. That being Back Up the Server. I recently done a server recovery on a EX49X and it took hours/days to reconfigure the server with all the extras installations of software and settings. Considering on the “Bug List” and no future HP updates for the EX49X I’m not sure I could live with some of these bugs until the end of time.

Right now, I my approach will to sit and watch and see how it all shakes out.

Darkstryke March 30, 2011 at 3:48 pm

When this hits RTM I’ll give it another whirl on my 490EX to see if much has changed since the original beta. While I don’t have droves of information stored, the removal of DE really does suck for the target audience (joe average home users), and I am still ticked off about how they handled the whole thing. Due to business users running sql databases off a DE shares, the subsequent gutting of DE completely because of corruption issues with use of that nature applies to perhaps 0.0000001% of the actual current WHS users.

The most important part I would make use of in the new version is the improved backup functionality, because the current one really isn’t that pleasant for windows7 based machines (I can never get that 100mb win7 boot partition to come over correctly).

jericko March 30, 2011 at 5:56 pm

I guess I will be running my self built WHS V1 for allot longer. I was willing to pony up and buy WHS V2 for the 64 bit os and the allowing of larger HDs, but I guess I butter pick up another JBOD unit and some more 2TB hard drives.

Comp1962 March 31, 2011 at 1:19 am

Since the announcement of MS regarding the removal of DE my interest in WHS v2 or Vail at the time now WHS 2011 has been rather mixed. Bad enough they took out DE they also dropped from the Remote Access the option to chose a language. While the language is listed on the page what I do not know yet is if the Remote Access Page will load in other languages currently being used by others. This is important to me since I do work with people who would rather work in a Chinese or Spanish environment. I do need to confirm this but if this does what I believe then I will most certainly use WHS 2011 for Remote Access File Sharing and keep copies of the files on my WHS v1 server.

I have allowed some to test the media streaming and for videos they report the streams are better on WHS 2011 then on SubSonic but the media formats WHS 2011 can stream are limited. Hands down ORB beats them all. Yet for streaming Music SubSonic is prefered hands down everytime. Could SubSonic be installed on WHS 2011 I am not sure.

I certainly have mixed feelings about WHS 2011. Change never comes easy especially for an old fart like me. Now I have a unit running WHS 2011 RC and its running well as far as I can see. From time to time I play with it and have been giving thought as to what I can and can not do with it. What I can say is I will run a WHS 2011 unit but my current WHS v1 server will be my primary server and anything I do with WHS 2011 will be more redundant and will just put it to the test and see what it actually offers me in the long run.

My primary focus will remain with WHS v1 and yes I will run a WHS 2011 server and put it to the test. I am able to access my v1 and 2011 servers from one internet connection and they do have different domains but with the right tweaks for port forwarding and utilizing the WHS v1 Server Landing Page I can direct traffic easily between the two servers.

It matters not to me what Microsoft proclaims about their product, they always say its there best version ever, but what really matters most is how useful and simple it is for the end user particularly the average home user which WHS v1 has served so well so far. So I continue to promote WHS v1 and while I do mention 2011 its often less positive.

MadMac March 31, 2011 at 8:47 am

I do not understand all the vehemence with DE. It was slow, made the console unusable, destroyed performance, did not scale, and had boundary conditions which made it possible to lose data if a drive failed. Anyone who had more than 1.5m files can attest, I had to pull down half of my archives.

Further – if the 2008R2 OS is not stripped down, it will natively have the tools to create pools, and RAID 1,5,10. That’s been in the server releases for years, and we already know they work and work well.

The native features of Vail would be the reason that HP is getting out of the WHSv2 market – there is no differentiation for HP in the future, and the support cost was a lot higher than they figured. I think it has yet to be seen how good a media package it really is, but it would be hard not to improve since the current WHSv1 suite is simply not that great. Anyone with a lot of data – is suffering.

Personally, I’m waiting for the MacMini w/Thunderbolt, and moving to the HD-Homerun/Sage setup. I want access to all the real services. Yes, the remote stuff is cool, but in order to really us it – I have to have Pro/Ultimate versions of the clients to RDC…

I loved the concept, wanted my wife to be able to run the box – which she can. But I think a lot of too little, too late. DE was an enormous distraction, I’m glad to see Microsoft right the ship.

