About Windows Server 2012

Published on Sunday, April 27, 2014

1: 4 new editions:

Not like previous Windows Server editions, Windows Server 2012 no more provides “many” editions such as Enterprise or Home editions, but came with the following 4 editions:

  • Datacenter: Full Windows Server functionality with unlimited virtual instances;
  • Standard: Full Windows Server functionality with two virtual instances;
  • Essentials: Simpler interface, pre-configured connectivity to cloud-based services; one virtual instance of Essentials;
  • Foundation: General purpose Server functionality with no virtualization rights

2: Prices:

We should know since Windows Server 2012, the licensing moved to a processor model. A sample from Microsoft: The Standard edition license will allow you to license up to two physical processors on a single server; however it does not require that the server has two physical processors.

Note: a physical processors could be having multiple cores, but it is still a physical processor. so same price if multiple cores in a single physical processor.

Current the version changed to Windows Server 2012 R2, Microsoft raised part of R2 prices compared with previous version, but if customers have already purchased previous version, they will NOT need to pay anything additional to move to the R2 versions.

Previous version:

  • Datacenter:  Processor + CAL licensing model, $4,809
  • Standard:  Processor + CAL licensing model, $882
  • Essentials:  Server licensing model (25 user limit), $425
  • Foundation:  Server licensing model (15 user limit), OEM only

Windows Server 2012 R2:

  • Datacenter:  Processor + CAL licensing model (CALs are required for every user or device accessing a server), $6,155 (Pricing represents Open No Level (NL) ERP.)
    - Standard:  Processor + CAL licensing model (CALs are required for every user or device accessing a server), $882
  • Essentials:  Server licensing model (25 user limit), $501
  • Foundation:  Server licensing model (15 user limit), OEM only
    More details please read here.

3: What is CAL?

Client Access Licenses: If the workstations in your organization are networked, you likely depend on network server software to perform certain functions, such as file and print sharing. To legally access this server software, a Client Access License (CAL) may be required.

4: What different between Datacenter edition and Standard Edition?

There is no functions and features different between Datacenter and Standard edition, just different Virtualization rights and selling prices.

Both Standard and Datacenter editions provide the same set of features; the only thing that differentiates the editions is the number of Virtual Machines (VMs). A Standard edition license will entitle you to run up to two VMs on up to two processors (subject to the VM use rights outlined in the Product Use Rights document). A Datacenter edition license will entitle you to run an unlimited number of VMs on up to two processors.

5: 2 VMs on Standard edition means I can only create 2 virtual machines in Windows Server 2012 ?

Lots of customer were confused by Microsoft’s 2 VMs limited on Windows Server 2012 Standard edition. I also feel strange that why Microsoft seems never want to give deep explain about 2 VMs limitation.

Actually, due to my researching, seems 2 VMs limitation on Windows Server 2012 standard editions does NOT mean you can ONLY create 2 virtual machines on Windows Server 2012 standard, you use Hyper-V, you might create as many virtual machines as you want as long as your physical computer supports. But for legal Windows Server 2012 standard itself, you ONLY allowed to install on 2 virtual machines (2 virtual instances), if you install Linux, you can install any numbers of instances what you want, as long as your physical computer supports all of them.

About more helpful information, please read this article.