Windows Home Server 2011 vs. original? RRS feed

  • Question

  • Is there a web page somewhere that shows the differences between Windows Home Server 2011 and the original?

    Bottom line: is it worth the upgrade?

    -- Nigel M
    Monday, June 6, 2011 5:16 PM

All replies

  • Not as far as I am aware. Microsoft published a "Comparison Sheet" but it was just a list of features of WHS2011 (e.g. It did not even mention that Drive Extender had been dropped. From my user experience, it's like moving from XP to Windows 7, altogether much slicker, better/faster performing (albeit I am running it on new hardware) - just does what it says. It certainly makes working in a 64-bit environment (Client restore) much easier. Downsides: No DE (if that's an issue for you) and as a consequence, no folder redundancy and the hastily produced backup system is relatievly poor (limited to a 2TB backup to a single drive).
    Monday, June 6, 2011 5:56 PM
  • I did not use the earlier model, but this seems pretty easy to use, like Windows 7.  I have 4 drives so DE not an issue.  
    Tuesday, June 7, 2011 2:20 AM
  • Actually 4 drives is a perfect scenario for DE as the automatic folder duplication would make sure that each file you stored was placed on two separate spindles for redundancy - so the files would survive a single drive crash. DE also presented the drives as a single "space" so that you didn't need to worry about allocating storage on your drives to various shared or deal with "the music share is full" and having to move it. I just built my WHS 2011 production box replacing my old WHS v1 (server 2003) box and, although I knew DE was gone, I sort of hoped that folder replication would still be there. Since it is not, I have to now maintain several robocopy scripts to duplicate my data on my second internal drive (I have 2 2TB drives - specifically for redundancy but my Intel H61 chipset in the Pavilion P7-1080CTO I just bought doesn't support hardware SATA RAID 1 so I need to do it manually).

    Another difference I've noticed right away: When using the remote access web page, you no longer have an option to get to the console (now called "dashboard"). From work, I used to be able to get to the console so that I could use an add-in I wrote for WHS v1 that did wake on LAN. This way, I could let the machines at home go into sleep mode to save power and wake them up from work remotely if I needed to access a file on them. But, no "console" (dashboard) access from the remote web page anymore. It looks like I need to write a "gadget" for the web page to replicate this functionality. I've downloaded the SDK, but the install doesn't actually add the solutions to Visual Studio and the files it puts down aren't even named the same things as the directions on MSDN. So far I have not gotten the SDK "bits" into Visual Studio - but eventually I'll have a Gadget to get my functionality back.

    The server backup seems thrown together and, after the first two worked, it just seems to fail now. It also takes FOREVER to run. I only have 500 GB of data at this point on the server and I could just robocopy it all off faster than even the differential backup runs (when it works).

    All in all, I needed to get off of the old box I had (it was over 6 years old and was going to be failing soon and also used between 226 and 288 watts of power as measured by my UPS - whereas my new box uses between 78 and 93), so going to the new version made sense. But the functionality loss is baffling. It is almost like MS is planning to kill off the product. 

    Sunday, June 12, 2011 4:52 PM