More information came out since then so I thought a single post would be best. Make sure you follow this post by reading my post on licensing for virtualisation of Windows Server I will not be answering any further questions on this post.
Track Progress. Earn Credits. Learning has never been so easy! Sign Up When deciding which version of Windows Server is right for your business, you have a lot of choices. While a wealth of options is generally a good thing, the decisions aren't always easy. And with Windows Server, not only do you have different operating system versions to choose from, you also have different editions to consider. Let's break down the differences between your options. What is a Windows Server version? Going back to the days of Windows NT in the s, each version of Windows Server has had a unique version number appended to the name.
NT had versions such as 3. But in the year , Microsoft started naming server versions after the year operating system initially launched. That left us with Microsoft Windows , Windows Server , which also had an R2 version , also with an R2 , , and , etc. Each new version of Microsoft Windows Server introduces new functionality. What is end of support? As the saying goes, "nothing lasts forever.
The date that Microsoft releases it's last update for a product is known as the end of support date. And after this date passes, an obsolete OS version will be a much easier target for malware, since it will no longer receive security updates, and therefore vulnerable to newer exploits.
Microsoft operating systems are typically supported for at least 10 years. For example, the popular Windows Server launched in April of , and extended support ended in Extended support for Windows Server R2 was scheduled to end in January of , and Windows Server R2 will continue to receive updates until at least October of Therefore organizations should only really be using more recent versions of Windows Server for the sake of security.
What is a Windows Server edition? When you buy a car, there are many different options available for the same model. For example, there might be a basic economy option, a luxury option with leather seats and a sunroof, and sport edition with bigger wheels and a more powerful engine. In other words, each edition of a car has a different price point and feature set tailored to groups of customers with different budgets and needs.
The same goes for Windows Server editions. Each option includes functionality that makes sense for companies depending on their size and budget. For example, different editions might support for a different number of users.
Differences between Windows Server editions To help everyone understand some basic differences between OS editions, let's break down the different options for Windows Server R2: The Foundation edition which isn't available in Windows Server is also limited to 15 users, making this edition suitable for only very small offices.
Foundation is available through OEMs only, which typically means it comes preinstalled on computers you buy from companies such as Dell and HPE. If you're interested in virtualization, this edition allows you to use Hyper-V to run up to two virtual instances of the operating system additional virtual instances of Windows Server will require cost extra on a single piece of physical hardware, making the Standard edition suitable for a lightly virtualized environment.
Windows Server R2 Datacenter is almost identical to the Standard edition with one big exception. With a Datacenter license, you can run an unlimited number of virtual instances of Windows Server guests on a single two-processor computer. This small difference has a big impact, as companies might save big by running dozens of OS instances on a single server. Microsoft Windows Server R2 Licensing Guide Licensing differences in Windows Server and newer While pricing on Windows Server R2 and are the same, if you are going with a Standard or Datacenter license Windows Server or newer, there are some key changes you need to be aware of.
So if you have a server containing 2 processors with 24 cores between them, in with Windows Server you would only have to buy a single Standard or Datacenter license. With Windows Server , you have to buy licenses to cover all 24 cores.
It gets pretty complicated, as there are a lot of rules, but the key takeaway is that if you have a core server, the costs are pretty much the same. However, OS licensing might be pricier on servers with a higher core density. Despite the per core licensing change, the virtualization rules remain the same in Windows Server and newer.
Once you have licensed all of your cores in a server, with the Standard edition you get 2 Windows Server guest OS licenses, compared to an unlimited number with Datacenter. Also, the feature set in Windows Server Standard and Datacenter were the same. But certain features in Windows Server such as Storage Spaces Direct, shielded virtual machines are only available in the Datacenter edition.