I’m preparing to upgrade my certification from Windows 2008 to Windows 2012. As I study, I will be posting various features found in Windows server 2012 in parts/series. In this post I’ll highlight an overview of Windows Server 2012 Editions.
Windows Server 2012 Editions Overview
Windows Server 2012 is the latest Microsoft Windows Server and it comes with great features.
As with previous versions, Windows 2012 server comes in four different editions, i.e. Windows Server 2012 Foundation, Windows Server 2012 Essentials, Windows Server 2012 Standard and Windows Server 2012 Datacentre based on licence and features. These Window server 2012 editions are being discussed at a glance below.
Windows Server 2012 Foundation
This version is designed for small businesses that require core IT resources such as remote access, file and print sharing and application support. It is limited to 15 users and includes no virtualisation rights.
Windows Server 2012 Essentials
This version is geared towards small businesses of up to 25 users but does not support many advanced server features such as Hyper V, RODC (Read Only Domain Controller), IPAM (IP Address Management), data deduplication, server core, failover clustering. This can run a single instance of a virtual machine on Hyper V.
Windows Server 2012 Standard
This edition of Windows Server is used for medium to large businesses that require additional features not present in the Foundation & Essential edition (Hyper V, RODC (Read Only Domain Controller), IPAM (IP Address Management), Data deduplication, server core, failover clustering. This edition supports up to two virtual machines; and can support an unlimited amount of users, provided the required user licenses have been purchased.
Windows Server 2012 Datacentre
This edition is designed to meet the needs of medium to large enterprises. The major difference between the Standard and Datacentre edition is that the Datacentre edition allows the creation of unlimited Virtual Machines and is therefore suitable for environments with extensive use of virtualization technology.
The table below highlight Windows Server 2012 editions overview compared
|Distribution||OEM Only||Retail, volume licensing, OEM||Retail, volume licensing, OEM||Volume licensing and OEM|
|Licensing Model||Per Server||Per Server||Per CPU pair + CAL/DAL||Per CPU pair + CAL/DAL|
|Processor Chip Limit||1||2||64||64|
|File Services limits||Yes (1 standalone DFS root)||Yes (1 standalone DFS root)||Unlimited||Unlimited|
|Active Directory Services||Forest and Domain root only||No||Yes||Yes|
|Active Directory Federation Services||No||No||Yes||Yes|
|Active Directory Certificate Services||Limited to Certificate Authority Creation||Limited to Certificate Authority Creation||Yes||Yes|
|Active Directory Rights Management Services, Active Directory Lightweight Directory Services||No||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Application Server, DHCP, DNS, Fax server, Printing, IIS Services, Windows Deployment services, Windows Server Update Services, Windows PowerShell||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Network Policy & Access Services limits||50 RRAS connections and 10 IAS connections||250 RRAS connections, 50 IAS connections, and 2 IAS Server Groups||Unlimited||Unlimited|
|Remote Desktop Services limits||50 Remote Desktop Services connections||Gateway only||Unlimited||Unlimited|
|Virtualization rights||None||Either in 1 VM or 1 physical server, but not both at once||2 VMs||Unlimited|
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