Windows Server 2012 Beta Essentials works fine with PCs in the domain or in a workgroup

 

Notice “pbraren” Domain login at left, and Windows 8 with Workgroup local login at right

 

This testing was done with build 8400 of Windows Server 2012 Beta Essentials, but will very likely apply to the released version of Windows Server 2012 Essentials.

This new small business geared server is admittedly putting more work on the Domain (Active Directory) admin, particularly those admins more accustomed to Windows Home Server 2011′s simple workgroup model. This overhead is evident in the more advanced (optional) areas of configuration, such as VPN setup called Direct Access, explained here:
blogs.technet.com/b/meamcs/archive/2012/05/03/windows-server-2012-direct-access-part-1-what-s-new.aspx 

But the good news is that the Domain complexity can be entirely hidden from the average PC user whose system you may be backing up= This video demonstrates this clearly.

The video has 3 systems highlighted:

  1. Windows Server 2012 Beta Essentials
  2. Windows 8 x64 Release Preview, showing the sysadmin’s PC joining the domain (automatic part of the connector install) for automatic first backup, then going back to workgroup model, but still able to use shares and the dashboard and do daily backups
  3. Windows 8 x64 Release Preview, showing a user’s PC joining the domain (automatic part of the connector install) for the automatic first backup, then going back to workgroup model , also showing all the expected functionality intact

See also the active dialogue going on in the active Home Server Show forums here:
homeservershow.com/forums/index.php?/topic/4194-windows-server-2012-essentials-to-replace-windows-home-server-2012/page__st__80#entry43597

Enjoy the movie, recorded in real-time, with no edits or cuts (other than some IDs blurred out).

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  • Jack

    great video, thank you for putting it together

  • Arthur

    WHS2011 with workgroups is able to backup a windows computer which belongs to another domain. Normally it is not possible to connect a computer to two domains. Has this changed with WHS2012 to make it possible to backup a windows 8 computer when it is already in another domain?

    • Poppapete

      WHS2012 does not exist and never will. WHS has been killed by microsoft. Windows Server 2012 Beta Essentials is purported to replace WHS but is “more complex”. That is the problem for WHS users.

      • tinkererguy

        No, you are likely still right, I believe it’s still a problem.

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