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Alternatives to Essentials? RRS feed

  • Question

  • After reading about the 2019 Essentials being crippled, I loose my ability to do centralized backups and remote web access. Two critical components for me. Does anyone know, outside of the device remaining my domain controller, what options I have for centralized backups and remote web access that would be comparable to what Essentials has provided up till now?  I know I could stick with 2016 for a while but have played that game with the elimination of Windows Media Center and Xbox extenders and for this product just want to move onto something else as close as possible.  Appreciate thoughts.

    Thanks.

    JR

    Friday, December 7, 2018 5:08 PM

All replies

  • I don't think that there are any (decent) replacements for Windows Server Essentials, but I can tell you that the Windows Server Essentials Experience (WSEE) can quite readily be installed onto Windows Server 2019 Standard or Datacenter. It runs wonderfully (including its client computer backup and Remote Web Access features). I've written up a detailed step-by-step walkthrough titled "Installing Windows Server Essentials Experience On Windows Server 2019" that can be found over on the "News" section of my website. Just search the web for my user name and you'll easily find my website. If you'd like to see some screenshots of WSEE running on Windows Server 2019, then just take look at the following thread of this TechNet forum:

    Windows server 2019 essentials

    MIKE (The Office Maven)

    Friday, December 7, 2018 10:17 PM
  • Not upgrading or migrating to Windows Server 2019 is the best response to Microsoft because that will cost them money. Windows Server 2016 + Essentials is supported until 1/12/2027.

    Mariëtte Knap
    www.server-essentials.com | Linkedin | Migrations done the easy way | Updated migration guide: Migrate SBS 2011 to Windows Server 2016 Essentials

    Please remember to mark the replies as answers if they help and unmark them if they provide no help.

    Saturday, December 8, 2018 7:13 AM
  • I 100% agree with Mariëtte. Kick'em where it hurts!

    If Microsoft doesn't want to listen to their customers, then don't buy their stuff. It's just that simple.

    MIKE (The Office Maven)

    P.S. THE CLOUD SUCKS!!!

    Saturday, December 8, 2018 5:43 PM
  • hi,
    Thanks for your feedback. I can not download server 2019 essentials evaluation and install it to confirm your issue.

    https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/evalcenter/evaluate-windows-server-2019-essentials

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    Monday, December 10, 2018 2:33 PM
    Moderator
  • Is there any progress on your question?

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    Tuesday, December 18, 2018 2:19 PM
    Moderator
  • Now that Microsoft has now serially abandoned both the SOHO (WHS) and SB (WSE) storage/backup markets, there really is no Windows-based replacement. (Microsoft's solution for non-corporate users is to just use a Microsoft account and OneDrive, and honestly, I think that's a pretty sensible approach for most consumers.)

    If for some reason just running WSE 2016 won't work for you (and let's face, *eventually* we'll all have to migrate off of it), than you'll need to look at various Linux-based NAS offerings. Most have some sort of PC backup solution, though it may not be as elegant as WSE. If you are a business customer and rely on Active Directory, then no Linux-based NAS can be a domain controller of course, but some may provide Active Directory integration. If so they could tie into an existing Windows domain network.

    • Edited by Gary Voth Friday, January 18, 2019 10:11 AM
    Wednesday, December 19, 2018 3:11 PM
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    Tuesday, December 25, 2018 8:33 AM
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  • If you have new update ,you can post your issue again in new case in this forum.

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    Monday, December 31, 2018 10:25 AM
    Moderator
  • Thanks for all the input.  I may stick with 2016 for now.  Honestly, after the fiasco with Xbox 360 MCE and them discontinuing the whole media center experience I'd really rather find a full replacement or replacements.  Still sitting here with XBox 360's and a Windows 7 PC with a cable card for all my TV but no updates anymore, plus the XBox 360 when they fail I have to buy used ones to keep going.  No super good alternative to this other than going to Comcast and going cable box.  2016 Essentials is just more of that.  I guess these decent technologies are considered nitch, and even though it's excellently done, doesn't get the adoption.

    Mike, I'm going to look at what you wrote up as well and see if it makes sense to go that route.  From what I read here 2016 Essentials will be supported for many years, but loading the 2016 functionality into 2019 may not work after an update or something.  But I will see when I read how it works.

    Thanks.

    JR

    Saturday, May 18, 2019 12:01 AM
  • Side question, probably for Mike.  I know this is frowned upon, but hard to get around with Essentials being the main DC, what would happen if you did an in place upgrade to 2019 assuming that's an option right now?  Would it strip the functionality or leave it behind?  Or because technically there is no essentials version of 2019 you can't do an Upgrade?  Hate to redo my entire domain all over again.

    Thanks.

    JR

    Saturday, May 18, 2019 12:08 AM
  • >>From what I read here 2016 Essentials will be supported for many years, but loading the 2016 functionality into 2019 may not work after an update or something.<<

    I highly doubt that any Windows Update that's released for Windows Server 2019 would prevent WSEE from running on it (unless Microsoft does so intentionally). Windows Server 2019 and Windows Server 2016 are so similar that I don't foresee any issues in that area (but I guess ya never know). WSEE has been running wonderfully on Windows Server 2019 for more than eight months now, and there hasn't been a single hiccup even with the crazy number of updates Microsoft has been releasing for it since it first RTM'd. It's still solid as a rock!

    >>I know this is frowned upon, but hard to get around with Essentials being the main DC, what would happen if you did an in place upgrade to 2019 assuming that's an option right now?  Would it strip the functionality or leave it behind?<<

    You can indeed do an in-place upgrade from Windows Server 2016 Essentials to Windows Server 2019 Essentials, but alas, all of the Essentials bits will indeed get stripped from it (i.e. the WSEE server role gets removed). All you'll be left with is the abomination that is Windows Server 2019 Essentials (i.e. a crappy non-essential version of Essentials!).


    Saturday, May 18, 2019 1:19 AM
  • Thanks Mike,

    I would almost like to get rid of my Essentials and as your article says, go to Windows Server standard.  Never liked that Essentials always has to remain the primary DC.  Sorry for the below but sounds interesting and thinking of making a go at it. Here's what I'm questioning.

    1. Could I create a virtual of Windows 2019 Server and add it as a DC

    2. Remove Essentials from the domain and elevate the server from 1 above as the primary.

    3. Take an image of the VM and restore it to the "C:" drive of the original Essentials server.

    4. Remediate drivers and the like assuming I can get it to boot being an array controller.

    But here's the thing.  If I can do this, is there any way to:

    1. Restore settings like RWA, certs, backup jobs, etc from the old system?

    2. Any way to link the existing backups that were done for computers to the new new server or do you need to start over?

    3. Is the connect url still there to enroll devices into the domain or do you have to do standard domain configuration?

    4. Will the existing domain computers continue to work as is or have to be re-enrolled?

    5. I assume now unlike essentials, I could switch any of my DC's to primary now?

    Thanks.

    JR

    Saturday, May 18, 2019 2:04 PM