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New Deployment Options in Windows Server 2012 R2 Using the Windows Server Essentials Experience Role


Windows Server 2012 R2 offers customers a few new deployment options that we can’t wait to try out! Using the new Windows Server Essentials Experience role, customers can now implement features that were originally unique to Essentials across other editions of Windows Server 2012. In addition, users can now run Essentials as a virtual machine without having to buy or obtain any other software. Today we will take a minute to look closer at these new deployment options of Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials.


Let us first look at the new Windows Server Essentials Experience role that customers will now see in all editions of Windows Server 2012 R2. This gives users a lot more flexibility in where, how, when, and what, features (those features which used to be unique to Essentials) can be deployed in different customer environments.





Microsoft still offers the Windows Server 2012 Essentials edition, which is specifically designed to work in small business environments with up to 25 users and 50 devices. However, now, when using Windows Server Standard or Datacenter editions, customers will have the option to turn on the Windows Server Essentials Experience role as well. This will then allow customers the use of different feature sets from Essentials including the dashboard and remote web access as well as the client PC backup feature. Microsoft is looking forward to seeing customers receive extra value when they purchase Windows Server Standard or Datacenter editions and use the Windows Server Essentials Experience role.




With Windows Server 2012 and continuing in 2012 R2, users can have up to two virtual instances of Windows Server when they purchase one copy of Windows Server Standard. For example, in the first virtual instance, a user could run an operating system with the Essentials Experience role turned on, which will be able to act as the core infrastructure server giving them Active Directory and DNS, as well as the previous features we mentioned. This still leaves the user with a second server instance that they can use for other workloads (SQL Server, Line-of-Business applications, RDS, or Exchange Server for example). Any of these are possible to run in the second edition. This gives customers flexible options to deploy Windows Server in their environments.




Finally, let’s look at how users can implement Essentials as a virtual machine without the need for other software. For small businesses, Microsoft gives users a very cost effective and simple way to deploy Windows Server Essentials. What is new is that now users can deploy Essentials as a virtual machine. In the past, customers could run the Essentials edition as a virtual machine, but they would need to have Hyper-V software from another source. To do this they could use either Windows Server Standard, or the free Microsoft Hyper-V server, which they would have to download separately. With Windows Server 2012 R2, none of that is necessary. Customers can now go ahead and virtualize using just the Essentials edition itself.


We hope you are as excited about these new deployment options of Windows Server 2012 R2 as we are! For more information, be sure to join the Coffee Coaching community by following us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, or LinkedIn

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