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Switching to Server Essentials 2012 RRS feed

  • Question

  • With WHS going away I starting playing with the Server Essentially 2012 beta to see if it would be a good replacement.

    For my needs (backup and remote access) it seems like it will do exactly what I want.  I do have one concern and that it is sets up a domain and makes all computers connected to it join the domain.

    Any thoughts on if that is a good/bad thing for household machines?

    Friday, July 13, 2012 8:22 PM

Answers

  • It depends. Domain accounts allow you to centrally define the account, and they (potentially) allow some other fairly cool stuff that some Windows Home Server enthusiasts have been asking for for a long time, like true "roaming" profiles. But the failure of a domain controller is a bit more serious than the failure of a random server, and it will take more functionality with it when it goes.

    Personally, I've always considered having a domain in my home overkill, though I have the skills needed to take full advantage of it.


    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)

    • Marked as answer by Sean Zhu - Monday, July 23, 2012 5:37 AM
    Saturday, July 14, 2012 12:23 AM

All replies

  • It depends. Domain accounts allow you to centrally define the account, and they (potentially) allow some other fairly cool stuff that some Windows Home Server enthusiasts have been asking for for a long time, like true "roaming" profiles. But the failure of a domain controller is a bit more serious than the failure of a random server, and it will take more functionality with it when it goes.

    Personally, I've always considered having a domain in my home overkill, though I have the skills needed to take full advantage of it.


    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)

    • Marked as answer by Sean Zhu - Monday, July 23, 2012 5:37 AM
    Saturday, July 14, 2012 12:23 AM
  • As for remote web access, will there be a free domain name resolution service? Something similar to xxxx.homeserver.com or xxx..remotewebacces.com?

    Saturday, July 14, 2012 11:13 AM
  • Yes, xxx.remotewebaccess.com

    --
    ______________
     
    BullDawg
    In God We Trust
    ______________

    As for remote web access, will there be a free domain name resolution service? Something similar to xxxx.homeserver.com or xxx..remotewebacces.com?


    BullDawg
    Saturday, July 14, 2012 12:22 PM
  • I agree, domains seem like overkill, but I'm wondering if there is any real downside to it.  Sure, I may not really use the functionality of a domain, but is there a gotcha I'm going to have to deal with if I use one?
    Monday, July 16, 2012 2:58 PM
  • ... but is there a gotcha I'm going to have to deal with if I use one?

    Strictly speaking probably not, but...

    When your only AD domain controller goes down, clients go into local authentication mode for all domain accounts (something anyone who's used a work laptop @ home without connecting to their work VPN has experienced), server resources become unavailable, if you've configured roaming profiles they are suddenly unavailable which affects user experience in a very negative way, etc.


    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)

    Monday, July 16, 2012 3:06 PM
  • Just thought I'd add that a "Home" version of your Windows OS (e.g. Windows 7 Home Premium) typically does not have the ability to join a domain. This does not mean that you won't be able to access server resources, but authentication will still happen on the client, and you will still end up with a client and server user account.

    Regards,

    Sven

     
    Tuesday, July 17, 2012 8:13 AM
  • Enthusiasts have a tendency to want to run the "Ultimate" versions of Windows, Sven. Those typically include both home-oriented features and business oriented features, including (in this case) the ability to join a domain. If a machine running e.g. Windows 7 Ultimate isn't joined to a domain, it will also use separate client and domain (not server; domain controllers have no local accounts) accounts. 

    To be honest, though, if you're going to use domain accounts anywhere, I'd really recommend you use them everywhere for simplest management. I just think the use of a domain at home is serious overkill for even the average enthusiast...


    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)

    Tuesday, July 17, 2012 1:55 PM
  • Yeah, I probably wouldn't use domain accounts.  I'd keep the account local and just join the machine to the domain to get the Server goodness.

    Are there any other RDP gateway solutions?  That is the feature I want above all.  I'm ok with running a Server 2012 instance to get it, but if there is something simpler, I'm open to suggestions.

    Tuesday, July 17, 2012 8:03 PM
  • Hi dwelzel, for any Windows Server 2012 Beta Essentials related issue, you can post to the following forum in the future:

    Windows Server 2012 Beta Essentials General

    http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-us/winserveressentials/threads

    Thanks.


    Sean Zhu

    TechNet Community Support

    Friday, July 20, 2012 6:50 AM
  • Yeah, I probably wouldn't use domain accounts.  I'd keep the account local and just join the machine to the domain to get the Server goodness.

    As far as I know, there is no option not to use domain accounts if you have a domain-joinable version of Windows. 

    Personally, I think the DC requirement in WSE 2012 is a purposeful effort to keep out us WHS riff-raff.  :-) 

    Sunday, July 22, 2012 2:07 AM
  • Personally, I think the DC requirement in WSE 2012 is a purposeful effort to keep out us WHS riff-raff.  :-) 


    Yup, that and the price... :-)
    Sunday, July 22, 2012 9:31 AM
  • What's to stop you from using a non-domain joined machine?  You'd still be able to get to your domain shares by using the domain account while logging into them.  Log into the machine locally (MACHINE\local user) then connect to the server "net use \\SERVER\share /user:DOMAIN\domain user"  

    Or are there Essentials features that require the local machine also be joined?

    Sunday, July 29, 2012 5:08 AM
  • What's to stop you from using a non-domain joined machine?  You'd still be able to get to your domain shares by using the domain account while logging into them.  Log into the machine locally (MACHINE\local user) then connect to the server "net use \\SERVER\share /user:DOMAIN\domain user"  

    Or are there Essentials features that require the local machine also be joined?


    Client image backup is likely the big one, as well as the benefits of centrally monitoring / managing your PCs and users.
    • Edited by Gary Voth Monday, July 30, 2012 7:15 PM
    Monday, July 30, 2012 7:03 PM