In Windows Server 2012 we introduced a new version called Windows Server 2012 Essentials edition. The Essentials server is very flexible and easy-to-use. This was a server solution that was primarily designed and priced for small businesses with up to 25 users and 50 devices. This provided a great first server for many customers, as well as it can be used as the primary server in a multi-server environment for small businesses.
With the new Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials Server we really added many features to make this an even more rounded server. The Essential server also provides a ton of flexibly for deployment and functionality. We even included the popular client computer backup from Windows Home server. The Windows Server Essentials Experience role is available in Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard and Windows Server 2012 R2 Datacenter.
When you install the Windows Server Essentials Experience role, you can take advantage of all the features that are available to you in Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials without the locks and limits enforced in it. The Windows Server Essentials Experience role enables you to:
With Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials we have added a lot of new functionality, review the following table:
What makes the new R2 essentials edition is the different ways you can deploy the functionality into your organization.
If you have not yet tried Windows Azure go to http://aka.ms/getazureiaas to setup your trial account and when you add a new virtual machine you will have the ability to quickly deploy a Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials edition. For this post I am going to step you through the installation of the Essentials experience on a Windows 2012 R2 Datacenter server. In a future post I will take you through the rest of the configuration.
After the installation you will now have a new icon on your desktop called Dashboard, double click this and it will launch the Windows Server Essentials Dashboard (screen very similar is shown below) I will this wonderful tool in another series of posts. In the meantime go deploy your own server and start taking a tour!
To learn more about Windows Server Essentials take a look here:
Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials and Windows Server 2012 Essentials
To download Windows Server 2012 R2, where you can install the essentials role please click here:
For the full list in the series: Windows Server 2012 R2 Launch Blog Series Index #WhyWin2012R2