Free educational video for end-users – Windows Server 2012 R2: Licensing and installation

For 5 years, virtualization was considered an IT trend. Today, it’s an absolutely MUST-HAVE for each company thinking about its effectiveness and operational costs. Small companies with 10-20 employees are not an exception.

For example, Microsoft Hyper-V allows even small organizations with tiny budgets to compete with large enterprises when considering the data center. It’s affordable and easy to understand and use.

Let’s imagine a small company decides to virtualize using Microsoft Hyper-V. Where does it start?

First of all, you should not spend a fortune to build your first virtual environment. Take an old server, add more memory and storage (these investments you can definitely get from your boss compared to a brand new server), and you’re ready to go.

The next step is to add the operation system. In our case, this will be Windows Server 2012 R2.

Which Windows Server 2012 R2 version should you choose?

Windows Server 2012 R2 offers four paid editions (ordered by price from low to high): Foundation (OEM only), Essentials, Standard, and Datacenter. Standard and Datacenter editions offer Hyper-V while Foundation and Essentials editions don’t. The completely free Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2012 R2 also includes Hyper-V.

Thus, from a virtualization point of view, we have only three options from a wide range of server Windows-based operating systems (which are good enough to start from the very beginning and create a small virtual environment):

  • Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard
  • Windows Server 2012 R2 Datacenter
  • Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2012 R2

I wrote a separate blog post, Windows Server 2012 R2 licensing in relation to Veeam Backup & Replication for Hyper-V, discussing their differences in details.

How to install Windows Server 2012 R2

Installing Windows Server is a straightforward process. After installing the operating system, make sure that you added this server to the domain.

Hope you find this post useful. In my next blog post, I’m going to show how to enable the Hyper-V role on this host. To be continued…

See also:

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