Windows Home Server 2011 is Ready for Release

Windows Home Server 2011 is Ready for Release

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Today, the Home Server engineering team signed off the release version of WHS 2011. An exciting milestone which now starts the process to make it available for purchase.

Affordable and easy-to-use, Windows Home Server 2011 is the ideal solution to help families keep their important digital files and data automatically backed up, organized, and accessible from virtually anywhere.

To help with questions we hear during this time of the product release cycle, I have provided further guidance below. If you have a specific question, please feel free to post in comments, on our WHS forum.

  • When will OEM’s offer WHS 2011?  Many OEM’s and System Builders have already started building specific form factors and solutions based on WHS 2011. We expect to start seeing them in the market starting May.
  • What languages is WHS 2011 available in?  WHS 2011 will be released in 19 languages including Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional, Taiwan), Chinese (Hong Kong), Czech, Dutch, English, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese (Brazil), Portuguese (Portugal), Russian, Spanish, Swedish, and Turkish.
  • When will the Evaluation for WHS 2011 be made available?  The evaluation experience for WHS 2011 will be released in early April.
  • When will I be able to download WHS 2011 via my TechNet or MSDN subscription?  WHS 2011 will be made available on MSDN and TechNet also in early April.
  • What is the difference between V1 of WHS and WHS 2011?  You can learn more about differences in our comparison datasheet.

During this time we would also like to thank all our MVP’s, partners and customers that have helped us get to this point. We look forward to sharing more information with you over the coming weeks.

22 Comments
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  • Headfox
    0 Posts

    It's early april :) and I'm waiting for the WHS2011 MSDN download.

  • PhilS
    2 Posts

    WHS 2011 looks great for me without DE. I'm glad it's gone. For me, Raid 1 was easy to set up. In addition, the server backup gives me plenty of redundancy.

  • bigjim01
    27 Posts

    I have been looking forward to this release for a while. Drive Extender will be missed, but I really do not care that it is not there. This will be a great release and the hardware vendors that left the platform will be sorry that they left.

  • a688
    27 Posts

    Your "comparison datasheet" link still points to "whats new". Is that supposed to be a "comparison" or a "datasheet"? I see some fancy words like "new", "better", and "simplified" but no real comparisons. It looks more like a PR fluff piece like Sean Daniel's blog post "Why I plan on using the new Windows Home Server 2011".

  • Drerex
    0 Posts

    @Mike - A program like StableBit DrivePool is a add on and like DE, it combines all your hard drives into one big storage pool.  I don't care for drive extender anyways because I use RAID.  With that being said, it is no loss for me.

  • fenrir
    0 Posts

    I would like to know which "customers" you listened to when you removed the best feature of this product, DE?

    The overwhelming response on the net is that this was a monumentally stupid idea.  RAID is not a viable alternative for the average home user.  So why not answer your REAL customers who want DE instead of ignoring our pleas?  ATM I have 0 plans to upgrade and am pretty much planning on switching to Amahi, and I recommend all others that feel like you have been ignored by releasing this product without DE (which was working just fine, so saying it wasn't working is not an excuse either) should switch to Amahi as well.  It offers 2 BIG things that WHS doesn't.  A torrent server and DE technology.  Check it out.

    www.amahi.org

    I am not affiliated with Amahi BTW, I just feel that it is really the only close alternative for the average home user.

  • I'm looking forward to the new WHS! Like others, I am disappointed to see DE go, but I understand the reasons. I was even impressed the issue got attention at the executive level!

    To the haters: it isn't as if there haven't been other storage technologies that allow for pooling and replication, many of which were around long before DE. Yes, DE was a nifty feature that simplified disk management, but the reasons for wanting to utilize a common code branch are sound; having WHS exist as a completely separate product with limited budget, development, and support resources would be a sure-fire way to kill it (the very thing that many are complaning about).

    I understand that DE was removed because of concerns over data integrity under the Server code base. I don't know about y'all, but I'll take having to deal with drive letters (which I only ever see on the local machine, not on shares via the network) over corruption of my irreplaceable files any day of the week and twice on Sunday.

    There's nothing to keep 3rd parties from developing their own "DE-like" plug-ins; I'm already aware of at least one that's in beta. Plus, there's nothing to say that Microsoft won't continue to try and find a way to make a similar technology work in future versions.

    In new releases, sometimes you gain features, sometimes you lose features. DE was a swell feature that will be missed, but it certainly isn't the only one that makes WHS a great product.

