Vail is Windows Home Server 2011 – RC Available Now

Oh Microsoft, your naming schemes always do surprise us all, as the next version of Windows Home Server is called…wait for it….Windows Home Server 2011!! Marketing team, you earned your money there! Ok, all joking aside, the final release (sans Drive Extender) appears very near–will you be buying/upgrading? I’m holding off for a bit.

A new Move Folder Wizard which makes it easy for you to move data from one drive to another.  As you add Hard Drives to the Home Server, health alerts will notify you that a new Hard Drive is available. From here, you can automatically format and configure the new drive for additional storage and then easily use the Move Folder Wizard to move your data to the new drive as needed.


  • Without DE I really don’t see

    Without DE I really don’t see a point to using WHS 2011.

  • I’ll be getting it.  I’d

    I’ll be getting it.  I’d never use it as a file server but it is great for backups and domainless central user accounts.

  • Apparently, I’m in the

    Apparently, I’m in the minority of folks who are eager to use the new release of WHS.

  • god, i’m trying to get

    god, i’m trying to get excited. the new UI is slick, but man, the more i read about their “Move Folder Wizard” (again, marketing, wow…earning those bucks), the more i feel the WHS team was just lazy and slapped it together. Sure sounds like SyncToy.

    Ah, so conflicted. I always like running the latest…but man…even still, i wonder what happens to all the apps HP designed for my MediaSmart…probably dead now, right?

  • In order to get backups of

    In order to get backups of your data on the server, you have to run raid.  That’s a huge issue for me.  Drive extender was the #1 reason I got WHS.  The other reason was for my computer backups. 


    I guess if you want to backup your data on Vail without RAID, you can simply store your important data on your regular computer and rely on computer backup as a way to backup your important files.  That’s what I do today with my pictures, since my wife can’t seem to learn that she should keep her pictures on the server.  She just stores them on her computer and I back it up every day on the server.  It required me to get her a 2TB drive recently, but they are $80 so it really didn’t matter much.

    • No need for RAID, just use

      No need for RAID, just use the new external backup feature. For my own use case, I would choose not to use DE over doing an automated external backup for a number of reasons such as better control over the process, better performance, access to the drive data on other machines, ability to take it off-site, etc.

  • DE was not meant for “backup”

    DE was not meant for “backup” but uptime and ease of use.


    1 volume for all my movies means 1 share… now I would need 2 shares for my movies, which is stupid.


    Server Backup is a needed feature.  WHS2011 is good progression in some senses but without a viable software RAID type feature it is not going to go anywhere.


    MS should buy flexRAID and intigrate it into the console and UI since they failed to get DE to have good performance



    I already moved from WHS to Server 2008 and I am running WHS v1 in Hyper-V for backups and remote access.


    When this goes RTM ill delete my WHS v1 VM and install WHS2011


    but I will not be allowing WHS to control my shares or have direct disk access only virtual space

  • George L. Schmauch Jr.

    No WHS v2 for me.  What does

    No WHS v2 for me.  What does v2 offer that v1 does not?  I can’t find a single feature.  Oh, wait, there’s the “Move Folder Wizard”.  Hey, MS, I hate to break it to you, but you introduced this “technology” to Windows users many years ago as “cut”, “copy”, and “paste”.  They still work pretty good.   I don’t need a whole new OS to add that feature.

    I can back up the OS drive with v2, but with the removal of DE, the only thing the OS is good for is backing up my PCs, which means I have no reason to install most add-ins or the other software I installed outside of WHS.  Based on that, a clean install of the OS, just as MS originally intended for v1, is perfectly acceptable now.  Great way to obsolete a feature, MS.

    In the end, my current plan is to install WHS v1 in a VM, stop using DE and move to FlexRAID, and run a regular 64-bit Windows OS for what I now use WHS to do.  That will probably wind up being Windows 7 Pro.

  • SMB v2, IIS 7.5 and improved

    SMB v2, IIS 7.5 and improved central logins.

    • I’ll probably try it out

      I’ll probably try it out thanks to my Technet account at work.  Just as a VM though.  I’ll probably set up a SAN VM for data storage and pass the RAIDZ volume to the WHSv2 or maybe some other OS depending on what I finally decide..

    • George L. Schmauch Jr.

      mikinho wrote:SMB v2, IIS 7.5


      SMB v2, IIS 7.5 and improved central logins.


      Those are things I haven’t heard anyone mention yet, so what do those offer to “home” users over WHS v1?  If those are the “new features” for WHS, then why wouldn’t MS be extolling their virtues?

      • All 3 primarily offer

        All 3 primarily offer performance benefits.  I don’t see how anyone can be happy with WHS v1 as a file server with clients Vista or higher.

