Windows Server 2019, the latest release of Microsoft’s server operating system, offers new opportunities for hybrid cloud environments, storage, security, and administration. Let’s explore the main differences between the three editions: Essentials, Standard, and Datacenter, and their intended purposes.
Windows Server 2019 Essentials: Designed for Small Companies
Windows Server 2019 Essentials is perfect for small companies with up to 25 users and 50 devices. While Microsoft encourages users to consider Microsoft 365 for small business needs, Essentials still provides sufficient features.
Essentials allows integration with Azure Site Recovery services, enabling real-time replication of virtual machines (VMs) to an Azure backup repository. Thus, in the event of a disaster, you can failover to the replica and resume business-critical operations. Additionally, it simplifies migration to Azure by making resources running in Azure appear as if they are located on your local network.
It’s worth noting that the Experience Role functionality has been removed in the 2019 edition. Consequently, management and configuration tasks should be performed manually, and client backup and remote web access are no longer available.
Is Windows Server 2019 Standard the Right Choice?
Windows Server 2019 Standard is designed for physical or minimally virtualized environments. The maximum number of users is based on client access license requirements, offering core Windows Server functionality.
Standard enables hybrid operations in Azure, allowing you to synchronize file servers to Azure and centralize file shares while preserving the flexibility and performance of local file servers. Moreover, it supports a variety of cloud innovations, such as Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things, enhancing the capabilities of locally-run applications.
For virtualization, each Standard edition license permits two operating system environments (OSEs) or VMs and one Hyper-V host. If more VMs are required, additional licenses must be purchased. In contrast, the Datacenter edition offers unlimited VM support.
Regarding containers, Standard allows up to two Hyper-V containers but has no limits on Windows containers. This flexibility enables the simultaneous use of Linux and Windows containers.
Storage replicas, a feature for replication between servers, are limited to 2TB in the Standard edition. Datacenter edition users face no such restrictions.
Discovering Windows Server Datacenter
Windows Server Datacenter suits highly virtualized datacenters and cloud environments. It includes all the features of the Standard edition without limitations. With Datacenter, you can create an unlimited number of VMs and even have one Hyper-V host per license. Additionally, it supports an unlimited number of Windows and Hyper-V containers.
Exclusive to Datacenter, the network controller feature facilitates centralized infrastructure management, automating network configuration instead of manual setup. Another unique feature, Host Guardian Hyper-V Support, provides management tools for secure startup of shielded VMs, even in offline mode.
The Datacenter edition also enables deploying a cost-effective and scalable hyper-converged infrastructure. By consolidating computing, storage, and networking resources into a single cluster, this solution optimizes performance and reduces costs.
Windows Server Standard vs. Datacenter: A Brief Summary
To recap, Essentials is intended for small businesses, Standard for physical or minimally virtualized environments, and Datacenter for highly virtualized datacenters and cloud environments.
The key difference between Essentials and Standard lies in the number of supported users and devices. When comparing Standard and Datacenter editions, the latter provides a broader range of tools and features without limitations, yet at a higher cost.
Windows Server Backup with NAKIVO Backup & Replication
NAKIVO Backup & Replication offers seamless Windows Server backup functionality, including application-aware mode, data deduplication and compression, physical to virtual conversion, backup copy, and instant recovery. By reducing network resource consumption and enhancing backup management efficiency, this solution ensures reliable data protection and accessibility in any disaster scenario.