Windows Server Licensing Guide – Trusted Tech Team
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Windows Server Licensing

To get the most out of Windows Server, you need to get your licensing lined up. This means understanding how many processors and cores you’re using, as well as how many users and devices will need access to the server. In this guide by certified Microsoft Gold partner, Trusted Tech Team, we cover the essential licensing differences between today’s top Microsoft Server versions and editions. Learn which licensing arrangement is best for you, and shop Windows Server operating systems and CALs with our team today!

How it works

Most users will opt for Windows Server Standard, as this is the most flexible option. The Standard edition accounts for scalability while being cost effective.

Let’s go over some of the key differences between the versions and edition types.

Windows Server 2019 & 2016

Server Editions Processing Power CALs VM Support
Essentials 1-2 CPU N/a N/a
Standard 16/24 Cores Per User/Device 2 (per 16-core license)
Datacenter 16/24 Cores Per User/Device Unlimited
Features Essentials Standard Datacenter
Core functionality of WS –
OSEs/Hyper V Containers –

Windows Server Containers –
Host Guardian Service –
Nano Server –
Storage features including Storage Spaces Direct and Storage Replica – –
Shielded Virtual Machines – –
Networking stack – –

Windows Sever 2012/2012 R2

Server Editions Processing Power CALs VM Support
Essentials 1-2 CPU N/a N/a
Standard 1-2 CPU Per User/Device 2 (Per license on host)
Datacenter 1-2 CPU Per User/Device Unlimited
Server Role Essentials Standard/Datacenter
AD Certificate Services Limited Full
AD Domain Services Limited Full
Application Server Full Full
DHCP Server Full Full
DNS Server Limited Full
File Services Limited Full
Hyper-V Full Full
Network Policy & Access Servers Limited Full
Remote Desktop Access Limited Full

Windows Server 2008/2008 R2

Server Editions Processing Power CALs VM Support
Standard 2 CPU, Max 4 CPU Per User/Device 1
Enterprise Full Per User/Device Unlimited

Standard and Datacenter 2008/ R2 have identical features. The main reason for upgrading to Datacenter would be to take advantage of the unlimited Virtual Machine and processor support.

Don’t forget you can call or schedule a call to speak with our licensing experts!

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