Damian March 31, 2011 at 8:53 am

Well, at least from my perspective DE has worked as advertised (I have approx 25TB worth of data and have had no issues with data loss when removing failed drives or other). However, I think the issue is that part of WHS is “HOME”, and that is where WHS 2011 fails. WHS 2011 offers no sort of data protection, and once you start talking about RAID you now are going away from the “HOME” audience that WHS was supposed to be targeted to.

MadMac March 31, 2011 at 9:52 am

I get the “home” issue. But I just don’t think the fear of RAID is warranted. HW Raid is so simple now. I have it on my wife’s system, system notifies when a drive fails, you replace it, and the software does the rest. At $35/TB, we should all have spare drives.

As to the data size – it was not large files that were the problem, it was the file count. Every 20 minutes DE would spin through the entire file system looking for changes – if that process took longer than 20 minutes, you could not log onto to the console. Initial loads for me, took weeks for the system to unwind. If the primary drive where the data exists fails during that time – the data is gone.

Alex Kuretz March 31, 2011 at 10:08 am

Your experience with Drive Extender is not common, many people do not experience the issues you describe. Perhaps you have hardware, software, or a configuration that has issues.

Damian March 31, 2011 at 10:14 am

I don’t know if there is fear for RAID per se, but once again, for the average home user are you now expecting them to know about RAID and how to set up? That was the beauty of WHS v1, you had to do nothing other then click yes to duplication and you have some form of protection. I had my dad purchase an HP EX495 for himself, would I have done so if I knew he needed to figure out how to set up RAID or come up with a data protection plan, no.

Demigrator was definitely not as efficient as it should be, that is why I shut it off during the day time so it won’t affect server performance.

The fear IMO is with these changes MS has now turned what was already somewhat of a niche product into even more of a niche product, which doesn’t leave me with a warm & fuzzy feeling that they won’t just drop it altogether.

Seth March 31, 2011 at 7:29 pm

I wish people would stop saying HW RAID is an analogous replacement for Drive Extender. When you’re talking about using HW RAID as a direct replacement for Drive Extender you’re talking about a very small set of circumstances where that’s actually true, for example an array of 2 drives that you never plan on incrementally upgrading. Try upgrading a single drive in a RAID array to increase total storage space. Try mixing the connector types in your RAID array (USB, PATA, SATA, eSATA). Try pulling a drive from your RAID5/6 array and reading it on any machine that supports NTFS. Try telling your RAID controller to automatically migrate all data off a particular drive so you can replace it/upgrade it. Try creating a 5+ drive RAID array without a controller card that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg.

Zach April 1, 2011 at 1:46 pm

“Try upgrading a single drive in a RAID array to increase total storage space”

I assume you mean “Try ‘adding’ a single drive…”. And this functionality is available through a JBOD array (Just a Bunch Of Discs). Just pop in a hard drive, click rebuild, and your done.

“Try mixing the connector types in your RAID array (USB, PATA, SATA, eSATA)”

You can mix PATA, SATA, and eSATA, you just can’t mix USB, but for good reason! And this is one of the reasons that Drive Extender is a BAD solution. By mixing interfaces of significantly different speeds, you are by design causing one of two issues: 1. You are slowing down all of your redundant drives to the speed of the lowest common denominator (which with USB 2.0 is a huge bottleneck). OR 2. You are not creating real-time redundancy. So if a drive fails before it’s data has been mirrored to a slower drive, that data is gone forever. And because this isn’t being done in real-time by hardware, you are at least doubling the load on the drive because the data has to first be written to it, and then that data has to be read back at a later point in time to be copied to another drive. This fact alone means that you’re doubling the failure rate of your hard drives.

“Try pulling a drive from your RAID5/6 array and reading it on any machine that supports NTFS”

Try doing this on a drive pulled from Drive Extender… You have absolutely no idea what data is on that drive, if any!

“Try telling your RAID controller to automatically migrate all data off a particular drive so you can replace it/upgrade it”

In a redundant RAID it is all completely automatic by design. You don’t have to tell the RAID controller anything. Just pull the drive right out in the middle of copying or reading a file and the system keeps running perfectly. Then plug a new drive in and click rebuild and your done.

“Try creating a 5+ drive RAID array without a controller card that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg”

Fine, I’ll give you this one. It would cost you a small fortune to build a 7+ (most Intel and AMD chipsets have 6 SATA channels) drive hardware RAID. But at this point, just replace a smaller hard drive with a bigger one. Or if you’re really worried about using every single hard drive you have available, then just buy another $30 RAID controller and make a second drive path for the love of God.

