With Windows Server 2003 going end of support, it’s important for you to know where to go from a licensing and product stand point. Windows Server 2012 was designed with the advent of cloud strategy in mind. Servers need to run multiple applications at once, which is why some of the editions that were available have been eliminated from the line in favor of smarter solutions that cover more ground especially for heavily virtualized environments. Below are some basic things to note, that are essential to answer some questions you may have through your migration.
- Three editions have been retired for some time now, and in case you were looking for Windows Server Enterprise, HPC, and Web Server Windows, you won’t find them.
- Windows Server 2012 Standard and Datacenter share all the same features and technology—the main difference lies within the amount of VMs you can spin up with each license. Hyper-V is included in both and is no additional cost to you. High availability and failover clustering are available for both.
- Processor support: both Datacenter and Standard have up to 640 processors, and both support up to 4 terabytes of RAM.
- Microsoft has moved to a processor model. Each one of the licenses covers two processors instead of one. Cores will not matter. You’ll want to ask yourself, “Will my environment be highly or lightly virtualized?” Remember, I mentioned the difference in the VMs allotted between Standard and Datacenter. With Standard you are allotted 2 VMs per license and with Datacenter unlimited VMs per physical machine. If you are going to run more than 10 VMS on a physical, I suggest you go with Datacenter as that is when it makes most sense financially.
- Keep in mind you still get downgrade rights, but it is important to note that you must abide by 2012 licensing rules for VM quantity allotted per license and not the licensing rules for the product you downgrade to.
- Small Business Server 2011 has gone away. It has been replaced by Windows Essentials 2012 and Windows Server Foundation 2012. Both of these do not require CALs, but Essentials has a 15 user max, and Foundation a 25 user max. It’s also important to note that these do not include Exchange. If you had software assurance on Small Business Server 2011, you will be able to renew for a Windows Server 2012 standard, exchange server 2010 or 2013 standard, as well as the CAL. If you had the premium add-on, you will also have the ability to renew SQL server and SQL CAL to keep your environment current.
For more specific details on the migration from Microsoft, you’ll find a good FAQ list here.
What are you excited about with the migration? Do you have questions/concerns? Let us know!
With the end of support date for Windows Server 2003 fast approaching, there's never been a better time to plan your data center transformation. Our experts have designed this helpful tool to get you started on the right upgrade path for your unique environment, applications, and workloads.