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 Post subject: WS2012ER2-in-a-box?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2013 6:19 pm 
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My two EX495s may be dying :(, so I'm looking for a replacement appliance. I use these solely as backup servers for 19 PCs, so I don't need any media services or other file storage.

And I truly do want an appliance. I don't mind if I have to hook up a KVM and manage it occasionally once it's running, but I have no interest in a manual install onto a PC, especially one that requires registry hacks or whatnot.

I'm interested in replicating, as much as possible, the experience of the EX495 on a modern, supported platform with removable drive bays, etc., a vendor-supplied bare-metal restore (for the backup server itself), etc.

LaCie has a box that fits the hardware bill, but it's running Windows® Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials, which is already 5 years old.

Does anyone make a comparable box, but running Server 2012? I'm interested in that because I want the online capacity expansion storage spaces which, IIUC, is lacking in 2008.

Thanks!

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 Post subject: Re: WS2012ER2-in-a-box?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2013 7:26 pm 
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If you want the OS already preinstalled then check with any OEM which sells servers and I am certain they will have a solution which meets your needs but it will not be an inexpensive solution. The R2 is currently out for preview and will not be available for sometime for a production server release if that's the way you want to go. Personally I would just build a server and spec it out for my specific needs for today with some room to grow it in the future. Of course you do not get the one stop warranty solution that you get with an OEM but you do get longer component warranties depending on the components you choose.

There is a DIY Build Forum that is well worth looking at. The individuals who shared their build experience went into great detail explaining why they opted to build and also any problems they may have encountered along the way. Also many shared the reason why they chose certain components and while many of the builds surround WHS and not so much WS2012 or WS2012E the idea is basically the same and can be applied to any server OS you chose.

Building a Server or Computer is not for everyone but if you have the ability its often the best way to go where you get to chose the components where as with an OEM build you never know where they cut corners to save money on components which may come back to haunt you in future. Sometimes a DIY Build costs more but if done right its the best way to go but if you want an out of the box ready to run solution then you have to go to an OEM which is where your leaning so give one a call and see what solution they may have to offer.

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 Post subject: Re: WS2012ER2-in-a-box?
PostPosted: Sat Jul 20, 2013 10:05 am 
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Comp1962 wrote:
If you want the OS already preinstalled then check with any OEM which sells servers and I am certain they will have a solution which meets your needs but it will not be an inexpensive solution. The R2 is currently out for preview and will not be available for sometime for a production server release if that's the way you want to go. Personally I would just build a server and spec it out for my specific needs for today with some room to grow it in the future. Of course you do not get the one stop warranty solution that you get with an OEM but you do get longer component warranties depending on the components you choose.


Thanks for the feedback. I didn't realize that R2 wasn't released yet, so I'll relax that constraint. I'm just looking for something running Server 2012.

Yes, I appreciate that an appliance-like solution will cost more than a DIY box, but I'm willing to pay for that. I wear ~12 different hats at work, and any DIY project is likely to sit, half-finished, in a corner of the lab while the rest of the office goes without backup. Sorta like my present project to get the EX495s working again :D

Is the licensing model so significantly different for Server 2012 than it was for WHS, WHS11, and Server 2008 that it makes a $500 - $700 box impossible?

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 Post subject: Re: WS2012ER2-in-a-box?
PostPosted: Sat Jul 20, 2013 11:16 am 
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Unless you are in the technet, a copy of server 2012 essentials will set you back at least $300-$500 just for the OS.
Microsoft forgot about the small guy with 2012. I fear the $50 OS days are over.
Hardware you might look at the HP Gen8 micro server 4 drive bays but there again your looking at a $500 box with a $500 OS.
I have chosen to keep my x510's (same as you 490) going as long as I can and somewhere down the road will most likely build. I just can't justify 2-6 thousand for a real server plus a $500 OS.