Drive Extender was removed for a reason. It has data corruption issues, data-redundancy is not real-time, and performance is a fraction of the performance available through a hardware RAID. Microsoft removed Drive Extender to force Windows Home Server builders to build their system’s the correct way, getting the maximum stability, data redundancy, and performance that their hardware is capable of.

So the fact that WHS 2011 doesn’t have Drive Extender should be the biggest reason for you to upgrade!

MadMac March 31, 2011 at 10:48 am

The DE problem I described was widespread. Look no further than any comments about logons to the console taking more than a couple of minutes, typically 20. No one was willing to quantify it as an architectural problem with DE. Hard to say there is something wrong with a stock HP ex495 + (4) Seagate 1.5TB 7200 RPM drives. At 2m+ files, between SearchIndexer and DE, the system was unusable. It simply doesn’t scale, and no one wanted to talk about it at HP or Microsoft.

One can make the very valid point that 2M+ files is not “home” use…

Funksultan March 31, 2011 at 11:14 am

Pass. As we stated before, WHS 2011 just isn’t bringing anything I need to the table.

Scheduled backups and streaming aren’t things I buy an operating system for, they are things I can easily find an application for.

Before my MSS 485, my home server was an XP machine, with all my data drives running in Raid 5. It also was my “main” Windows Media Center machine, serving as host to my extenders, recording and storing my DVR material, and as a bonus, was connected to the flatscreen in my office.

Moving to WHS meant I needed another machine, and some more storage space, but was well worth it at the time, mainly due to DE.

The day my current server starts to show signs of faltering, I’m surely going to replace it with a windows 7 box, adding in whatever I need for streaming, huge multi-disk raid, and a nice multi tuner card.

God forbid Apple or the XBMC community decide to step in here. Microsoft is leaving the door wide open.

John B. March 31, 2011 at 11:58 am

I will upgrade. I was more annoyed with how MS mishandled the DE decision than the decision itself. As someone who started out in the WHS world with a stock HP ex470, went through the CPU / Memory upgrades and ultimately dropped the HP system to build my own server, this is just another phase in the “evolution” of my server environment. This upgrade will take some adjustments without DE. But I believe it gives me more control in the long run. Am I a typical “user” target for WHS? Probably not and neither are people who have 10+ TB’s of eSATA storage within their environment. I respect people’s opinion when they say that the loss of DE is a deal breaker for them … it is convenient. However, I am moving forward.

Adam March 31, 2011 at 8:10 pm

I think the “home” part of this market is still evolving and I understand MSFTs hesitancy. Let’s be honest. We’re all tech enthusiasts. Some of us work in IT. Some of us clearly could work in IT. We’re a nice little market slice, but we’re not a gold mine just yet.

I have to support folks who can barely do bullets in Word. They don’t know DE from Raid from SATA from USB. And even though I don’t own any Apple items, when they ask me what PC to buy, I tell them to go to the Apple store and go for the White Glove Treatment where they get everything taken care of for them. And they come back to me with gratitude. I’m sticking with my 470 with 2GB Ram and PP3 for now. If a 495 drops out of the sky, I’ll take it. When the time comes, I’ll build something new with whatever iteration of WHS exists at that time. It’s a great product.

Bryan April 1, 2011 at 1:03 pm

I have to admit, I know how to use add/install and move around in my EX485 and I feel comfortable with that but to honest outside of that I have ZERO idea of how Raid 1, 5, 10, etc works or even how to set it up. my whole goal for the WHS was a place where I could store, stream, and host information with Drive Extender and redundancy being a huge win for me. I think I’m the perfect example of what WHS was built for and now its moving to a more IT focused product. oh well, i’ll just stay on what I have for as long as possible.

Christopher April 1, 2011 at 7:55 am

I’ve never used whs before whs-2011, I love it and wish I could get the final version now. I use a quad core with 8 GB of ram. My drive system is a raid 5 with five 1TB drives. It’s worked great for over a month. I do use a program that automatically backs up to an external drve immediately when changes are made. So now I have off premise backups. I use to use several NASs on a raid 1 and I’m ready to dismantle them now. My main purpose for it is a media server. This set up only uses 150 watts of power and my main desktop uses 400 watts. So it saves me money on electricity and I can always watch a movie or listen to my music no matter where I’m at.

LoneWolf15 April 1, 2011 at 11:54 am

“Today, the Home Server engineering team signed off the release version of WHS 2011. An exciting milestone which now starts the process to make it available for purchase.”

Change “milestone” to “mill-stone” and you’re getting there. I look at it as a step backward from the first-generation product.

