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PostPosted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 12:27 pm 
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So Im getting a second ex495 that I can do some testing with and upgrade to a q9550s. Since it will be newish to me im thinking time to go for new OS and higher hdd sizes. what do you guys think of 2012?

It would be nice to see a review comparing all 3 servers.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 20, 2013 1:10 pm 
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Having run WHS v1, WHS 2011 and Server 2012 Essentials, you can definitely see the evolution of the products and the maturity as well.

Server 2012 Essentials, much like WHS 2011, is based off the "main" version of that OS, Server 2012 and Server 2008 R2, respectively. Server 2012 Essentials does have some limitations, much like WHS 2011 does, but it is actually possible to install Server 2012 Essentials and then "upgrade" it to Server 2012 Standard. This leaves all of the Essentials features in place, including the bare-metal backup/restore functionality but allows you to leverage the full power and capabilities that Server 2012 has to offer.

Speed of installation and boot - Server 2012 Standard and Essentials, as well as Windows 8, are easily--by far--the fastest OSes to install I've ever seen. From the time I select the disk I want to install on until the server reboots is less than 15 minutes, at least for Server 2012 Standard and Windows 8. Essentials does more post-processing like asking you questions about how you want to name your domain. No matter how you cut it, Windows 8/2012 boot up fast, leaving Windows 7 and XP in the dust. Go with an SSD and it's lickety split. Just the other day I rebooted my EX490, which is running Server 2012 Standard, and on the monitor I saw it say "restarting." I looked away for a few moments and when I looked back it was sitting at the logon screen prompting me to give it the three-fingered salute to log on. That meant the server finished its shutdown of Windows, went through its POST device enumeration of 4 x SATA disks, 4 x eSATA disks and 2 x USB disks, started Windows and completed its boot in less than 20 seconds.

Drive pooling - I found Storage Spaces to be quite disappointing. If you create pools of identically sized disks and the disks are on the same interface and are all of the same speed (5400 vs 7200), then Storage Spaces are OK. I had bad, bad experiences when creating the hodgepodge of disks that Drive Extender allowed you to create. Drive Bender and StableBit are the way to go for software pooling. They're simply more mature products.

Server 2012 Essentials gives you Active Directory, and you can add another DC if you want. This gives you powerful features like AD Group Policy that you can extend to your client PCs. There is a potential gotcha here--by default when installing the Connector on a client, it WILL join that client to the domain. If you don't want this behavior, follow the steps here. I put this command in a batch file since some clients I didn't want joined: http://social.technet.microsoft.com/For ... d030a7c13/

Another issue, which may or may not be a problem for you - Server 2012 Essentials completely removes support for Windows XP and Vista. Gone. Kaput. If you've got older clients that need to be backed up, you will either need to upgrade them or consider sticking with WHS 2011. You can also join Server 2008 R2 and Server 2012 machines, but the server won't back them up. That's a bit of a bummer, but I set up CrashPlan to back up the important stuff so I'm not too worried.

Overall I like 2012. The speed is amazing. The UI took a little getting used to because it uses Metro (Modern), but I've gotten through the growing pains and find it's pretty easy to work with. Plus I've been able to brush up on my PowerShell skills a bit. :)

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 20, 2013 6:44 pm 
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That is exactly what I wanted to hear. It would be nice for a comparision article for the 3 on the main page.

Msawyer91 which would you recomment to someone. Assume they are using WHSV1 happily but seeing HDD sizes going up they cant use (negitive) or curiosity over new product when it looks like developers are moving away from WHS all together.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 20, 2013 7:11 pm 
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I would have to say (Good) as well. Windows Server 2012 Essentials, their is a trial you can download and give it a test drive if you have something to test it on.
As long as you don't want any xp or vista pc connected to it (I'm in the process of upgrading 2 netbooks and a laptop to win7) then it is very clean, also the price $375.00 I think is the best I have seem without a tech subscription.

Storage Spaces I believe Microsoft will patch it and make it better. I believe that this is the next WHS OS. Like it or not.
Goodluck

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 20, 2013 7:22 pm 
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I got a copy of WS2012E and a spare ex495 now so I got that down. Just like to hear peoples opinion before I take on a task like this. if it was horrible id think again. so WHSv1 had mobile access and so did 2011 does WS2012e have same access?

Ok I want bring in larger drives would it be better to do 2011 or 2012?


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 21, 2013 8:41 am 
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If I had the cash, I would, eyes closed, reinstall WS2012E on my upgraded Ex470 (it is now running Windows 8 ). I agree with what all the others have said. I would also insist on the fact that we must not approach Storage Spaces as a DE replacement, nor Stablebit or Drive Bender. It's another technology, and to behave like DE it would need some kind of rebalancing, which I doubt will be implemented (but one never knows).

My dream EX470 would be WS2012E with a ssd system disk, and 3 3TB (or bigger) sata disks in parity mode (my storage needs are quite lower than some posters in here).

So, for larger drives I would certainly go with WS2012E, or Windows 8 on a small budget. If you choose Windows 8 and want to backup other computers, you should experiment how it behaves in your environment (it didn't work for me) or look at other solutions.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 21, 2013 9:05 am 
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Forgot to mention that on the mobile side of things (if you meant connexion while you're out), you're even better with WS2012E, cause besides the web access, you can switch on the VPN and, if you're outside your network, your Dashboard behaves as if you were inside.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 23, 2013 9:46 pm 
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T-Bone wrote:
That is exactly what I wanted to hear. It would be nice for a comparision article for the 3 on the main page.