Right now I have (1) x510 running the network and it has synctoy on it and sync's every three days to my 2nd x510 that sets right next to it and I have another refurbed x510 setting in the box just in case. Between all three of those boxes I have $1000, so it all costs, one way or the other. The thing is with my $1000, my down time is going to be none, if the first one goes south, all I have to do is reinstall the connectors and I'm back online. I fix the first one and get it back online or if it's gone, then I pull the refurb out and get it synced up to the first...

I keep hoping that someone will come up with a replacement oem like the mediasmart, but with a couple more bays, a little better cooling, redundant power supply and some horsepower for under $2000, but still waiting.
Good luck

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 Post subject: Re: WS2012ER2-in-a-box?
PostPosted: Sat Jul 20, 2013 6:19 pm 
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Unfortunately the TechNet Subscription Program is being terminated by Microsoft. At one time the keys were suppose to be good even if you chose not to renew your subscription but that's all changed now.

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 Post subject: Re: WS2012ER2-in-a-box?
PostPosted: Sat Jul 20, 2013 8:25 pm 
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That's not good, I let a real one get away from me on ebay the other day at $270, I should have got it at $280, would have been a good deal.
With technet gone and a OS that at best starts at $300 they are just going to force people to do well (do other things) :-# and that's not good for anybody.
It is said that about 90% of all the OS'es in china are illegal and that's all I better say about that. :-$
It's just getting tough to be a home server person. $500-$600 wasn't bad but now.....
But this mule will keep kicken and watchin for the next cool thing.

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 Post subject: Re: WS2012ER2-in-a-box?
PostPosted: Sun Jul 21, 2013 3:16 am 
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Might be best to wait and see what Microsoft does with the R2 and if your interested in that how to migrate your data and what the cost of R2 will be. Now your running a trial version so your time limited as far as your decision goes if you desire to keep running WSE or not. The price you listed looks good if its the retail package and not just the key which I would not touch. As for the Chinese well they are very resourceful people who like most if they can get something for FREE they will do it without hesitation.

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 Post subject: Re: WS2012ER2-in-a-box?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 22, 2013 4:49 pm 
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Gardian wrote:
I keep hoping that someone will come up with a replacement oem like the mediasmart, but with a couple more bays, a little better cooling, redundant power supply and some horsepower for under $2000, but still waiting.


This seems like such an obvious need that I'm really surprised there aren't more offerings.

Unless MSFT just really whacked the OEMs with the pricing.

Every business with more than 1 and fewer than 25 computers really needs something like this, even if they don't know they need it :D.

And MSFT doesn't have to give away the store, either. They can restrict to a backup-only build, or just this or just that; theyhave complete control over how to distribute the product.

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 Post subject: Re: WS2012ER2-in-a-box?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2014 3:25 pm 
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Gardian wrote:
I keep hoping that someone will come up with a replacement oem like the mediasmart, but with a couple more bays, a little better cooling, redundant power supply and some horsepower for under $2000, but still waiting.

It took awhile, but we're getting close:


My sole purpose for the next box is automagic backup of ~20 client computers, so only that first WD Sentinel box with Server Essentials is of interest to me.

Storage Server doesn't include the same backup client, so instead it includes 10 licenses of NovaBackup Business Essentials, which I've never used before, and for which I would have to buy a bunch more licenses, so the Buffalo boxes probably aren't an option for me.

That WD box has some nice features, such as:

  • dual/redundant GigE ports
  • dual/redundant power adapter inputs
  • USB 3.0 ports
  • IPMI port
  • VGA port

One serious potential issue with Server Essentials is that it allegedly wants to be the only DC on my network, and I already have a DC that I can't demote because it runs our ERP system on software that _also_ wants to be the only DC.

Micrsoft does offer a workaround to bypass the requirement for clients to join the domain of the SE2012 server, so I suppose I could just have the SE2012 box in its own little domain that no one actually joins, and have that coexist with my real domain.

