TechEd: Server Essentials 2012 R2 Announcement

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This post is from Susan Bradley a member of the SMBKitchen Crew. Look for her detailed how-to later, when NDA’s will allow her to talk about it, in the SMBKitchen Project knowledgebase.

Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials

Announced at Teched 2013 in New Orleans is the next version of Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials. From Microsoft the following was announced:

R2 Essentials will give the option to be a Role

New Deployment Options

“In addition to the feature improvements which are available with Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials, there are two new deployment options that can greatly expand the ways in which the product and its features can be leveraged.

The Windows Server Essentials Experience role.

The value-added features which were previously only found in the Essentials edition of Windows Server have been encapsulated into a new server role, the Windows Server Essentials Experience (WSEE). This role is now available with the Standard and Datacenter editions of Windows Server. The greatly increases the deployment scenarios that can now take advantage of these features, including in larger organizations and those with branch locations. When deploying the role on Standard or Datacenter, the server is able to join a pre-existing Active Directory environment for more scalable management. Also, because Standard and Datacenter utilize the Windows Server Client Access License (CAL) model, it is possible to have more than 25 users with access to the Essentials feature set. It is also possible to have more than one Standard or Datacenter server in your network with the WSEE role turn on; for example, this could be done to increase the scalability of client PC backups for your environment.

Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials as its own Hyper-V host. With previous versions of the Windows Server Essentials edition, it was necessary to obtain a hypervisor separately in order to run as a virtual machine—options included the free Microsoft Hyper-V Server or using Windows Server Standard edition to run Hyper-V. With Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials, the product licensing terms have been expanded to enable you to run one operating system instance on the physical server in order to run Hyper-V, plus a second instance on that server in order to run Essentials as a virtual machine. Installation wizards have also been created to simplify the process of deploying as a virtual machine by automating the steps necessary to set up and configure the host server environment. This makes it easier than ever before to take advantage of Hyper-V and its features, such as Live Migration and Hyper-V Replica. “

RWA now available to mid-market clients

What does this mean to you?

In addition to new ways to deploy the Remote Web Access role to your existing clients still on SBS 2003 this role will also support a number of clients and devices above the limit of 75. Microsoft has not stated the maximum amount of supported devices and computers at this time, but they have said that it will now be a role, it is targeting Remote Web Access to larger firms and medium sized firms.

The public preview of Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials (as a stand-alone product) as well as the Essentials Server role included in both Standard server and Datacenter edition will be able to be viewed with the public preview of Windows Server 2012 R2 which will be out around the time of the BUILD conference the end of June.

Look to more information and ideas from the SMBkitchen crew around that time frame as well.

Resources and links

TechEd 2013: Recapping Yesterday’s Big Announcements – In the Cloud – Site Home – TechNet Blogs:

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