Msawyer91 which would you recomment to someone. Assume they are using WHSV1 happily but seeing HDD sizes going up they cant use (negitive) or curiosity over new product when it looks like developers are moving away from WHS all together.


I would be happy to recommend either. Obviously the price point of WHS 2011 is going to be very attractive to people, but with WS2012E you get a higher user limit and what I believe to be a faster operating system. I open up my remote access page and allow friends and family to store files in personalized shares--sort of a small-scale cloud backup for them. So the higher user limit is nice. Oh, and you can connect 25 computers, not just 10.

If you've got older clients--Windows Vista and older (sorry XP), then WS2012E is not for you. If all your clients are Windows 7 or 8, or Mac OS X (I think Lion and Mountain Lion) then 2012 will do you proud.

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HP EX490, 4GB, E5300, 15TB - Server 2012 - Sharing and Streaming
HP EX487, 4GB, E5300, 13TB - Server 2012 Essentials - Backups


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 2013 5:06 pm 
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Isn't it true that only Win 7 ultimate versions are able to join domains? Not Win 7 Home premium? Also, if you choose not to utilize domains I understand that you must log on manually each time you connect to the server under Server Essentials 2012?

Sent from my GT-N7100 using Tapatalk 2

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2013 1:14 pm 
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580guy wrote:
Isn't it true that only Win 7 ultimate versions are able to join domains? Not Win 7 Home premium? Also, if you choose not to utilize domains I understand that you must log on manually each time you connect to the server under Server Essentials 2012?

Sent from my GT-N7100 using Tapatalk 2


Only Windows 7 Pro and Ultimate can join domains.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2013 1:51 pm 
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Hope to finally get Windows Server 2012 Essentials installed this weekend and then start the slow migration over from WHSv1...

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2013 3:26 pm 
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I am using Win7 home premium with 2012 essentials no problems so far.
I use MyMovies and access shares without a problem.
Not that domain issues would have scared me off being a system admin by trade.

BTW Storage Spaces plays my Blue ray movies without studder on the P410I raid controller with sas expander.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 29, 2013 3:30 am 
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I have installed WS2012E on an old HP ProLiant DL145 G2 Server for testing. Installation was a breeze and it installed all the drivers for the hardware except for the PCI-X RAID Controller Card I had in it which I have to see if I can get it functional. Because the DL145 is a 1U Server I will have to use a Port Multiplier to house the test drives.

I am not quite sure which storage solution I will want to use and I have to come to terms with this before building the new server which makes utilizing a test server the best way to figure things out. I am quite happy with WHS2011 but I want to utilize 4TB Hard Drives to reduce the hard drive compliment. Currently my WHS2011 server Highlander has 23 hard drives of which 32TB is in the Pool and the remaining drives are none pooled drives used to OS Backup and email.

Unlike some I will not retire my WHS v1 or WHS2011 servers as they are used to support existing clients which WS2012E will not support. Also they provide media streaming functions which WS2012E may be able to do but not sure if I want a primary Server to tackle this function. I have been wanting to stop Highlander from performing this function and dedicate this to my other units be it WHS v1 or Win8 Clients to handle it reading the media from Highlander.

I hope to spend time with my WS2012E Test Server this weekend to see what I can learn from it but to help guide me along the way I have a couple books on WS2012. I hope to join 1 client to it and then see how the recovery works. I take comfort knowing the client is backed up by my WHS2011 server and I know I can recover it should something go wrong but I need to know the client recovery functions work. I also need to get Remote Web Access working without disturbing my current servers Remote Access as I am able to access both WHS v1 and 2011 servers from a single internet connection so I do not want to lose that function.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 31, 2013 12:53 pm 
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I was out shopping this weekend and connected to my servers with my cell phone to check out my movie listing so I do not purchase duplicates and there much to my amazement (Yea I am forgetful at times) was a link for my Windows Server 2012 Essentials. So I can access my WHS v1, WHS2011 and WS2012E servers already. I completely forgotten about configuring the WS2012 for Remote Web Access which I did when I changed out my router from a WRT610N to a Cisco RVS4000 and changed the WRT610N to function as an Access Point for my wireless devices.

Now I need to get a 4TB Drive within the next couple weeks but I see that Stablebit Drive Pool is suppose to support drives of any size and this has me thinking that if I can utilize the larger drives in my WHS2011 server then there would be no immediate need to work with WS2012E so a lot is riding on the implementation of a 4TB drive in WHS2011 which I believe would be added as a 2nd Drive Pool. I already know my motherboard will support the larger drives but how it will work with my existing controllers and backplanes needs to be explored before taking on the expense of building a new server. So if I can get 4TB drives working in WHS2011 then I will ride it out there since I am quite happy with a WHS2011 solution and if not then I will press forward with WS2012E.

Its a major PITA when your exploring the possibilities and not quite sure which way to go...

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2013 2:15 pm 
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So Im hearing that there are a few that like MS2012e is great but storage pooling is not the way to go. Is this correct? im trying to pull information together from multiple diffrent threads


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