Unfortunately, WHS is showing it's age, and has been de-supported. This was running fine for us until very recently, since two of the limitations were no big deal:
- No support for larger than 2TB disks (6TB of local storage was plenty, thank you)
- No support for UEFI machines (we didn't have any, except for various Windows tablets, which didn't store any data worth backing up)
- Drop any set of storage spaces disks into any Windows 8.1 PC, and you'll be able to crack open and view all the files. This sort of commodity hardware data storage is invaluable.
- You can mix and match drive sizes into a storage pool, and then create virtual disks that can be mirrored (RAID 1), striped (RAID 0), or with parity (RAID 5) across the multiple drives. This is very nice, since you can then upgrade storage slowly. You can even designate spare disks and "hot spares", to automate failover. This effectively lets you tell Windows to have different data policies for different type of data, for instance asking for photos to be mirrored while videos are striped.
- You can even thin-provision virtual disks, and have Windows warn you when you need to add storage.
- OS updates will not work if you have secure boot turned on. Turn off secure boot.
- WSE 2012R2 (or any version of Windows) will not allow you to use excess space on the boot drive as part of a storage spaces cluster. So effectively, your 4 drive bay server is now a 3 bay server! This isn't a big deal if you have 4TB disks in the server, since that's plenty of storage, but it does make the server smaller than you expected.
- WSE 2012R2 is a business server. So the first thing it does is it sets up a domain. This is no big deal as it's very automated and easy. However when you connect an existing computer to a WSE server, the first thing it does is to register the new machine to the server, with the server providing the domain. This is no big deal with Windows 7: your login prompt changes so you have to hit control-alt-delete to login, but there's no difference otherwise. With Windows 8, if you previously logged in using a Microsoft cloud account, then if you login using domains, you lose all the cloud customizations you used to have! The solution to this is to hack the registry on the Windows 8.1 machine to skip joining the domain. If you were truly running a small business like a dental office, this isn't what you want (you wouldn't want your employees logging on with their cloud accounts), but for a home user who's upgrading from WHS, this is the right thing.