Licensing and installation of Windows Server 2012 R2

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Free educational video for end-users – Windows Server 2012 R2: Licensing and installation

For 5 years, virtualization was considered an IT trend. Today, it’s an absolutely MUST-HAVE for each company thinking about its effectiveness and operational costs. Small companies with 10-20 employees are not an exception.

For example, Microsoft Hyper-V allows even small organizations with tiny budgets to compete with large enterprises when considering the data center. It’s affordable and easy to understand and use.

First of all, you should not spend a fortune to build your first virtual environment. Take an old server, add more memory and storage (these investments you can definitely get from your boss compared to a brand new server), and you’re ready to go.

The next step is to add the operation system. In our case, this will be Windows Server 2012 R2.

Windows Server 2012 R2 offers four paid editions (ordered by price from low to high): Foundation (OEM only), Essentials, Standard, and Datacenter. Standard and Datacenter editions offer Hyper-V while Foundation and Essentials editions don’t. The completely free Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2012 R2 also includes Hyper-V.

Thus, from a virtualization point of view, we have only three options from a wide range of server Windows-based operating systems (which are good enough to start from the very beginning and create a small virtual environment):

  • Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard
  • Windows Server 2012 R2 Datacenter
  • Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2012 R2

I wrote a separate blog post, Windows Server 2012 R2 licensing in relation to Veeam Backup & Replication for Hyper-V, discussing their differences in details.

Installing Windows Server is a straightforward process. Brien Posey described it in detail in his Hands-on Guide: Understanding Hyper-V in Windows Server 2012. This 390-page document contains tons of screenshots and easy explanations for each step.

I recommend reading from page 3 to page 10. This is enough to start.

After installing the operating system, make sure that you added this server to the domain.

Hope you find this post useful.

In my next blog post, I’m going to show how to enable the Hyper-V role on this host. To be continued…

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About the author
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Maria Levkina, Veeam Software community manager, is responsible for increasing Veeam’s presence on high-profile social media outlets such as Spiceworks, Facebook, Google Plus, LinkedIn, VMware communities, Experts Exchange and more. Based in St. Petersburg, Russia, she is passionate about virtualization and system engineering. Her motto? “Learn something new every day.” Follow Maria on Spiceworks and VMware communities.