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peterweb

Server 2016 Standard with Essentials role

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peterweb

Please be patient with a server noob.

 

I have been running Win Home Server v1 since it came out. It is the exact product I needed to back up the devices in my home. The MB finally died so I am starting over with a new Dell PowerEdge T20 basic server. I have access to a Server 2016 Standard license, could not get Essentials. I was hoping to run this with the Essentials Role to take the place of the old Home Server.

 

The question comes about the necessity of CALs for the home computers being backed up. I do not really understand how these work, and if they will be necessary with the new licensing rules for 2016. Can someone help me understand this?

 

Thanks in advance.

 

 

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Drashna Jaelre

CALs are Client Access Licenses, and technically required for all non-Essential server SKU's. (standard and datacenter). 

 

I say "technically", because it's a licensing thing, that isn't enforced within Windows itself.  For home use, you may be fine ignoring CALs, but if this for business use at all, then you absolutely should have them. 

 

Additionally, there is licensing per core (rather than per physical socket). You're limited to 8 cores per CPU, with a limit on 2 CPUs,  by default.  If you have more than this (either 8 cores per CPU, or more than 2 CPUs), then you'd need additional licensing.

 

I know that 2012 and 2012R2 included downgrade rights from Standard/Datacenter to Essentials. But I can't find any documentation about it for Windows Server 2016.  

 

 

 

 

 

Basically, if you're doing this for "at home", then following this stuff isn't as critical.

If you doing this for a business (at home or otherwise), it may be a good idea to get in contact with a Microsoft Partner to make sure you're following all of the licensing properly.

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asdaHP

 

 

I know that 2012 and 2012R2 included downgrade rights from Standard/Datacenter to Essentials. But I can't find any documentation about it for Windows Server 2016.  

 

Hi chris,

Are u sure one can 'downgrade' or transition from server 2012 r2 standard to 2012 r2 essentials? I looked this up a few days ago in response to another post and it doesnt seem to be the case. Example :

http://serverfault.com/questions/593479/downgrading-windows-server-2012-r2-standard-eval-to-essentials

https://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/64d98ed5-089b-4d8e-8ef0-8f66325b65af/windows-server-2012-standard-downgrade

 

There is however a way to transition from r2 essentials to standard by DISM:

https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj247582(v=ws.11).aspx

 

If you know of a way to go from standard to essentials that would be great as there are some cheap licenses on ebay (last time i checked) for standard.

 

Currently i am tempted to play with the Hyper v option on server 12 r2 essentials and load the technet standard version, just havent had the time.

 

 

A happy thanksgiving to all !!

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Drashna Jaelre
asdaHP

Thank you. Dont mean to mess this thread (was planning to start a thread yday but happened to see your message in this one). I am glad i asked you as i read that technet blog and there were contradictory answers and I misunderstood. This time i read all the way to the bottom (promise!!) and it still seems confusing. 

 

On the serverfault blog on the other hand, the answers were blunt: "

There is no way to downgrade, you will need to start fresh with 2012 Essentials media.

Using the DISM command, you can go up, but not down."

 

You are right that "susan bradley" on the technet blog says you get an essentials license with VLSC purchase but not with OEM. And then someone goes on to say that microsoft sales states that you cant downgrade to essentials and the discussion goes on and forth. Basically as i read and reread including the document u sent me, it sounds i would be running the standard as a parent physical server and then run the essentials in a VM. I think that is a lot more complicated than the opposite option ie. to upgrade from essentials to standard you just run one DISM command and whoa you are now running standard on the physical server.

 

 

From what u sent me:

quote: The downgrade (sometimes referred to as “down edition”) rights for Windows Server 2012 Standard and Datacenter have been expanded to include the Essentials edition. This means that when you purchase, or receive as a Software Assurance (SA) grant, a Windows Server 2012 Standard license, you can choose to run Essentials as one of your two virtual instances—without having to purchase Essentials separately.

 

At the end Susan says:

"You don't do anything to the parent, you merely install another child to do the essentials deployment."

 

Dont know about the OP but someone like me is looking more into a downgrade of the physical server not a virtualization and a VM server for running the home. I will be buying the server license from sellers like newegg or ebay not VL (whatever that involves).

 

So I apologize to ask the question in a different way. Have you or some other forum member done a successful downgrade of the physical server 2012 r2 standard to essentials (not VM)? Thank you as always for responding.

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peterweb

Thanks for your post Chris. I saw that info in an earlier post, but I thought I had read that with Server 2016, MS was getting more strict with their licensing.

 

Will the eval version require the same licensing as a fully activated version? Or does the eval bypass the necessity for CALs.

 

I guess I may just be the guinea pig here, as I will have a completely new system to set up and try this. System is due in a week or so. I'll post back when I get a chance to test this out.

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peterweb

Quick update.

 

I received the system and installed Server 2016 Standard, and set up the Essentials Role. Installed and set up Stablebit Drive Pool (awesome addition). At this point I am still using the evaluation version of the OS, and I have had no problems adding the client computers for backup.

 

Anyone know if there will be any issues when I enter the license key I was given?

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asdaHP

Quick update.

 

I received the system and installed Server 2016 Standard, and set up the Essentials Role. Installed and set up Stablebit Drive Pool (awesome addition). At this point I am still using the evaluation version of the OS, and I have had no problems adding the client computers for backup.

 

Anyone know if there will be any issues when I enter the license key I was given?

Take a look at this technet https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-server-docs/get-started/supported-upgrade-paths?f=255&MSPPError=-2147217396

 

"If the server is running an evaluation version of Windows Server 2016 Standard or Windows Server 2016 Datacenter, you can convert it to a retail version as follows:

  1. If the server is a domain controller, you cannot convert it to a retail version. In this case, install an additional domain controller on a server that runs a retail version and remove AD DS from the domain controller that runs on the evaluation version. For more information, see Upgrade Domain Controllers to Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows Server 2012.
  2. Read the license terms.
  3. From an elevated command prompt, determine the current edition name with the command DISM /online /Get-CurrentEdition. Make note of the edition ID, an abbreviated form of the edition name. Then run DISM /online /Set-Edition:<edition ID> /ProductKey:XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX /AcceptEula, providing the edition ID and a retail product key. The server will restart twice."

So it sounds like not a big issue if it is not the domain controller. Sounds more complicated if it is a DC though i think you could always reinstall the OS with the product key if it gets too complicated.

 

I have personally not done this as yet as i am testing 16 standard on a VM (virtualbox) via server 2012 r2 essentials. It looks prettier than 2012 r2 though otherwise very similar.

 

 

Strangely, it sounds like it is easier to update the server essentials version as noted in technet:

"For Windows Server 2016 Essentials: You can convert to the full retail version by entering a retail, volume license, or OEM key in the command slmgr.vbs"

 

Best of luck and let us know how the activation works for you.

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peterweb

Thanks for that link. I'll check it out and get back soon.

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Drashna Jaelre

For Essentials, there is no "conversion". It's the same image for Eval, OEM, Retail, and VL. 

 

By "slmgr.vbs", they do mean that. 

 

To change the key:

"slmgr.vbs -ipk XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX" 

To force activation: 

"slmgr.vbs -ato"

 

And that should confirm the activation status.

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