The official blog for Windows Server Essentials and Small Business Server support and product group communications.
Hi, this is Yang and Mike, PMs from the Windows Server Essentials team. In this blog, we would like to share some of our thoughts about virtualizing Windows Server Essentials.
Today, more and more businesses have begun to virtualize their IT infrastructure. While there are a lot of articles talking about the benefits of virtualization, we would like to highlight a few in the context of small to mid-size business (SMB) IT:
Windows Server Essentials enjoys all the same capabilities and benefits of virtualization as the Standard and Datacenter editions of Windows Server. In addition, there are some capabilities that are specific to Windows Server Essentials:
Stay tuned for future posts with even more information about running an Essentials VM in Windows Azure!
Is Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials being released on October 18th, 2013 with the other Server R2 versions?
Yes. The release will be at the same date.
When will the OEM Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials be generally available on sites like Newegg.com and Amazon.com? Even though Server 2012 R2 Essentials is RTM'd, I don't see it for sale yet on these sites and OEM manufacturers like Dell and HP. I heard the rumor is January 12, 2014. Please confirm.
I don't know about OEM but Volume Licenses are supposedly going to be available for purchase starting 11/1.
I don't know why you'd want to go with OEM over a volume license anyway, you can move it on to new hardware without needing to repurchase the license.
Can you buy just one volume license then? I haven't purchased anything else through volume licensing. Just one server needed and PC's Came with Windows software installed.
You do need to buy a total of 5 licenses to start a new agreement.
Since Essentials does not require CALs you can buy four of the cheapest CAL available for another product via open licensing which is around $15 even though you don't plan on using them for anything.
Can you install an instance of Server 2003 on 2012 R2 Essentials?
In general it is not recommended for a hyper-V host to be anything other than a hyper-V host.
Therefore you should use either Windows 2012 or 2012 R2 Standard with only the hyper-V role installed for your host, or run the free hyper-V server and run windows 2003 + 2012 R2 essentials as guest VMs.