If you’ve been keeping up with Microsoft related news, you’ve probably heard that Microsoft announced new features in Windows Azure, announced Windows Server 2012 R2, System Center 2012 R2, and SQL Server 2014. For many of these products, they are here less than a year after their predecessors. This is a huge accomplishment for Microsoft.
According to a blog post published by Brad Anderson, Corporate Vice President for Windows Server and System Center, Microsoft is able to do this because they are building for the cloud first.
By building for the cloud first, Microsoft says that they are able to do couple things:
- Battle harden what is built. By deploying in Windows Azure first, Microsoft can ensure that they are delivering a solid product both in the cloud and on-premise.
- Unify the planning and delivery across multiple products. With this wave of releases, Microsoft has brought together Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012 R2, System Center 2012 R2, Windows Azure, and Windows Intune.
What this means for you as a Microsoft customer is that scenarios are being designed for better integration end-to-end, using real world feedback from people like you and I, and validated in the Windows Azure cloud.
It’s an exciting and interesting time for both Microsoft and its customers. I’m encouraged by the products I’m seeing and the scenarios that are being unlocked.
Today Microsoft has released the public beta of Windows Server 2012 Essentials.
Windows Server 2012 Essentials is the replacement for Windows Home Server, Windows Small Business Server Standard and Small Business Server Essentials.
Windows Server 2012 Essentials has the following features:
- Dashboard implements the Metro user experience styling
- Office 365 module is now built-in
- Remote Access website has been updated with new color scheme and has option for tablet and desktop modes
- Anywhere Access enables VPN and / or Remote Access website
- Media Streaming
- Built on Windows Server 2012 with full access to Storage Spaces, Windows Server Backup, and leverages Active Directory
- Official support for Windows 8 Release Preview
For the build number curious amongst us, this is build 9552 and is available today from the Microsoft Download Center. The CRC and SHA1 hashes for the ISO have been posted below along with steps to check the integrity of the downloaded ISO.
Hashes for today’s release:
To run MSCDCRC against an ISO file that you have downloaded follow these steps.
- 1. Download MSCDCRC to the same folder that you downloaded the ISO to. (Click here to download MSCDCRC)
- 2. Open a Command Prompt window and navigate to the folder from Step 1
- 3. Type “MSCDCRC InstallDVD.iso” (without quotes)
- 4. The integrity check will take a few moments to complete. After the check is complete compare the CRC and SHA hashes to the hashes posted above
- 5. If the hashes match then you have successfully downloaded the ISO
Figured I’d post this in case anyone else runs into this issue. I was performing an unattended install of Windows Home Server 2011 and the setup failed. I tried to use the same cfg.ini file again, however, setup didn’t like the file the second time around. Knowing that I hadn’t changed anything, I opened the file and noticed something strange. There was an additional line that Setup adds to the file once its used it.
The line added is located in the [WinPE] section and is called Processed=true.
In my testing, removing this line will allow the cfg.ini file to be used again.
Before setup runs After setup runs
This tip applies to:
- Windows Home Server 2011
- Windows Small Business Server 2011 Essentials
- Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials
This one’s a short post. Here are the direct links to the online help sites for Windows Home Server 2011, Small Business Server 2011, and Storage Server R2 Essentials.
Windows Home Server 2011 – http://onlinehelp.microsoft.com/en-us/windowshomeserver2011
Small Business Server 2011 Essentials – http://onlinehelp.microsoft.com/en-us/sbs2011essentials/
Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials – http://onlinehelp.microsoft.com/en-us/storageserver2008r2/
If you’re like me and have multiple servers that all use the same type of connector software and are testing things out or just want to remove your Mac from being connected to your Windows Home Server 2011, Small Business Server 2011 Essentials, or Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials server, then these are the steps for you.
- Go to the Applications folder and drag the Launchpad application to the trash
- Go to your user folder (typically /Users/<yourusername>) and browse to Library –> Application Support –> Microsoft, and drag the Launchpad folder to the trash
- Go to the root of your hard drive, and browse to Library –> Application Support –> Microsoft, and drag the Launchpad folder to the trash
- Go to the root of your hard drive, and browse to Library –> Preferences, and drag ‘com.microsoft.launchpad.plist’ to the trash
- Empty the Trash and reboot
That’s it. The connector has now been removed.
Quick note for those of you that may be setting up Small Business Server 2011 Essentials servers and are using the online documentation, there is a slight error. Currently the documentation for router configuration links to the wiki article for Small Business Server Standard and the ports required for proper operation of SBS Standard.
The only ports that need to be forwarded for Small Business Server 2011 Essentials are ports 80 and 443. Although, to be honest, you don’t even need port 80. Just train users to use https:// instead of http:// to access the Remote Access website.
P.S. If you use Windows Home Server 2011 or Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials, the same port(s) need to be forwarded as well.
(UPDATE 04/11/2011 – Corrected error with sparseimage. Should be sparsebundle. Directions corrected.)