Gardian April 3, 2011 at 8:35 pm

I just got my OEM WHS v1 w PP3 DVD’s in the mail friday.
I will be going DIY after I get all the goodie out of my 470 and 510.
As far as I’m concerned, WHS 2011, No, I don’t care. Not going to be using Win7 anytime soon as well.
Microsoft can stuff WHS2011 and Win7 up their cloud!
Everytime I turn around, MS makes me regret the 25+ years I have spent with then.
I’m buying 2TB drives a couple at a time for down the road.

Grem135 April 12, 2011 at 10:44 am

I understand the WHS2011 attitude but whats wrong with windows 7?
I think its the best windows OS ever by far. I started with DOS and moved to windows 3.1 and have used every version to come out.

hakr100 April 5, 2011 at 9:57 am

I was hoping for a new release that wouldn’t have the downsides covered here but have fully functional software for my iMac and Macbook Pro. Alas, that doesn’t seem to be the case.

I’m really kind of fed up with the money I’ve blown and the time I’ve wasted on HP’s home servers. I’ve had two, the first model and now, a 480 series. I’m tempted to pull the two gigabyte drives out of the box, put them in something else, and trash the box.

The reality is, as a backup device for a Mac, the home server package doesn’t work as well or as easily as Apple’s Time Machine. And as a backup for a Windows machine, my experience has been that it is a real crap shoot as to whether you’re going to be able to back up files or get some arcane error message.

From time to time, I used to call HP for tech support on various issues. I simply gave up on that. Language problems and buck passing are a waste of my time.

The reality is, the only decent help I’ve ever gotten is from Alex and others on this site. And, in fact, it has been more than decent. It has been first-rate.

Vent over. :>)

efjay April 5, 2011 at 12:26 pm

Just used WHS Phone on my WP7 to login to my WHS, streamed a bit of muic, checked some pics, server health, all working ok. No need to mess with a working install, dont see a need for WHS 2011.

Mark B. April 6, 2011 at 5:21 pm

I too have given up on upgrading. I love WHS, but giving up DE is not an option. Sure, there will be 3rd party apps to fill the gab, but will I trust them, will they be upgraded when the next version/service pach hits, will their manufacturers still be around, and what incompatibilities will they introduct with other add-ons? When WHS v1 no longer supports the hardware I need, I’ll look to some of the JBOD storage solutions out there. These are progressing nicely and some already offer many of the features I need.

This was a huge mistake and I can’t fathom what Microsoft was thinking. Based on this, the “Microsoft BOB 2011″ announcement can’t be far behind.

Del thibodeaux July 5, 2011 at 5:10 pm

I purchased whs 2011 from amazon and successfully installed it on a blank drive on my hp ex495. I was able to backup my win 7 laptop with home premium. However my desktop win PC had problems. Tried everythingI talked with qwloss, yes period can cause water retension!  Says stay on program and success will come guarenteed! to no avail! Definitely not a happy experience. Also problems backing up
My imac with snow leopard. Still trying, but … Buyer beware.

Matt July 11, 2011 at 1:08 am

I have been wanting to set up a server and forget about it for a while now, and have brought significant quality hardware to do so. I played with Linux systems (not for the server) but find them too difficult to manage and understand.

I tried windows Server 2008 and love it, being able to set up uTorrent services and anything I needed with ease, as well as setting permission to various folders for various members of the house at the time, but I was not able to afford buying it so I had to scrap the idea.

Finally I brought WHS v1 for $179 this year unknowing they will release the new one straight after my purchase. Given the new version is only $110 it is annoying to know if I purchased that too I would have that plus a useless $179 software lying around (Don’t most software companies offer free upgrades for purchases within a certain time frame when official releases of software is unknown)….

What I like about version 1 is that it can bare metal back up out of the box, what I hate about it is the difficulty to set up anything such as the houses CCTV and uTorrent, plus it does not seem robust if the OS drive dies, loosing backups and being a pain to set-up again (users + add ins + additional software).

I would much prefer WHS 2011 due to back up of the whole system including servers OS + more options and control over where files reside (say there is small amount of files I know will be used a lot I could put them on a faster drive) as I have not used WHS v1 much I have not yet fallen in love with it, and will not knowing there is other solutions.

Finally an UPGRADE path would be nice, if only financial, right now I really don’t want to stick with this WHS v1, but also feel ripped off going out to buy another one….. (note my research into the release time of WHS 2011 proved fruitless when originally contemplating the purchase).

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