Windows Server 2012 Essentials Feature Comparison

LogoA lot of people have asked what is the difference between Server 2012 Standard and Essentials, and then the difference again when an Essentials box is transmogged. I don’t know of any official resource available from Microsoft that answers this question, so i made a little chart. This is just based on the ‘Windows Features’ built into the underlying OS and does not include the Essentials ‘Value Add’ features like Client PC Backup, the RWA and so on.

First, i have 3 servers. My Server 2012 Standard is a VM, plain out of the box install. My Essentials box is based on the RTM ISO, and is what i would call ‘fully configured’ i.e., i have setup the RWA and enabled DirectAccess. Finally the Transmogged server is an Out of the Box install of Essentials RTM – with little customisation.

The resulting differences are these:

Essentials Compare

These are the features that are unavailable in an Essentials server, compared to a full Server 2012, or a transmogged Essentials Server.

Remember once your Essentials Server is transmogged and things like Hyper-V or RDS become available – it is still a Domain Controller, and as such you should exercise caution when enabling any additional roles.

Additionally after a transmog you still have those value add features like:

  • Client PC Backup (Windows 7 & 8)
  • Remote Web Access web site
  • Exchange Integration
  • Office 365 Integration
  • Management Dashboard

You can grab a copy of the full comparison spread sheet from here.

About Robert Pearman
Robert Pearman is a UK based Small Business Server enthusiast. He has been working within the SMB IT Industry for what feels like forever. Robert likes Piña colada and taking walks in the rain, on occasion he also enjoys writing about Small Business Technology like Windows Server Essentials or more recently writing PowerShell Scripts. If you're in trouble, and you can find him, maybe you can ask him a question.

2 Responses to Windows Server 2012 Essentials Feature Comparison

  1. JC says:

    Will S2012 Essentials allow me to install a third party security certificate like from Godaddy?

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