Windows Home Server "Vail" and "Aurora" beta available

Microsoft today made available the beta versions of Windows Home Server "Vail" and "Aurora" -- two significantly different products that fall under the same umbrella -- on Microsoft Connect.

"Aurora" is an edition based on Windows Home Server but designed with the cloud in mind, and allows the use of cloud-hosted exchange services, as well as SharePoint 2010 services. Aurora is designed for organizations with 25 users or less, fit between the "Home Server" and "Small Business server products" and are only basic domain controllers. Ars Technica adds that the cloud "doesn't do so well [at] file serving or backup provisioning" and Aurora includes extra features to help with this, using the power that is found in Windows Home Server for the "flexible, replicated storage" capabilities.

Home Server is an edition of Windows Server that is targeted at home users, designed to allow end users' to run a server with little to no knowledge. Windows Home Server "Vail" has been available for some time now, but the beta that's now available is an updated version of the original beta release. No word on new features just yet, but the Vail itself boasts Windows 7 compatibility, a new dashboard and addon framework, homegroup support and new server health utilities.

Ars also warns that the new build of Home Server is subject to a number of data loss bugs, but this sort of thing is expected when running a beta build. For more information on the issues, read the release notes.

Windows Home Server "Vail" is available on Microsoft Connect here, and "Aurora" is available on Connect here.

What do you think of the new products? Let us know in the comments!

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