I’m prevented from talking publicly about the next version of Microsoft Server products, but now that Microsoft have announced the public beta of Windows Home Server aka Vail, I can at least talk about it 🙂
I would HIGHLY recommend that ALL SMB IT Professionals look closely at the Vail beta. Why? Well think about the move to the cloud for many clients and about how Vail might well fit into the smaller client environments, allowing them central control over their files, backups of machines and so on. Vail is something Microsoft have been working on for some time and I can see how we might use this technology in our current client environments. Sure it does not have Active Directory, but honestly – when did you last use Group Policy to do anything meaningful in a 10 workstation network?
Get onto the beta TODAY here
Mark Berry says
Glad to hear about the new version. However: “…when did you last use Group Policy to do anything meaningful in a 10 workstation network?” I use Group Policy heavily at a client with 5 PCs and a Server 2003 R2. For example, today I plan to add a policy to disable Adobe Reader’s PDF /Launch capability to defeat the newest PDF viruses. Group policy opens the correct firewall ports for Remote Desktop. Group policy removes the Shut Down button from remote sessions. Group policy disables auto-play on USB devices. Group policy configures roaming profiles. And what about controlling logons and passwords through Active Directory? I _also_ use WHS in this environment for backups. For me the question would be, how much of what I am doing with group policy and AD could I accomplish in other ways, maybe using the scripting tools of a Remote Management and Monitoring solution (Zenith / Kaseya / Hounddog)?
Wayne Small says
Fair comment Mark. The majority of people in the smaller end of town don’t use GPO though and therefore my comment was more an indication of the fact that they do not and that Vail’s ability to NOT be a DC or added to a domain is not a restriction from them using it in an SMB environment as a server for small clients.
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