WHS2011 or 2012 R2 Essentials?

Discussion in 'Windows Server' started by sandy-bridge, Mar 23, 2015.

  1. sandy-bridge

    sandy-bridge MDL Member

    Feb 19, 2015
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    Hello.

    I'm not sure which operating system to use for my home server. I have decided that it's either Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials or Windows Home Server 2011. It will be used for file sharing (either by SMB or FTP) and game server hosting (Minecraft). What should I choose?
     
  2. ZaForD

    ZaForD MDL Expert

    Jan 26, 2008
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    WHS2011 is getting really old now and has to be getting close to 'End of Life' as far as Microsoft is concerned, where as SVR 2012 R2 is just over a year old.
    And having used both as my Home Server, I'd say theres not much to choose between them, both do the job well. There maybe a little more setup involved with Essentials as its designed for SOHO's. But theres a whole lot more updates to install with in WHS2011.
    Another option you may want to try is SVR2012 R2 Standard, as you can add the 'Essentials' part as a feature. You should really get CAL's for it to, But if your using it at home, I won't tell any one. ;)
     
  3. sandy-bridge

    sandy-bridge MDL Member

    Feb 19, 2015
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    Thank you. So the 2016 end of mainstreamsupport is the end of all support for WHS2011? Unbelievable, especially when there's no direct successor. I have tried an evaluation of Essentials,and the Active Directory and domain stuff just got in the way, thought that WHS2011 would be easier. And I don't mind installing updates.

    I do not see why I should go for standard. It doesn't provide any extra benefits, and I got my key of 2012R2 via DreamSpark, and they only allow one edition. I chose Essentials for the reason that it does not require CALs. So, Standard is not an option for me.
     
  4. leebo_28

    leebo_28 MDL Senior Member

    Jun 12, 2011
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    Have you considered Freenas? It will do exactly what you want on modest hardware..including a minecraft plugin to host your own servers..
     
  5. EFA11

    EFA11 Avatar Guru

    Oct 7, 2010
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    Mainstream support ends, but it doesn't show an extended end support date, so there should still be updates after 4/12/2016, but only security afaik unless that date is just dead in the water lol. Also, CAL's are an honor system key, you don't actually enter any key its all paper in the event you are audited by MS and they want to count them.
     
  6. ZaForD

    ZaForD MDL Expert

    Jan 26, 2008
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    I don't know about the end of life/support stuff, I only play with servers. Go with EFA11 on that, he knows all these type of things. ;)
    Active Directory is an easy fix, MS released a regedit that allows to you use Windows7, 8.x with Essentials without joining the Domain.

    LOL, I got my key from DreamSpark too, that's why I went for SVR2012R2 STD.
    It allows you to have a Real and VM install, so I run the VM install as my 'Essentials' Home Server. :cool:
     
  7. ZaForD

    ZaForD MDL Expert

    Jan 26, 2008
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    #8 ZaForD, Mar 23, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 20, 2017
    Essentials uses 'Connector' software to access the Files/Media services on the Sever, like WHS does.
    But it forces you to join the domain. By using this regedit:
    Code:
    reg add "HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows Server\ClientDeployment" /v SkipDomainJoin /t REG_DWORD /d 1 
    You can install the 'Connector' software and access the servers resources without joining the domain.
    You can do it manually too, but the WAF isn't so good. :p
     
  8. sandy-bridge

    sandy-bridge MDL Member

    Feb 19, 2015
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    #9 sandy-bridge, Mar 23, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 20, 2017
    (OP)
    Thank you! I think I have decided on Server 2012 R2 Essentials now.
     
  9. correcto

    correcto MDL Novice

    Jun 25, 2010
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    Go with ws2012r2essentials. At install time name your domain as: WORKGROUP or your actual workgroup name. second: use the connector with the skip domain hack and also the skip dns hack, just to assure the dns stays in your router(if you wish) and not in a server role. client backups are great, and try the client restore service to do BMR booting from LAN