Replacement for Windows Home Server 2011


Yeah – I’m one of the nerds that used (and still does) Windows Home Server 2011. At the time, it was perfect for my Windows 7 and Windows 8 machines – especially with the automated client backup (which I have had occasion to use more than once). However, with Windows 10 – I’ve found that the client software breaks every time there’s one of of the biannual feature updates. To fix it, I have to completely uninstall and reinstall the client. And in any case, the backup functionality doesn’t seem to work well for Windows 10 machines.

I also use MyMovies for my collection (I have one remaining Windows 7 machine for Media Center – me and two other guys in the world), if I have to – I can move that from WHS directly onto the Media Center machine.

To make the long story short (too late) – I’m looking into something to completely replace WHS. I need the shared folders and the automated client backup functionality. I’d like to be able to host a Minecraft server (the new Bedrock server, not a Java one).

What I want to do is replace WHS with a decent 4-drive NAS (like a QNAP or a Synology) but if there’s a decent server software replacement (anyone try Amahi?) that I can install on my WHS hardware, I’d be up for that too.

Any recommendations? Thanks in advance!

Comments (14)

14 responses to “Replacement for Windows Home Server 2011”

  1. lwetzel

    I would be very interested in your progress. I used to have a Windows Home Server 2011. I have considered trying to set up something again. Hope you keep us informed.

  2. lvthunder

    I really like the Synology units. I'm not sure they can run your Minecraft server though.

  3. skborders

    I still have a WHS 2011 too and would like to do something with it. I would like to know what you end up doing.

  4. Poppapete

    I moved to Windows Server 2012R2E (in skipdomainjoin mode) when MS stopped supporting home server. It was too time consuming to maintain so I just use W10 on the box as a File Server, Media Server and Backup Server. All those NAS's just don't have enough OOMPH. There are many great posts out there on how to achieve this but IMO the best guy is Terry Walsh from "We Got Served". I have recently connected to my W10 server using ASUS 10-Gigabit Adapters and wow does it fly.

    • evox81

      In reply to Poppapete:

      This was my thought as well. A regular Windows 10 machine would check all of these boxes. Shared folders and backup storage is easy. Minecraft server obviously wouldn't be a problem. And when you lay Media Center to rest, the machine could easily pull double (triple?) duty as a Plex server or similar.

      • vernonlvincent

        In reply to evox81:

        I am probably one of the last WMC holdouts - I have so many ripped DVDs and BluRays, and I really love having my library available via MyMovies. That really is the primary purpose for me using WHS 2011 as it's the repository for the movies. The backup is the secondary (although important) purpose.

    • Sprtfan

      In reply to Poppapete:

      I did pretty much the same thing. I moved to Windows Server 2012R2E and eventually moved to W10. I even used the guide that Terry Walsh put out a few years ago. I don't think his site is around anymore though.

  5. brian_fogg

    I too faced the situation earlier in the year. After much soul searching, I ended up migrating to the Amahi home server offering (Linux-based platform). The price is right (free), it ran on my existing hardware, and since I had two WHS 2011 servers, I was able to sync files to one of the pair, upgrade the other, and then rinse and repeat the other way. Took a bit of time to plan it out (and to sharpen my Fedora skills, I generally am a Mint fan, but I digress), but so far, so good. I hated to give up on WHS (I started with WHS v1 many, many moons ago), but so far the family has not noticed a difference since the shares look and feel just like the shares they are used to using from their Windows devices. There is an app (Amahi-speak for an "extension" service that can be purchased and installed for a nominal fee) for hosting a Minecraft server, but I've not used it, so I can't speak to it.

    Beyond file shares, I use VEEAM's backup utility for the family's machines (mix of laptops and desktop, scheduled to run automatically) to a share on the Amahi server and added-on Amahi's OpenVPN client for remote access (so like the Minecraft app, this also had a nominal fee). If anyone is interested I can provide more detail. At the end of the day, I wanted to do more that a NAS had to offer (I looked at FreeNAS to leverage my existing hardware), and Amahi seemed to be the best option for my situation. I've even gone through the Amahi 10 to 11 upgrade so I feel comfortable that I can rely on it going forward. Time will tell...

  6. simont

    If you are comfortable setting up your own machine, you can try FreeNAS. It has the option for running Minecraft (Although I don't know if it the version you want). You can use Plex to organize your media and it has several different backup software types as plugins as well. It uses ZFS as a file system so it has less chance of your data being corrupted.

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