Windows Server 2012 SKUs revealed

When Microsoft announced that the next version of its Windows Server product would be titled Windows Home Server 2012, the company didn't state at the time how many versions of the OS it would provide. Today, Microsoft finally provided that information, revealing four different versions of the operating system.

The official Windows Server 2012 page shows all four versions along with a brief description of each feature. The pricing ranges from $425 for Essentials up to $4.809 for the Datacenter SKU. One of the versions, Foundation, has no price listed, with Microsoft saying it is just for OEM businesses.

ZDNet.com reports that having four SKUs of Windows Server 2012 is a sharp drop compared to the 12 SKUs that businesses could purchase for Windows Server 2008 R2. More details have been revealed in a PDF file from Microsoft.

One SKU that's missing on the list is the Small Business Server version. The PDF FAQ states that the current version, Windows Small Business Server 2011 Premium Add-on, " ... will be the final such Windows Server offering."

There's also no word on the future of Windows Home Server. For the past several months, Microsoft has been silent about the status of its Home Server business. The last version was released in March 2011. Update: Microsoft has confirmed that Windows Home Server is discontinued.

Via: ZDNet
Source: Windows Server website

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11 Comments

Seems a little odd that it jumps from Standard to Data Center.. What if you only need 4 virtual instances...

So you are not going to need Standard on (2) servers to accomplish what you could do on one, unless you want to spend the gobs of money on going up to Data Center..

xendrome said,
Seems a little odd that it jumps from Standard to Data Center.. What if you only need 4 virtual instances...

So you are not going to need Standard on (2) servers to accomplish what you could do on one, unless you want to spend the gobs of money on going up to Data Center..

Or, and this is just a guess, you buy 2 more VM licenses? I'm sure there's some sort of VM deal in place for those who need more, 2 however is what comes OOTB for that version.

Also, we're taking about VMs for the same OS, so the same install as the host OS. If you want to run VMs for some other server then that's different. You basically get 3 OS licenses for the price (2 being for use as a VM).

GP007 said,

Or, and this is just a guess, you buy 2 more VM licenses? I'm sure there's some sort of VM deal in place for those who need more, 2 however is what comes OOTB for that version.

Also, we're taking about VMs for the same OS, so the same install as the host OS. If you want to run VMs for some other server then that's different. You basically get 3 OS licenses for the price (2 being for use as a VM).

One thing to remember about the "3 licenses" part, if you are running hyper-v and want to use the virtual licenses you can only run the Hyper-V services on the host. The virtuals have to have all of the installed services, if the host has anything else you are breaking license.

According to the FAQ at http://download.microsoft.com/...ver_2012_Essentials_FAQ.pdf, there won't be a new version of Windows Home Server.

Q: Will there be a next version of Windows Home Server?

A: No. Windows Home Server has seen its greatest success in small office/home office (SOHO) environments and among the technology enthusiast community. For this reason, Microsoft is combining the features that were previously only found in Windows Home Server, such as support for DLNA-compliant devices and media streaming, into Windows Server 2012 Essentials and focusing our efforts into making Windows Server 2012 Essentials the ideal first server operating system for both small business and home use.

Q: How long will customers be able to purchase Windows Home Server 2011?
A: Windows Home Server 2011 will remain available as an OEM embedded product until December 31, 2025, and will remain available in all other current channels until December 31, 2013.

Liking the 2 virtual instances on standard! But not liking the lack of enterprise that allows 4 virtual instances, but the price makes up for it (its a shame due to us using the action pack from partner program I mean)

You would think not with that price but Microsoft has surprised (not really) us in the past.

I also +1 this question as I would need to know, I have few clients running SBS 2011 so I need to know what upgrade path they should go down.

zeta_immersion said,
How about Exchange? ... in SBS 2011 Std. is there, Essentials include it?

According to the PDF, SBS Standard customers should upgrade to server 2012 standard + exchange server 2010, which will most likely cost a lot more than SBS Standard 2011, with SBS Standard 2011 being ~£500, and Exchange 2010 being ~£800

Does make for a compelling package, bundling in the virtualisation features if you don't need some of the more powerful features found in VMware ESX.

Chicane-UK said,
Does make for a compelling package, bundling in the virtualisation features if you don't need some of the more powerful features found in VMware ESX.

That's the point I've been making all along about Hyper-V in general, regardless of platform. While VMware (understandably) uses the powerful features ESXi has as a selling point, how many SMBs (let alone home users) actually use them? The more and more features in a product you don't use (hardware or software) then the more and more apparent that product is *overkill* for your needs.

Server 2012 Standard, for example, is compelling for (surprisingly) home users looking to upgrade from WHS 2011 for the following reasons:

1. Hyper-V is standard, as is the entire Windows Server feature set (not the case with either WHS 2011 or SBS 2008 R2).

2. More storage options are supported with Server 2012 (again, compared to WHS or SBS 2008 R2).

3. Greater expandability compared to WHS 2011.

The diagram says Processor + CAL. does that mean MS is going the way of pricing per processor, kinda like vmware?

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