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What is everyone's experience with Windows server 2012 R2 Essentials?


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#1 chromebuster

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 09:49 PM

I'm thinking of putting Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials on my network, and then other folks will access it through VPN, but in your experience, is Essentials good for rovers and occasionally connected systems?  (In other words, people would be using my VPN a lot.)  Unless they came over here, that is.  Or is it just better to deploy all of the roles that Essentials enables manually?  (I know how to do it manually, but Essentials offers some features that not having it installed takes away, like automatic backup, health monitoring, and remote web access.)  Do you find that with the Windows server Essentials Experience role installed on a standard or datacenter server, even people with lots of IT knowledge are using it?  Somebody said something along those lines today.  Thanks for any feedback. 


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#2 Sneakycyber

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Posted 21 March 2014 - 05:19 PM

I recently read an article (today actually brought about by your topic :) ) This  Should answer your questions, and thank you for asking I learned alot from the article  :thumbup2:


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#3 chromebuster

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Posted 21 March 2014 - 11:51 PM

I'll try it and see what I think of it.  My most difficult task is I think going to be getting Active Directory to replicate over VPN.  Do you use Windows server 2012 R2 Essentials under the experience role as well?  I ask because that article talked more about licensing, and that's not really my issue.  I'm more concerned about the advantages of features and whether it's a difficult setup when you have rovers and domain controllers at different sites. 


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#4 JohnnyJammer

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Posted 23 March 2014 - 10:25 PM

just set the replication to an hourly update or even more like 3 hours in sites & services. Just note if you have a lot of changes IE(DNS population, new users, sharepermissions or DFSR) it wont replicate immediatley. make sure you set up the IP Subnets in sites & services and everythign should be fine. Make sure also that the Forest domain role is set to 2008 before joining the 2012 (From memory it wont join unless the role is raised to 2008 anyway).


Edited by JohnnyJammer, 23 March 2014 - 10:25 PM.


#5 chromebuster

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 11:31 AM

I'm sorry for the late reply, but I should tell you that I've changed the roles around for both the servers that I have.  I think i'm taking out Windows Server essentials, because as I learned from further research, Essentials, no matter in which method it is deployed, is really for internal networks, not networks like ours that span the country.  So I figure I'll reconfigure the Dell PowerEdge to hold the web site, since that's what I originally bought the server for three years ago.  I'll make my older machine the domain controller, VPN, and file server. Unfortunately though, we're going to have mixed domain controllers in the network, my older machine being the only one that will run windows server 2008 R2, simply because it's actually only a Dell Dimension E510, not an actual server, and there are no drivers to make it run Windows server 2012 R2.  Unless you guys know of a way to force that computer to run the latest?  If you do, then that'd be great, for as my friend says, "standardize across the enterprise."  But in this case it's either that, and use a down-level OS, or kill my dell Dimension, and I don't want to do that. 


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#6 JohnnyJammer

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 10:41 PM

Generally if i have critical roels on physicals, i use vmware convertor to replicate/backup/create VM backups so if the server goes down i can fire up a Vmware workstation or player and start running the server while i rebuild. This isnt recomended for domain controllers for odvious reasons but for most other roles its fine and down time is enxt to nothing.



#7 technonymous

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Posted 10 April 2014 - 06:18 AM

I suppose you would have to factor in all of the multiple roles the server is doing and if it can handle the load. As others have said check in the user/device cals.


Edited by technonymous, 10 April 2014 - 06:38 AM.





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