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Windows Server Licensing

Licensing requirements for Microsoft Windows Server are based on two primary metrics:

  • # of Processors/ Cores
  • # of Users or Devices that will be accessing the server

Most users will opt for Windows Server Standard, as this is the most flexible option. The Standard edition accounts for scalability while being cost effective.

Let’s go over some of the key differences between the versions and edition types —

WINDOWS SERVER 2019 & 2016

Server EditionsProcessing PowerCALsVM Support
Essentials1-2 CPUN/aN/a
Standard16/24 CoresPer User/Device2 (per 16-core)
Datacenter16/24 CoresPer User/DeviceUnlimited
FeaturesEssentialsStandardDatacenter
Core functionality of WS
OSEs / Hyper V Containers
x2

Unlimited
Windows Server Containers
Unlimited

Unlimited
Host Guardian Service
Nano Server
Storage features including Storage Spaces Direct and Storage Replica
Shielded Virtual Machines
Networking stack

WINDOWS SERVER 2012

Server EditionsProcessing PowerCALsVM Support
Essentials1-2 CPUN/aN/a
Standard16/24 CoresPer User/Device2 (per 16-core)
Datacenter16/24 CoresPer User/DeviceUnlimited
Server RoleEssentialsStandard/Datacenter
AD Certificate ServicesFullLimited
AD Domain ServicesFull Limited
Application ServerFull Full
DHCP ServerFull Full
DNS ServerFull Limited
File ServicesFull Limited
Hyper-V Full Full
Network Policy & Access ServersFull Limited
Remote Desktop AccessFull Limited

Windows Server 2008

Server 2008/R2 EditionsProcessing PowerCALsVM Support
Standard2 CPU, Max 4 CPUPer User/Device1
EnterpriseFullPer User/DeviceUnlimited

Standard and Datacenter 2008/ R2 have identical features. The main reason for upgrading to Datacenter would be to take advantage of the unlimited Virtual Machine and processor support.

Don’t forget you can call and speak with our licensing experts!
(855)202-8140

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