Variety is the spice of life. However, too many choices can make decision-making complicated especially for businesses looking for the right server operating system and email hosting solution. With this in mind, Microsoft (News - Alert) is killing off the two most popular versions of servers for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), the Windows Small Business Server and the Windows Home Server and replacing them with the Windows Server 2012.
Windows Server 2012 comes in four versions: the Data Center, Standard, Essentials and Foundation. All the versions have the same features and capabilities with the only difference being the number of virtual machines that can be handled by each offering. This is good news since features like BranchCache hosted cache server and Windows Server failover clustering that were previously reserved for data center and enterprise versions will now become available on the Windows Server 12 Standard Edition.
SMBs are however not interested in enterprise-class capabilities that were unavailable on the Windows Home Server and the Windows Small Business Server. The core functionality of the Exchange Server and the SharePoint Server got the job done. However, organizations will now have to make the switch and accommodate these extra functionalities. Microsoft says that it has focused on providing an ideal platform for SMBs and home users with the Windows Server 2012 Essentials.
Microsoft has released a downloadable PDF titled, “Windows Server 2012 Essentials: Frequently Asked Questions” that seeks to help users understand what Windows Essentials is all about. According to the FAQ, “Almost all Windows Server 2012 applications should run on Windows Server 2012 Essentials.” The new version automatically installs and configures the server for a small business environment and has been tailored to address common small business IT scenarios. It is designed to facilitate a connection to online services for businesses looking to expand their business capabilities into the cloud. The ability to do traditional computing and online or cloud computing according to business needs and preferences makes Windows Server 2012 the ideal solution for most businesses.
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Edited by Jamie Epstein