Vail is Windows Home Server 2011 – RC Available Now

Today sees the availability of the RC (Release Candidate) of Windows Home Server Vail and the final name of the product has been released too. Drum roll please:

“Windows Home Server 2011”

With Windows Home Server 2011 RC now being available, it means that RTM (Release To Manufacture) is not to far away, and we all should be getting our grubby hands on the final release version very soon.

This RC release is the first publicly released version to include changes in the storage features due to the removal of DE (Drive Extender) and now includes:

  • 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.

WHS2011 Move a Folder Wizard

As you can see in this WHS2011 Learning Bite Video:

  • Data protection also includes daily Server and PC backup, Previous Versions via Shadow copy which lets you return prior versions of existing files (without needing to restore from backup), and a protection feature for pre-defined folders (such as Recorded TV, Videos, Photos) in case these are accidently deleted.

So head on over to the Windows Home Server site on Microsoft’s Connect beta site for a copy of the RC download.

Share this WHS Article with Others:

| |

About the Author

Comments (13)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Stu says:

    No DE, means a no sale for me. With DE removed, I’ll need to go buy several more drives. In that case, I’ll just get a lower cost system.

    MS failed me on this one…

  2. Brian Scholl says:

    So if I have a shared folder bigger than my largest hard drive, say 2TB, I now need to manually split my data into sub-folders and use multiple hard drives. No thanks. WHS v1 works just fine.

    Microsoft, please put drive extender v1 technology into WHS 2011.

  3. William C Bonner says:

    I’m confused about adding drives to this new home server. I was under the impression that drive extender was going away. If I add a new drive to the new home server, will that drive not have files located on it be duplicated?

    If I build the home server with a pair of 2TB drives today, and then want to add a 3TB drive a year from now, will that new drive not be able to duplicate data?

    • Peter says:


      The file duplication has been removed, I assume as it was part of DE. The only way now to duplicate a file is use the Server Backup function. Ie scheduel to backup once a day. This is why people are mentioning using RAID 1 as a replacement for file duplication

      • William C Bonner says:

        The server backup can’t backup to another server over the internet can it?

        If WHS V2 allowed me to set up a server at home and a server at my parents home, and have them backup each other, then I’d by the solution as a backup system in an instant.

        I know I can use a service such as crashpad to backup my home server, but I’m looking for a setup that doesn’t require a third party except as a network carrier.

  4. Pete M says:

    I watched the “storage management” video. I’m amazed the guy could narrate it with a straight face. So from WHS v1, I’ve now got to “upgrade” to suddenly have to care about drive letters again? What does this actually buy me over a straight forward set of network shares on any old windows/linux box? Now, I have to a)care which drive my data is stored on b)manage the duplication of that data and c)I notice in the video that adding new drives aren’t automatically included in the backup profile? This is unbelievably clunky.

    I’m not under any illusion that DE is coming back, it isn’t. However, when they decided to pull it, they clearly made no decision to replace it with anything and whats left is not worth selling – vail doesn’t *do* anything, there is no product here beyond a fancy remote interface to a windows install.

    I think everyone would have been a lot happier is M$ had said “look, we can’t get DE to play nicely, we’re pulling it, but we’re going to push back the vail release to make it work properly”. They didn’t do that, they chopped DE out and the rest just looks like a hack job. Any old pc with samba shares can do what vail does, this thing is pointless.

    • William C Bonner says:

      I still see some value from WHS without drive extender.

      It gives me an automated backup system for my windows clients that runs well, lets me do a bare hardware recovery, as well as fairly easy individual file recovery.

      It gives me a remotely accessible system, that provides remote access to my machines through the NAT router I’ve got installed.

      I have a low power WHSv1 machine running at my parents with a single drive. It provides the backup function for my parents, and I can occasionally connect to their machine and check to make sure that they are being backed up regularly.


  5. Erik says:

    No DE? Bye. DE was the most imporatant reason to buy WHS.

  6. lost server says:

    The remote interface looks great on the Iphone, but the content will not play on the Iphone, not even Itunes content. Does this mean I should just stay with Orb?

  7. matt says:

    Microsoft completely dropped DE with very little, if any, notice. The “Vail” beta testers (including myself), were left high and dry without any hope of retrieving data from the de data disks due to th vail system crashing and a corrupt backup. I sent dozens of emails pleaing for someone to help recover data from vail beta de disks that contained generations of digitized, irreplaceable family memories, among other media, documents, basically everthing. The message was clear and each and every response had the same basic message, which was Sorry, but we don’t care and are not responsible based on the beta testers license agreement and warings. I still have my de disks, untouched hoping that i will find some hope on the net soon. Thanks Microsoft. We have decided that this product has too many issues and the customer support has been less than satisfactory.

Leave a Reply

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a Gravatar.