Microsoft has released an online tool to aid in evaluating the Windows Home Server 2011 server platform online -- without risking your current setup. This provides customers the ability to walk through both client and server interaction freely, or follow a suggested demonstration path with the evaluation manual which'll also launch with the online experience. Available 24 hours per day, it provides a super simple way to experience WHS without the need for hardware.
Not only does this allow simulation of server aspect, but also from a client perspective, allowing one to tinker with most, if not all of the aspects of the new platform.
According to the Windows Team Blog, there are two ways in which you can trial the software, either by a guided manual approach, or by letting you freely interact with the server and client. Unfortunately, there isn't a trial version at this time, as there are codecs built-in, which require licensing:
When can I download an evaluation version so I can test at home on my own hardware? The answer to this is that we are not currently planning to release a downloadable evaluation version. Some of the embedded third-party codecs we use within WHS 2011 don't allow us to provide a trial version due to licensing agreements. As a result we can only offer an online experience. We're still working with many of our OEM's on additional evaluation experiences and may have more information in the future on other ways to trial WHS 2011.
You can try it out for yourself on the temporary launching site. Over the next few weeks the WHS team will be updating the WHS ms.com website in line with many of its partner GA's activities and have a full introduction portal to the online experience.
[Source: Windows team blog]