Serving two masters

On September 19, 2012, in news, by

Windows Server 2012 Essentials: The Home Server Replacement:

I’m a little concerned that he likes Essentials.  Because he’s going to advocate the “everything in the cloud” idea and I still think that combined with an on premise Exchange it can be an on premise solution as well.  I’m concerned that the product is trying to serve two masters of the home and small business marketplace and won’t quite fit either one as well as it should.  And then if consultants read that Essentials is the “Home server” replacement, they will blow it off and not look at it as a building block for on premise solutions.

Mind you we have to wait for that blend to be supported – as we have to wait for Exchange 2010 to be fully supported on Windows 2012.

One recent change in the pdf –


So if I’m reading that right, you can take one of your virtualization rights and ‘downgrade’ it to Windows 2012 essentials. 

But Paul, don’t call it a “Home server” replacement, call it a building block will ya?


3 Responses to Serving two masters

  1. Joe Raby says:

    We have a very small desktop fleet here, and I’m contemplating whether or not to switch our server from SBSe to Essentials 2012 or to switch to Foundation. See, since upgrading most of the very few desktops to Windows 8, none of them have been on the domain. Ours is a small shop though (did I mention that already?). Our server is mainly a file server with WDS and OPK tools for deployments on new PC’s. If I go with Essentials, I’ll re-do the domain. I might even use the Office 365 integration this time around (never used it before).

    The big issue I have is that you have this OEM solution designed for pretty small cases, but from what I’ve seen of Windows Server (Standard and Datacenter), it’s designed for this massive scalability and modularity for large businesses, as well as cloud computing. There isn’t any info on Microsoft’s site about Foundation 2012 except for the user and VM limitations. So does it have all of the same, new management options from Server 2012 Standard/Datacenter that target cloud computing and managing multiple servers? Why? To me, it wouldn’t make sense to. It would make sense to have management wizards that target simpler deployments. Now, I haven’t tried Foundation yet, so I don’t know much about it. I just wish Microsoft would still put out some kind of docs on it and not hide behind their restrictive OEM support channels.

  2. admin says:

    Foundation is in action pack btw. You can test it out.

  3. Joe Raby says:

    Thanks, but I know that already. I certainly won’t be buying an OEM box with it preloaded, since I’d just build my own machine for it (or use my existing server). I’m still undecided which way I’m going to go. I’m not saying no to Essentials, but I’m not sure that I really care about things like RWA or even a network domain setup enough to bother with the setup and management of them. I’m actually thinking that I could get by with a simpler file server and WDS box, and WDS in Server 2012 no longer requires AD. I know what Essentials is capable of, and I also know it’s a good fit for a lot of clients, but I’d rather put more time into managing clients over putting in superfluous infrastructure management services into our setup for no real benefit, but to the detriment of having to monitor and manually interject to keep it running when we don’t really need to.