Note: These directions will not work with Mac OS X Lion as Apple has removed the necessary components to allow this functionality to work.
In today’s how-to, we’re going to setup Time Machine for a Mac client with the backups being stored on Windows Home Server 2011. These same steps should work with Small Business Server 2011 Essentials and Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials as well. (P.S. If after reading this, and you agree with me that setup could be easier, go here and vote.)
Step 1: Create shared folder on server
- Click the Shared Folders and Hard Drives tab
- Click Add a Folder, and fill in the details then click Next
- Click Specific People, and then assign Read/Write permissions to the user account you wish to use on your Mac.
- Click Add Folder,and then when the process is finished, click Close.
Step 2: Enable Network Volume Support and create SparseBundle file
- On each Mac that you wish to back up, go to the Applications folder, then Utilities, then open Terminal and type the following command then press Enter.
- defaults write com.apple.systempreferences TMShowUnsupportedNetworkVolumes 1
- We need to determine the MAC address of the Ethernet port (en0) to properly create the sparsebundle file. (NOTE: Even if you are using a wireless connection to backup, you MUST use the MAC address of the Ethernet port.) To do so, in the same Terminal window, type ifconfig and press Enter. Look for the line starting with en0, and then look just below that for the line starting with ether and make note of the address on that line.
- Now we will create the sparsebundle file that Time Machine will use. In the same Terminal window, type the following command and press Enter. (NOTE: For the hard drive size, it needs to be the size of your hard drive. If you have a 160GB hard drive, then it will be ‘-size 160G’.)
- hdiutil create –size <Hard Drive size>G –fs HFS+J –volname “<computername> Backup” <computername>_<MACAddress>.sparsebundle
- Replace <Hard drive size> with the size of your hard drive
- Replace <computername> with the name of your computer (Can be found in System Preferences –> Sharing) (Note: You may want to change the name to make it something short and simple.)
- Replace <MACAddress> with the MAC Address you made note of in the previous step, leave out the colons in the address
Step 3: Copy Sparsebundle to server and enable Time Machine
- Close Terminal, then go to the Go menu and click Connect to Server, and type in smb://<ip address or name of server>, then press Enter. Choose the Shared Folder you created and click OK.
- Browse to the location that the sparsebundle file was created in. This will most likely be the root of your user folder. (/users/<your username/)
- Drag this sparsebundle file to the shared folder on the server
- After the file finishes copying, open System Preferences, and then click Time Machine
- Click Select Disk and select the shared folder on your server
- When prompted, enter the user name and password you wish to use and click Connect.
- A countdown of 120 seconds should begin, and then once that countdown finishes, your backup should commence.
Congratulations! You’ve just configured Time Machine with Windows Home Server 2011.
Yesterday, Microsoft made available for subscribers on MSDN and TechNet, Windows Home Server 2011, Small Business Server 2011 Essentials, and Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials (MSDN Only).
If you are a MSDN or TechNet subscriber, I highly recommend that you check out these releases. Please remember that MSDN and TechNet are for EVALUATION purposes only. If you like these products, please support the teams developing them, and buy them if you are going to use them in production.
Here are the hashes for the RTM releases:
Windows Home Server 2011
File Name: en_server_install_disc_windows_home_server_2011_x64_dvd_658487.iso
Windows Small Business Server 2011 Essentials
File Name: en_server_install_disc_windows_small_business_server_2011_essentials_x64_dvd_664391.iso
Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials
File Name: en_server_install_disc_windows_storage_server_essentials_2008_r2_embedded_x64_dvd_658486.iso
To run MSCDCRC against an ISO file that you have downloaded follow these steps.
- Download MSCDCRC to the same folder that you downloaded the Vail ISO to. (Click here to download MSCDCRC)
- Open a Command Prompt window and navigate to the folder from Step 1
- Type “MSCDCRC <ISO filename.iso>” (without quotes)
- The integrity check will take a few moments to complete. After the check is complete compare the CRC and SHA hashes to the hashes posted above
- If the hashes match then you have successfully downloaded the ISO.
This past week, Microsoft released to manufacturing it’s “Colorado” line of products (Aurora, Vail, and Breckenridge). Aurora is now known as Small Business Server 2011 Essentials, Vail is Windows Home Server 2011, and Breckenridge is Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials.
Microsoft is committing to making each of these products available for evaluation purposes only on MSDN and TechNet in early April. Below is a brief comparison of each of the products with link to Microsoft’s datasheets.
I’m extremely excited to see these three products launch, and can’t wait to see what OEMs and ISVs come with for hardware and software on these platforms. Over the next few weeks and months I’ll be sharing more about each of these products and how then can benefit you.
||Windows Home Server 2011
||Windows Small Business Server 2011 Essentials
||Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials
|CPU Socket Support
||1 CPU Socket
||2 CPU Sockets
||1 CPU Socket
|Maximum Supported RAM
||8 GB RAM
||32 GB RAM
||8 GB RAM