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I have Server 2012 keys from Dreamspark but I'd like to use Server Essentials instead.  Is it possible to downgrade?

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Found my answer - starting with Server Standard r2 you can set the role of the Server to be Essentials. 

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^ yup

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Essentials is now a standard server feature role as of R2 - you can install it via Server Manager - the only limitation is that it applies only to SDC (single domain/controller) setups  - typically used by SMBs or (fortunately) lab setups.  Essentials supports cloud services (Azure, etc.), too - just because you're an SMB, you aren't roadblocked from the cloud.

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Yep, that's what I read.  Good stuff and thanks guys

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