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Info on Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials

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  • User profile image
    giovanni

    I am getting pretty excited about Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials, especially about the new Virtualization rights and capabilities. However, I am a little confused: the TechNet documentation says that:

    After the Windows Welcome page, depending on your system provider's configuration, the Before you begin page provides an option to set up Windows Server Essentials either as a virtual instance or on physical hardware. The availability of these options is pre-defined by your system provider and may not always be available. To install Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials Preview as a virtual machine, in Install Windows Server Essentials, select Install as virtual instance, and then click Configure

    Does this mean that the installer will detect if the hardware supports virtualization or that only OEMs will have a special install CD that will allow to use this feature? I am confused and I can't test this right now as I don't have any spare hardware at hand. If anyone has more info, I would be greatly appreciate some more info.

  • User profile image
    kettch

    @giovanni: It's probably just whoever runs the host infrastructure. It could be you, your IT people, or a cloud provider. In a private cloud scenario, people who build and run servers can be completely different than the people who run the hardware and host environments.

  • User profile image
    TexasToast

    So can you use this server to host websites?   What does Microsoft offer to compete with LAMP servers?   You would need a server with a database . ASP.net could serve up your pages.   I find Microsoft server licensing confusing and it changes quite a bit.

  • User profile image
    giovanni

    @kettch: well, since I run my own host infrastructure, should I assume I will run into this option during setup or are there other steps to prepare this configuration?

  • User profile image
    giovanni

    @TexasToast: I think IIS is available, but you need a second server to run SQL. At least that is if you run Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials and not the Essentials experience on server Standard... yes it is a little confusing, but I find the new licensing schemas more flexible and useful than the old ones.

  • User profile image
    kettch

    @giovanni: It looks like it can be installed one of two ways, as a VM host to run a virtualized instance of Essentials, and then as the guest. When you install on the physical hardware it only installs the Hypervisor role and doesn't install the Essentials role. The virtualized install gives you the Essentials role.

    This seems to be explained in this blog article:

    http://blogs.technet.com/b/sbs/archive/2013/09/03/understanding-licensing-for-windows-server-2012-r2-essentials-and-the-windows-server-essentials-experience-role.aspx

  • User profile image
    giovanni

    @kettch: thank you, that explains a little more. However, I still have not found out if the standard installation will prompt you at some point  to install the Hypervisor role and then it will automatically install a second instance of itself with the essentials role or you have to go through a customized setup...

  • User profile image
    giovanni

    , giovanni wrote

    @kettch: thank you, that explains a little more. However, I still have not found out if the standard installation will prompt you at some point  to install the Hypervisor role and then it will automatically install a second instance of itself with the essentials role or you have to go through a customized setup...

    Anyway, seeing the restrictions of the licensing (not being able to install other VMs) I might consider installing Essentials as a VM on a MS HyperV Server...

  • User profile image
    giovanni

    Here, this is what I was looking for!

    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn293253.aspx

    It seems like I was not the only one confused about it. I don't really understand why this is not the default setup configuration; it looks like they needed to keep the partners happy by making it complicated enough.

    Still I don't know if it is worth the extra work or better to simply create a VM in Server Standard.

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