        It is built on Windows 2003 and only supports SMB v1, file server performance is crap.  How can you build a stable connected home when your central storage is the worst performing file server on your network?  I agree that the concept behind DE is great, just add, add, add w/o planning or worrying about it but in real-world usage I just don’t believe it works.

        Before Vail goes to RTM there will be plug-in to make a share show content from multiple folders–that is simple.  I’m more disappointed that DFS isn’t available in Vail (I thought it was initially…)

        • George L. Schmauch Jr.

          You’ve obviously never

          You’ve obviously never actually used v1 as a media server.  😉  It works just fine for serving up SageTV, Blu-rays (MKVs), music, photos, and pretty much anything else I’ve thrown at it.  I’ve recorded up to 5 HD streams (3 OTA and 2 HD-PVR) while playing back something else, all while running a max of 3 comskip sessions and never had any issues.  Is it perfect?  No.  I have reached the limits when I used earlier versions of FlexRAID a couple of years ago.  That did bring WHS to its knees, so I stopped using it.  Would I use WHS for a small business server?  No.  But, that’s not what v1 was meant for.

  • v1 is doing exactly what I

    v1 is doing exactly what I want it to do.  Haven’t had a hiccup in 3 years.  v2 doesn’t add anything that I could even remotely call a killer feature to compell me to upgrade and takes away the most compelling feature of v1.  With the size of my “videos” folder, I can’t do without DE and don’t want to start another learning curve with a different OS or software RAID solution.


    M$!!  I know you don’t listen to customers, but try this once.  v2 is not what the consumer wants.

    Go ahead and release SBS 2011, but don’t release WHS 2011.  Get the orrigianl WHS team back together and have them make a new WHS OS out of SBS 2011 just like they made WHS v1 out of server 2003.  They nailed it last time, let them do it again.

  • So let me get this right,

    So let me get this right, there will be no more single drive pool I will have to create shares from multiple drives?

    • George L. Schmauch Jr.

      robinhoody wrote:So let me


      So let me get this right, there will be no more single drive pool I will have to create shares from multiple drives?


      Correct.  Cry

  • From a real basic consumers

    From a real basic consumers stand point loosing DE isnt that huge of a deal considering most people would have no idea how to add a HDD to a box.  Let alone undstand shares (not that any of it is terribly complicated.)  However, for the more advanced users out there I can agree that this sucks they are taking away DE.  I dont think I will jump ship right away to upgrade to vail since my current home server has been really stable.  Since vail requires a dual core machine (current home server is a p4) I wont upgrade until I replace my main machine and move it to vail.  I wouldnt be suprised if someone is already working on a plugin for something like DE

  • I’ll stick with my WHS 03

    I’ll stick with my WHS 03 until it breaks. I run DE as a scheduled task between 4 and 8 am and since I started that, I haven’t had any performance issues. 



  • i’m curious what other HP

    i’m curious what other HP MediaSmart customers are planning to do. HP’s probably not going to offer anything on discontinued products, and since the unit is headless, that pretty much kills the potential of DIY no? Not to mention losing all the HP plugins.

    i’m sure HP’s standpoint is the same as Microsoft to it’s v1 extender customers–the boxes will continue to work just fine exactly as they were intended, just not with the latest OS?

  • Vail hardware question: My

    Vail hardware question: My current WHS V1 is an AMD64 X2 BE-2400 dual core on an ECS mboards with 4 gb ram.

    When I try to load Vail, “it doesn’t” and then if I go all the way into WHS (windows) it tells me the disk is valid but the machine is not. Will this hardware not work with vail?


    Is it because of the instruction set differences between AMD/Intel from the earlier components?

    I wanted to “test” vail on this setup and then get a core(2) i3 and board if I want to go forward with Vail.






    • It should work, can you

      It should work, can you verify you are on your latest BIOS revision?

      • mikinho wrote:

        It should


        It should work, can you verify you are on your latest BIOS revision?


        I can verify that I’m NOT!

        Haven’t thought about that machine and hardware in a while! I just hums along. I’ll give that a try.

        (Speaking of BIOS, has anyone got a H67 and 2600K up and running with UEFI? I got it running on my first install, but then reloaded and got the Graphics driver error. Same on RMa’d mb and CPU. (others have had the same problem based on a net search) Just curious. If I’m recalling correctly, seems my WEI was better under UEFI and well … everything “seemed” a bit faster.)



  • So any idea when v2 will be

    So any idea when v2 will be released?  I am hopping to try and use my new Ceton card inside of it and share out the TV to each other computer in the house.