Announcing Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials!

Guten Morgen from Germany! Joel Garcia blogging from TechEd Berlin, where we are announcing and showing off Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials, the newest member of the Storage Server product family. The Windows Storage Server Blog lives here.

Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials is part of the Windows Storage Server family, which is built upon the Windows Server 2008 R2 operating system to provide a platform for network attached storage appliances. Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials includes storage technologies enabling you to grow with your storage requirements while providing an easy to use backup and recovery solution. Windows Storage Server Essentials is specifically developed to address the storage needs for small businesses up to 25 users without the need for specialized IT skills. Configuring Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials is easy: remove from box, connect to network, power up and access the device from a browser to configure it. The management dashboard makes it simple to manage, maintain and monitor the health of the Windows Storage Server Essentials device, and client computers.

Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials as well as the rest of the Storage Server product family are available through hardware partners.

Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials can be used as a new server for storage or to add additional storage capacity. For information on this please look at the SBS Blog.


Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials addresses the requirements of small businesses with the following features:

Easy to use Backup and Recovery

Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials helps protect business data by providing daily automatic and consolidated backup for your PCs, as well as Mac clients. Specialized IT skills are not required to manage the small business storage backup and recovery requirements. Users can easily perform recovery on individual files, folders, entire client PC or even the entire Windows Storage Server Essentials device.

Active Directory Domain Join

Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials can easily integrate into the Microsoft identity infrastructure and that ensures that there is secure access for all the important small business data. This is done easily and through the management dashboard.

Management Dashboard

Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials provides a dashboard that helps manage, maintain and monitor the health of the server, and client computers. Organizations can provision users, file shares and administer 3rd party add-ins without the need for specialized IT skills.

Centralized Storage

Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials provides storage to keep all your important documents in one place. Every member of the organization can access what they need in one centralized place from their PCs securely.

Plug and Play Storage and File Services

As a preconfigured appliance Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials is ready-to-go right out of the box. File services are pre-configured and deployment is quick and painless, just plug in power and Ethernet, then complete the simple setup from a client computer and you are done.

Remote Web Access

Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials lets small business users access their data securely from any common browser from almost any device. This will ensure that even when users are away from their business network that they have access to their important data.


Leverage the community of add-ins that help extend the storage and file capabilities of the Windows Storage Server Essentials device in the areas of management, data protection, and monitoring.

To see further information on how this release integrates in Microsoft’s SMB solution portfolio, please refer to today’s SBS Blog.

Comments (10)
  1. Anonymous says:

    We implement SBS 2008 on many sites, most of them consist of more than 25 users. The clients are spread over different sites however.

    Could we place an essential storage server on the sites with a maximum of 25 users per site (back-up of clients, file replication)? Or does the maximum apply to the number of users in the domain?

  2. WarrenG2 says:

    It would be really great to see MS come out with a storage product that allows us to back up entire systems over the Internet. We have lots of customers with SBS servers that we would like to be able to back up their systems to a central location. MS appears to have the best backup technology, it just doesn't seem to work the way we need it to. A targeted solution for MSP's is what we really need!

  3. Anonymous says:

    ARGH! Why no Server as a Client backup option? Are you kidding me?

  4. Wayne Small says:

    This is a great solution for client PC backup in a small business or remote office environment – thanks Microsoft

  5. Geoff says:

    The 25 user limit is pretty lame, you should be able to at least buy additional 5 user "packs" up to something more reasonable, like 50. I have a small business this would be perfect for but I have 31 users, meaning I either have to make the jump to a far more expensive offering from Microsoft or avoid Microsoft altogether.

    Guess which one I'm picking.

  6. Lowell says:

    Does this include Single Instance Storage technology both for PC backups AND for data stored in file shares?

  7. T says:

    Maybe they'll implement crazy features like backup integrity checks versus the crapshoot that is WHS v1 backup/restore.     WHS is a great and inspired system when it works.   I've been a fan for 3 years.  However one's backups can complete without errors for a few months, but then try to restore a folder and discover some or all PC's have mysterious backup database errors (on the server) and are completely unreadable (these errors only logged when you tried to open a backup).   This is typically called the 81% mount issue as the WHS tries to mount a Z: drive that contains the volume you are opening, and 81% is where the backup is checked for errors.    

    The standard reply is run chkdsk blah blah blah and try again.  Running chkdsk is the WHS tech support equivalent to rebooting your PC to solve all your problems.    After that fails it's "delete your entire backup database and start over".    Microsoft has only the single database "repair" button, but good luck with that fixing it, and it also will choose to delete data.     (Note: all backed up PC's share a single data database structure.  Single point of failure.)

    No way that's going to fly for a business.  It's torture enough for home use.  

  8. Finally the wait is over, homeserver backup fuctionality built with the small business in mind and domain joinable to boot!

  9. DarrenMcBride says:

    Jafar78 – You can share a folder on the device and use it as a standard NAS to send the built-in server backup .VHD files to.  Add a 3rd party utility like Backup Assist to make it more manageable and monitorable.  Or storagecraft if you have deeper pockets.  Either way assuming you have room on the 2TB drive creating a shared folder for server backups on the drive is do-able.  Gwen Alfa the 25 user is per WBA box (Highly reliable Systems implementation of WSSE) and you can even use multiple WBAs (say 3 to cover 75 users) however it's a good idea to put groups of 25 users in Active directory so that the WSSE console doesn't bark at you about exceeding license limits (Not a problem just annoying to get messages when you have >25 users in your AD). Lowell NO – single instance storage or de-dupe is only for workstation backup.  shared folders are standard old windows shares  Warren-G  Look into High-Rely WBA editions with offsite replication software preloaded (storagecraft SCIM, GoodSync etc)

  10. David Wolf 75 says:

    Are there any Antivirus Products that can work with Storage Server 2008 and help would be nice thanks

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