  • Since there's no DE, this thing is a waste of time for home users. I have to put up with the hassles of running RAID arrays at work, I'm not going to do it at home. Maybe I'll look at one of the Drobo boxes instead?  Shame MS punted on the home users.

  • lame.  will be sticking with v1.

    Move along, there's nothing to see here.

  • Four Years ago my friends laughed at me when I told them about this "great" MS product called WHS. In that time I have restored 4 HDs on 3 Machines with only the time to buy the new drive and restore the latest backup to complain about. I have changed my HD configuration at least two dozen times and the most difficult problem was shutting down a second time to disconnet the "removed" HD. When I run out of backup space ... I just add another HD or better yet ... add the much larger HD and "remove" the older smaller HD. I don't have to figure what files were on that HD nor do I care.

    I too (as some have said here) rebuilt my WHS to a "high end" server in anticipation of WHS 2011 ... HOWEVER WITHOUT DE they can have my (now) legacy WHS ONLY when the pry it from my cold dead hands :-). I have been a net admin before and do not wish to relive that pain at home. DE and the Backup Capabilities are great in V1 and maybe they made backup better in WHS 2011. I don't understand how hard it is to "port" code from one version to the next. I cannot beleive that Redmond spend any real money to rearchitect a product it looks like they are trying to kill ... or maybe they are just stupid :-(

    WHS 2011 has some "cool" things that would attract me, but I just cannot get past the disk management problems I had as a net admin if DE is not included. Some of us have TBs of picts and video not 10s of Gbs. To me it is a matter on regression of a capability that made MY life MUCH easier. I don't think it makes my data less safe, but it now makes the simple tool complex and that is NOT the way to market a "Home" product ... maybe this should just be named "Windows Server 2011 SBE really-lite"

  • Squuiid
    0 Posts

    Junk. Dead on arrival. Do not buy... I can go on.

    MS leads the way on how to destroy a product and the dev team lead should be fired. What a disgrace.

  • I will be getting it ASAP.  Too bad no HP but they are off on a tangent that will cost them in the long run.  Drive extender was a great option but I loaded up my first gen HP with 2 TB's and I never messed with the drives since day 1.

  • Mike W.
    4 Posts

    @Drerex -- no, DE is not even an add-on.  It's simply removed from the product.  By far the best feature of WHS and it made adding new server storage a snap.  Does anyone know of any other home server solutions out there with such a feature?  I plan to continue using my current WHS but I have a feeling MS will not continue to update the connector software for future OS updates such as Windows 8, so I need a backup plan for when that happens as I will not support WHS 2011 when MS refused to listen to the community on DE.

  • Helmer
    4 Posts

    Yeah! When will it exactly become available on TechNet? @MarcBate I don't think there is an 'upgrade-path', but I'm running the RC version at the moment on my DataVault x510 (which has the same hardware as you MediaSmart ex495)...and it's really easy to install. Just Google for 'install Vail on mediasmart' and you'll get the right links.

  • Well, I wonder what the price will be? DE might not be problem with very large disks but the price will be crucial. There is a Linux alternative out there which I am not keen on but if the price is too high...

  • RSR
    7 Posts

    when will this be an MSDN download..

  • W.Wolf
    3 Posts

    sigh.  Without drive extender this really isn't "home" friendly.  For everyone who knows how to handle and plan ahead with a standard server it is not a big deal but for the ma and pa V1 was trying to get to V2 is just ignoring them.  I really wish you would take the home label off and just call it what it is, a small business server.  I'm going to keep rocking my HP EX495 till it dies, maybe v3 will be out by then and drive extender will be back.

  • Drerex
    0 Posts

    Great!  Been waiting for this a long time now.  For the post above, there is no drive extender in WHS 2011.  It is now a add in.

  • Dead on arrival.

  • Nice to see that the RTM is ready. I have got only one question. Is there only the option to download WHS 2011 via TechNet or MSDN or is there the option to buy WHS as an OEM version like Windows 7? I primary ask because I want to deploy WHS in my existing enviroment.

  • The link to the comparison datasheet is a link to a 'what's new' document.   I saw nothing about Drive Extender so that must not be the right document.   Can I upgrade my HP MediaSmart EX495 with 8 drives using Drive Extender to WHS 2011?

  • wbpluto
    0 Posts

    It's so cool,waiting for this so long!!!!