Critical Data Protection

File History

File History periodically (every hour by default) scans the file system for changes and creates a copy on the server. It simplifies the recovery of files, accidently deleted or overwritten, without the need for an administrator's assistance.

Client Computer Backups

Configured to run daily on each PC that's connected to the Essentials environment, client computer backup stores your backup data centrally on the server. This type of automatic protection enables you to restore individual files and folders, or an entire PC, as you would do when replacing a faulty hard drive or upgrading from an older hard disk drive.

Server Backup

You can add a hard disk drive to the server, either internally or externally, and designate it as a backup destination as opposed to server storage. Windows Storage Server 2012 R2 Essentials will then use this drive to back up all the data stored on the server, including both the operating system files and your business data.

NTFS Online Scan and Repair (CHKDSK)

CHKDSK in Windows Storage Server 2012 R2 Essentials introduces a new approach that prioritizes volume availability and allows for the detection of corruption while the volume remains online with data available.

Robust Windows Server Security

Flexible anti-virus support and complete disk protection with BitLocker Drive Encryption for robust data protection.

Scalability Improvements

Storage Spaces

Storage Spaces delivers Software Defined Storage (SDS). Easily group multiple hard drives into a storage pool and protect data in the pool, without the need to understand RAID. Storage Spaces enables cost-effective, highly available, scalable, and flexible storage solutions for business-critical deployments.

Data Deduplication

Controls data growth by removing duplicate data. Allows the server to efficiently store, transfer and backup less data.

Integrated Cloud Services

Integration with Microsoft Azure Backup

Integration with Microsoft Azure Backup complements your local server backups with a cloud-based service that stores your business-critical data in a highly secure, offsite datacenter.

Integration with Office 365

Windows Storage Server 2012 R2 Essentials provides the option to integrate with Office 365 or a third-party Hosted Exchange provider. Administrators need only create a user's account once — an associated mailbox can be automatically created at the same time. The Essentials server syncs passwords with Office 365, helping end users enjoy a seamless sign-on experience whether they are accessing local or cloud-based resources.

Centralized Management

Essentials Administrative Dashboard

The Dashboard is the command and control center for Windows Storage Server 2012 R2 Essentials. Designed with a streamlined look and feel and enhanced with improved functionality, the Dashboard is used to perform all the management and maintenance tasks you need to control how your server behaves on your network.

Connecting Your Clients with Launchpad

The Launchpad is a small application that provides authenticated users with access to key features of the server, including shared files and media, add-ins, and Remote Web Access. The Launchpad also provides real-time information and notifications about the health of the computer.

Printer Server Support

Print Services enables you to share printers on a network, as well as to centralize print server and network printer management tasks. It also enables you to migrate print servers and deploy printer connections using a Group Policy

Health Monitoring

Health status notifies you of issues or problems related to computer backups, server storage, low disk space, and more. Health reports can be automatically generated on a scheduled basis and emailed directly to local administrators or external partners.

No Windows Server CALs Required

No Windows Server Client Access Licenses (CALs) required benefits users the ability to access the services of the server without a permit. With this, business users will not have to go through the trouble of obtaining authorization of per-user or per-device. With no CALs required, users are able to access data on demand, without the troubles of CALs.

Directory Services

Windows Storage Server 2012 R2 Essentials offers an affordable server solution that can be used as the primary infrastructure server in multi-server environments.

User Groups Management

You can create user groups and add user accounts to them. User account permissions can be managed through their user group memberships.

Secure and Fast Remote Access

Remote Web Access (RWA)

RWA enables end users to work remotely from virtually anywhere using almost any device. A website for RWA delivers a highly secure way for users and administrators to use their web browser to access files and folders, client computers, and the servers running in your environment.

Remote Domain Join

Windows Storage Server 2012 R2 Essentials turns setting up virtual private networking (VPN) into a painless wizard-driven process of just a few clicks, and simplifies the management of VPN access for users. Client computers can leverage a VPN connection to remotely join the Windows Storage Server 2012 R2 Essentials environment without the need to come into the office.

My Server App

My Server app provides a modern and touch-friendly way for end users to access files and folders, as well as perform light administration tasks. The app runs on Windows and Windows RT desktops, laptops, and tablet devices.


BranchCache can help you optimize Internet usage, improve performance of networked applications, and reduce traffic on your wide-area network (WAN).

SMB Multi-channel

SMB Multichannel enables file servers to use multiple network connections simultaneously. It facilitates aggregation of network bandwidth and network fault tolerance when multiple paths are available between the SMB 3.0 client and the SMB 3.0 server.

P2P Connectivity

Pre-installed with the Ultimate Package from Orbweb, users will be able to easily transform their Windows NAS into their own personal cloud without network configuration. Enjoy an always accessible cloud experience, while keeping your data in your hands.