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Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2 overview

Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2 is a server operating system that enables a computer to handle network roles such as print server, domain controller, web server, and file server. As a server operating system, it is also the platform for separately acquired server applications such as Microsoft Exchange Server or Microsoft SQL Server.

Windows Server 2012

Windows Server 2012How can Windows Server 2012 R2 help our not-for-profit organisation?

If you have system administration experience, you can use Microsoft Windows Server to:

  • Run multiple server roles and different operating systems on a single server
  • Reduce the amount of hardware needed to run server workloads
  • Minimise the time it takes to set up hardware and software and reproduce test environments

What are the key features of Windows Server 2012 R2?

  • Server virtualisation: Hyper-V provides tools for creating and managing a virtualised server computing environment. Hyper-V Replica can replicate a virtual machine from one location to another, without shared storage, storage arrays, or other replication technologies.
  • Server management: The Server Core provides a minimal environment for running specific server roles. Those roles are then easier to maintain and manage and less exposed to attack. Administrators can manage groups of servers collectively from within a single, integrated console.
  • Integrated services: Microsoft Windows Server 2012 delivers a unified platform for web publishing that integrates IIS, ASP.NET, and Windows Communication Foundation and also supports SharePoint Services.
  • Failover clustering: Administrators can minimise disruptions of services and applications by creating a redundant server environment with dynamic hardware partitioning.
  • DirectAccess: This secure tunneling feature allows access to the network from any computer or device. It is faster than typical VPN connections and provides off-site access to file shares, on-premises equipment, and other resources.

What Windows Server 2012 R2 products are available through Connecting Up?

There are a number of products related to Windows Server 2012 available for eligible not-for-profit organisations.

Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard Edition

The Standard Edition is designed for small-to-medium-sized organisations with physical or lightly virtualised server environments.

Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials

The Essentials Edition is designed for small organisations with minimal server requirements.

Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2 Datacentre Edition

The Datacenter Edition is designed for organisations with large workloads and heavily virtualized server environments.

Licencing information

Each licence allows up to two physical processors on one server and up to two virtual instances of the server software. For additional licencing information, see below.

The Standard and Datacenter editions of Windows Server both use processor-based licencing, with each license allowing up to two physical processors.

The two editions have identical features, but they differ in the number of virtual instances of the server software you are allowed to run.

Client access licenses (CALs)

Every device and user requires a “client access license” to be able to connect to Windows Server 2012. Below are the CALs available through Connecting Up

Software Assurance

Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows Server CALs include Software Assurance. Under the Software Assurance program, you have the right to install any new release of products covered in the agreement during the term of your coverage.