Windows Home Server 'Vail' leaks online

An early version of Microsoft's next Windows Home Server edition, "Vail", has leaked online.

The build, marked 7360, is a community technology preview (CTP) that Microsoft shared privately with select beta testers. According to the description by Microsoft, "Vail" is the next generation version of Windows Home Server.

"Vail builds upon both on-premises and cloud technologies to deliver a best-in-class solution for home networks and SOHO. Out of the box, Vail provides simple file sharing, remote access, home computer backup, expandable storage through Drive Extender, and media streaming both inside and outside the home. Vail also contains an application catalog and product-wide extensibility model so that new services such as anti-virus, online sharing, and home automation can be seamlessly and easily added to the solution. Vail will be available pre-installed on systems by OEM partners, and a standalone software package will also be available for those who want to build their own systems."

Mary Jo Foley is reporting that the build is already at CTP version 4 and may have been distributed to beta testers some time ago. The build is currently available on torrent and file sharing websites.

Image Credit: @deeper2k - Twitter

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Pretty interesting how the credits for a screenshots I have taken and published on another community a few days ago go to another person and that the same screenshot gets a neowin watermark....
http://www.betaarchive.co.uk/imageupload/1264444043.or.909523.png

Are there any clues as to whether this will be x64? I'm seriously hoping so, it would be nice to get Sharepoint 2010 Foundation Server up and running on it.

)-(orus said,
Are there any clues as to whether this will be x64? I'm seriously hoping so, it would be nice to get Sharepoint 2010 Foundation Server up and running on it.

yes it should be since its based on server 2008r2 which doesn't support 32bit

The pooled storage and duplication is fine and all, but when will they include some kind of seamless RAID5 support? To have that in a simplified UI transparent to the user would be a killer app. Is it that software implementations aren't reliable enough?

netizen said,
The pooled storage and duplication is fine and all, but when will they include some kind of seamless RAID5 support?
There is a downside to RAID 5 that really makes it bad for implementing here. The bad sector rate is 1 in 12 trillion (aka, 1 in 12 TB). Any RAID5 array would have a near 100% chance in failing to rebuild because of that. So for home servers of TB area, RAID 5 just wouldn't work.

Unless I'm not understanding you, 1 in 12TB doesn't seem bad at all?! We're talking home users here, so I doubt many people would have more than a couple of TB. I have an obscenely large media collection yet I can't see it approaching even 5TB for a few years yet.

when i first found out WHS doesnt use RAID i was pretty disappointed, but when you learn about how drive extender works and all the positives for it, especially since this is a home product, it makes a lot of sense.

things like being able to extend the storage pool at any time by adding a new disk, of any size and speed, and having file based replication across multiple disks are big advantages. if a disk fails or has issue, you can always remove any other disk, place it in another computer and browse all files.

what would be cool though is doing Raid1 for the first disk which has the system partition, mostly for availability

my question is, when you have one of these home servers, which i do (1st generation) and then you have to replace the server, for whatever reason, how can you transfer all that data to the new computer without putting it on one massive esata drive and transferring? Is that the easiest way? also isn't the OS on the 1st hard drive that is installed on the home server? If that fails, what happens? I back everything up to the home server, but worry that one day it will fail and I won't know how to get my data over to another one...

hmm well for one the quickest way for you to backup data to a new home server would be to place the hard drives from the old server into the new server and just do an internal transfer to transfer.

the os is located on the first hard drive, but it is on a different partition from the data. so the OS can be corrupted or whatever and still not impact the data on it. the only way you could actually loose data on the first hard drive is if the drive itself physically fails. however if you setup the server to make copies of everything then you won't lose any data, unless we're talking about a server with only one hard drive.

that's my main problem at least I only have one hard drive still so not feeling as safe about it as i would if the drive bays were full.

Edited by macrosslover, Jan 28 2010, 8:47am :

I bought one of the Asus TS Mini SOHO's and absolutely love it. The Windows 2003 backend is a little old so can't wait until this releases. I just recently switched out the single 500 GB that came with it and replaced with 2 1.5 TB Green WD drives with duplication turned on. love this box! Can't beat only 23 watts usage (not including drives).

Dr. Albert Spamstein said,
I call BS on the screenshot. Microsoft ALWAYS uses "Codename".... not "Code Name"....

The build is currently available on torrent and file sharing websites.....

Dr. Albert Spamstein said,
I call BS on the screenshot. Microsoft ALWAYS uses "Codename".... not "Code Name"....

I would have though so too, but it was confirmed back in 2008! http://www.mediasmarthome.com/blog/entry/10685/WHS-Veil-to-include-Windows-Media-Center-Integration/

It may seem like overkill, but i always prefer to use the proper Server OS. I love Active Directory and the control it gives me. That said, i haven't given Home Server a proper go as of yet, perhaps in the future i will.

Axon said,
I know it's unrealistic, but I wouldn't mind being able to run some form of Exchange on that OS.

It would be handy, but Exchange plugs into active directory, i guess they could build 'exchange lite' for standalone servers.

Regression_88 said,
Great... now I have to build another computer. :D
I just built my HTPC the past weekend lol.

I'm reluctant to built a home server because I didn't like or didn't see the need for an special OS.

Maybe if they add more features to it, I will change my mind.

Interesting thing is that if the server is able to record HDTV shows on it's own, does that mean that any computer will be able to view live TV? Right now, only the computer with the HDTV tuners installed and true MCE extenders have access to the live stream. Other computers can only watch shows that were previously recorded or actively recording.

dagamer34 said,
Interesting thing is that if the server is able to record HDTV shows on it's own, does that mean that any computer will be able to view live TV? Right now, only the computer with the HDTV tuners installed and true MCE extenders have access to the live stream. Other computers can only watch shows that were previously recorded or actively recording.

Not Entirely true. There are plugins for Microsoft Mediaroom 2.0 to link in with Media Center. All you need is an Ethernet cable, and a subscription from your provider.

Chrono951 said,
Is this version built off the 2008 R2 base? I really don't like dealing with the 2003 base.

Yep, it's based on 2008 R2 (Windows 7)

thealexweb said,
The original Home server didn't have a start menu and task bar didn't it, this new version seems act like a real OS.

That's just the w7 taskbar. Its the connector application which is shown in the screenshot.

thealexweb said,
The original Home server didn't have a start menu and task bar didn't it, this new version seems act like a real OS.

that's not completely true. if you made a remote desktop connection to your home server then you would gain access to the server 2003 UI, which is well just like any other Windows OS UI.

The OEM front end such as HP, not sure about Acer's front end or w/e, is what avoided the typical windows ui and for good reasons IMO. If a novice user started messing around in the windows UI which does give you full access to the system you could f up your system bad.

willdev said,

That's just the w7 taskbar. Its the connector application which is shown in the screenshot.

thats not just the w7 taskbar, its the taskbar from WHS Vail. its a full OS based on 2008 R2, just like the original WHS was a full OS based on 2003


thealexweb said,
The original Home server didn't have a start menu and task bar didn't it, this new version seems act like a real OS.

Yes it does. I've been running it for over two years, directly connected to a monitor. The OS is built off of the Server 2003 platform