I’m revisiting my “hyper V role ON Essentials post” and reposting what I posted into the Home Server forums as a response ….


Okay let me explain why I think Paul has a screw loose.

1. Let’s go down the road of licensing. The only way you can afford doing what he’s recommending is to use Technet licenses. Technet are only to be allowed for testing. We go down the road of “wink wink” we do a LOT of testing. It’s a gray area. To properly license using that “stick a Windows 2012 key and flip it to a standard” you’d be buying $425 Essentials and a $800 standard plus user cals. Yeah, right. That’s realistic. Like not. $425 isn’t a realistic home server price tag either if you really want to be honest with ourselves.

2. The 1+2 right problem and the HyperV role on a domain controller problem. Let’s say that you are the wealthiest person on the world and think nothing of spending $1200 on a home setup. Okay so you put the Server 2012 key in the Essentials box and transformed/transmorg’d it to a standard sku. This keeps the goodness of Remote web access and client backup but destroys media streaming as that’s no longer supported and now gone as part of this transform thing. Paul didn’t talk about that, did he? Then we have the problem of his recommendation of the HyperV role. Microsoft does not recommend installing the HyperV role ON a domain controller. And when you transform that Essentials box with a Standard key, it’s still a domain controller. You can’t dcpromo it down without it destroying client backup/remote web access. You have to leave it as a domain controller. The only time I see Microsoft talk about having your DC have the HyperV role is when they have one on a demo laptop going out in their “Evangelist role” talks. On a production machine you don’t want a domain controller to also have the HyperV role. For one you now take one of the virtualization rights away from the 2012 as by EULA you can’t run any other role on top of the HyperV without breaking that 1+ right thingy.

Having additional services running with HyperV isn’t tested or supported by Microsoft. On SBS standard , having that synthetic nic be there with real one would really screw with the brains of the sBS wizards. The essential wizards are in the same boat. It was not built/tested/designed to have the HyperV role running on it.

3. Paul forgot that Windows 8 can how be a hyperV host so if you REALLY want to have a hyperV box and have your cake and home server too, I’d make Windows 8 (a much cheaper solution) be the HyperV base.

Bottom line it’s a licensing issue (that Paul glosses over and doesn’t touch on), it’s a support issue (you just destroyed media streaming, the HyperV role on a DC isn’t something that is supported/recommended, Microsoft support can’t back you up, etc etc).

It’s just a messy solution when there’s now a much more elegant solution – use Windows 8 as your HyperV base.

4 Thoughts on “Why I think Paul Thurrott has a screw loose….

  1. Joe Miner on October 12, 2012 at 9:09 pm said:

    Great, thought provoking, posting! Thanks!

  2. Gary Dikkema on October 13, 2012 at 9:50 am said:

    Great comment!

    Been using the Windows Preview Release to host my SBS 2008 R2 box virtually for three or four months now. Mostly runs well. Every now and again it gets confused and can’t find itself. Says it can’t find the DC. usually a reboot fixes it.

    The thing is though while you can virtualize a variety of machines you do loose the streaming backup of client machines this way.

    But at $40 I find it to be a very elegant solution. Can’t wait for the RTM to be released…

  3. bradley on October 13, 2012 at 11:55 am said:

    You have the Win8 as a domain member or a workgroup? I still like to let the clients back up using Windows backup. It’s a guaranteed to be supported by anyone way to backup.

  4. Joe Raby on October 14, 2012 at 9:58 am said:

    He says it’s difficult to get centralized backup when using Windows 8 in place of Server Essentials because the connector does that.

    I have to argue that and say that if you don’t know enough about setting up network shares and using Windows Backup (and/or using the VHD workaround for clients that don’t support backing up directly to a share), you probably don’t even know what a domain is, and Storage Spaces will probably be far more confusing.

    And you already have media streaming in Windows 8….

    I still say that Windows 8 makes for a more cost effective, and probably easier home server for a layman. Foundation seems to be a better option for tinkerers than Essentials too.

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