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How complex is Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard?


E3000
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Hey guys,

 

I'm moving from a G7 with WHS2011 to a Gen8 and I have access to Windows Server 2012/R2 thanks to DreamSpark :-)

 

I found WHS2011 very easy to use and get to grips with (or to just "install and use", as I'd say), but looking around at tutorials and comments on here I seems 2012 isn't as straightforward as that. I was planning to use it in much the same way - backing up other PCs on the network, as central storage, DLNA/Plex streaming, etc - with the possibility of adding remote (anywhere) access, hosting (personal irc bot/http site), maybe play about with VMs, basically just experimenting with stuff.

 

From what I understand Essentials is restricted for stuff like Hyper-V and Standard isn't as straightforward to use for backing up PCs and stuff, but I've also heard about the Essentials role that makes it able... What I want to know is would I find it extremely difficult to get up n running with 2012 R2 Standard? I'm kinda new to these things but I enjoy learning along the way, I'm just talking about getting it to that useable state before the learning :-)

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good point. I'm keeping my backups on 2011 because the BMR is very fast -vs- 2012R2+EE.

server 2008R2 which it is based on is still well supported. In fact, if 2008R2 is good enough for production use at work it is good enough for use at home :)

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If you have dreamspark, you have access to both then, correct?

 

Why not install Standard, enable the HyperV role, and then install Essentials in a VM? That way, you get the best of both.

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Actually you can also install Essentials as a role. My advice would be to try Essentials at first. Just remember to activate it ONLY if you are certain you have everything correct configured and it is your final setup.

If you are not satisfied with Essentials, you can always install Standard R2 with Essentials role or, like Drashna Jaelre said, install Essentials in a VM.

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What do you intend to gain in moving to Essentials? That's the question you need to ask.

Well I plan to sell the WHS2011 with the older G7 MicroServer (seeing as its tied to it anyway) so I thought id try the newer version instead of hunting around to buy it again (its also just about EOL afaik).

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If you have dreamspark, you have access to both then, correct?

 

Why not install Standard, enable the HyperV role, and then install Essentials in a VM? That way, you get the best of both.

  

Actually you can also install Essentials as a role. My advice would be to try Essentials at first. Just remember to activate it ONLY if you are certain you have everything correct configured and it is your final setup.

If you are not satisfied with Essentials, you can always install Standard R2 with Essentials role or, like Drashna Jaelre said, install Essentials in a VM.

Good idea :-) but that would still require the Standard setup! But yes, that sounds good, thanks ;-)

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Actually you can also install Essentials as a role. My advice would be to try Essentials at first. Just remember to activate it ONLY if you are certain you have everything correct configured and it is your final setup.

If you are not satisfied with Essentials, you can always install Standard R2 with Essentials role or, like Drashna Jaelre said, install Essentials in a VM.

Yes, that is an option too. However, I try to stay consistent on the advice I give.

 

Using Essentials as a role (and not the Essentials OS), requires a MINIMUM of 26 user CALs (which are ~$40 PER user). That may not be the case for DreamSpark, but it may be...  So for the sake of legitamacy here ..... I stay consistent (because I'm not sure of the licensing terms).

the Essentials OS doesn't have nor require any CALs, as it's a special case. But Standard does, technically. 

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my son's dreamspark does not give the essentials product, just full 2012r2.

with the essentials experience they claim you need CALs. but the whole topic is confusing. Are they just for RDS/remote GUI access features?

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my son's dreamspark does not give the essentials product, just full 2012r2.

with the essentials experience they claim you need CALs. but the whole topic is confusing. Are they just for RDS/remote GUI access features?

I'm not exactly sure, but I remember reading that you need CALs for client users in Active Directory. In this case, there should be no client users. And if I remember correctly, you can install up to two VMs without needing additional licences.

I tested the 2012 R2 Essentials before 2012 Standard R2 and I really didn't see any use for the Essentials role. Your usage case may vary.

If you really want something free (but a little more complicated to setup at first) you can try Hyper-V Server Core. It's completely free but it has no gui, only a management console. Just search the INTERNET on how to configure it.

I suggest you try everything at first, because you can learn a LOT. As a last case, you can always install 2012 Standard.

Oh, and as a side note: when you are finished with the setup and activated windows, DOCUMENT the steps you took and the configuration process. It WILL help you after a few months/years.

Good luck!

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