I want to test this, so I found the Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials evaluation link and downloaded the 4 GB ISO. I'm trying to install it on a new VM right now, and it's asking me for a product key.

I registered to enable the download, but I never saw a page with a product key, and I haven't received anything from microsoft or technet.

Am I missing something very obvious? Thanks!

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 Post subject: Re: WS2012ER2-in-a-box?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2014 5:07 pm 
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Interestingly I saw a key just pop up on my end but its suppose to be displayed while your downloading the software.

Below is an example how the download process and the key assignment but if you exit the page you will have as is states on the bottom register again and download another copy.

Attachment:
MS Trial Software.JPG
MS Trial Software.JPG [ 106.01 KiB | Viewed 10332 times ]


The key in the example about is just that an example put their by Microsoft.

One thing about running the trial software is that you should find out if you do purchase a license do you have to reinstall the software again or will they allow you to simply change the key. This will be good to know so that if you did have to start over you would not go too deep with the software but my guess is you can change the key but this part I am uncertain of.

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 Post subject: Re: WS2012ER2-in-a-box?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2014 6:15 pm 
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Bizarro. I just tried this again, and I get the "Your download has started . . ." message, but no product key.

But when I load the ISO in my VM and fire up the installer, it asks for a product key.

Grrrr.

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 Post subject: Re: WS2012ER2-in-a-box?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 28, 2014 4:55 pm 
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I went back and looked at it and for the life of me it does not display the key the way the picture from the MS Site shows. I even tried compatibility mode and even filled out that business form and nothing seemed to work.

Thing is when I signed in after selecting the download I saw a key pop up on my screen something I can not replicate and yet its an easy thing to miss but it looks like a typical MS key for sure. They probably have a bug in their site they need to fix.

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 Post subject: Re: WS2012ER2-in-a-box?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2014 10:54 am 
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So someone pointed out to me that, for the R2 download, there's a Pre-Installation instruction section that contains the product key:

Image

And, because I hate for anyone retype information that's already been typed, here it is: R9N79-23MWD-MBP9B-KHF8Q-C36WX

Installing now . . . .

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 Post subject: Re: WS2012ER2-in-a-box?
PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2014 1:10 pm 
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Regarding 2012 R2 Essentials, I did get it up and running in a VM, and I connected a mydomain computer to it without joining it to newdomain, and everything works fine! I have full access to mydomain resources, and backup still works.

I probably have one of those WD Sentinel boxes in my destiny once we get some money freed up.

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 Post subject: Re: WS2012ER2-in-a-box?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2014 8:39 am 
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Gardian wrote:
That's not good, I let a real one get away from me on ebay the other day at $270, I should have got it at $280, would have been a good deal.
With technet gone and a OS that at best starts at $300 they are just going to force people to do well (do other things) :-# and that's not good for anybody.
It is said that about 90% of all the OS'es in china are illegal and that's all I better say about that. :-$
It's just getting tough to be a home server person. $500-$600 wasn't bad but now.....
But this mule will keep kicken and watchin for the next cool thing.


Your tagline says "fear the cloud." However, that's the direction Microsoft is going. Cloud, cloud and more cloud. In their eyes the days of $50 OSes are over because they don't want you running your own home appliance. They want you to to run it in the cloud. Why? Because they don't make much money with "on-premises" deployments. With the cloud, it's a cash cow of recurring monthly or yearly fees. SaaS, IaaS and PaaS -- software as a service, infrastructure as a service and platform as a service -- it's all about putting more in the cloud and paying someone to manage it for you.

I like my on-premises deployments. But Microsoft doesn't. Buying an operating system with a one-time fee means just that...I pay them $300 once, and am good for 3, 4, 5, 6 years? With cloud, I pay them XX dollars per month, depending on features, capacity, etc. In other words, it's a continuous income stream. On prem - $300 for 6 years = $4.17/month (72 months).

It's all about the money! It always has been. :(

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