Windows Server 2012 Beta Essentials works fine with PCs in the domain or in a workgroup
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:
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:
- Windows Server 2012 Beta Essentials
- 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
- 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:
Enjoy the movie, recorded in real-time, with no edits or cuts (other than some IDs blurred out).