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Understanding Server 2012 editions

From: Basic Installation and Configuration of Windows Server 2012

Video: Understanding Server 2012 editions

Let's go ahead and One of the limitations of Essentials is that it does not support Server Core.

Understanding Server 2012 editions

Let's go ahead and look at the various editions of server that are available from Microsoft. The reason we want to look at the different editions of server that are available is because each edition has its own strengths and weaknesses. And we want you to be able to make an informed decision about which edition serves your needs. The first edition we're going to look at is the Datacenter edition. This is the premiere edition of Server and is intended for high-end applications. Some of the high-end applications you may run with this server may be virtualization servers or large databases.

This server also supports up to 64 processors and also has fault-tolerant features that make it a more robust server to use in such high demanding environments. The next server to look at is the Standard edition. The Standard edition has all the features of the Datacenter with one major exception. That major exception is it only supports two concurrent virtual machines. This means that you cannot use this server for a virtual environment.

However, you can still use this in other situations where all you're using are physical servers. The next edition down is the Essentials Edition. This edition's where we start seeing a lot of the major limitations from the previous editions. One of the limitations of Essentials is that it does not support Server Core. This means this server is not able to boot into a command line or even run from a command line, it has to have the GUI up. This server also does not support Hyper-V, this means that this server cannot be used for any kind of virtual management either.

Additionally, this server does not support Active Directory Federation services. Which means this server cannot be used as a domain controller, where resources on multiple servers are being pulled together into one location. Another limitation for this server, is that it's only limited to one physical or virtual server instance. That means I can only run one physical server, or one virtual server with this edition of server. The final limitation of this addition is that it only supports a maximum of 25 users.

That's fine in a small office environment, but in a larger office this server would not work for you. The lowest addition of servers is the Foundation Edition. This server's designed for small businesses with very limited needs. This server can be used to run very specific services such as a file and print server, or a file server, or it can support specific applications such as remote access or VPN. However, it has no virtualization support at all.

Additionally, this server is limited to a maximum of 15 people connecting to it at one time. Finally, there are several different ways that you can purchase your editions of server. The three ways you can purchase your server is through a volume license, from a retail outlet, or from a OEM. In a volume license you are effectively buying directly from Microsoft. And you are paying them for the number of servers you think you will need to run, or the number of work stations you think will need to connect to your server. Another way you can purchase some of these editions is through a retail outlet, that means some of these editions you can just go into a store and just purchase the software.

Another way you can purchase these editions of server is from an OEM. OEM stands for Original Equipment Manufacturer. However, there is a criteria to that, you can only buy an edition of server from an original equipment manufacturer if you're also buying hardware to go with it. Now, we've looked at the various editions of Server, you're better prepared to make a proper decision that will meet your needs. Now, let's go ahead and look at hardware requirements.

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