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Windows Server 2012 Essentials

A major server solution release for small businesses is Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012 Essentials. While many of the features of these two great platforms are common across both versions, we will be focusing on Windows Server 2012 Essentials for the moment. This product is designed to be a “first server” for small businesses with limited on-staff IT expertise and supports up to 25 users and 50 devices out-of-the-box. It is extensible, with the ability to do an in-place upgrade to Windows Server 2012 Standard if business growth dictates through a process called transmogrification (no, we didn’t make that up). It can also be the primary infrastructure server in a multi-server environment for small offices of 25 users or less.

Windows Server 2012 Essentials is ideal for small businesses with on-premise requirements for mission-critical and line-of-business applications, while still allowing them to take advantage of the growing number of online (cloud) email and collaboration applications and services (such as Microsoft Office 365) in a hybrid scenario. For businesses with greater needs, Windows Server 2012 Essentials can integrate directly with an on premise Exchange 2010 or 2013 server for seamless single dashboard management of your users.

Small businesses can take advantage of Windows Server 2012 Essentials’ ability to allow “anywhere” access to applications and information on virtually any device.

Some of the new features include:

  • Improved hard drive and volume management with Storage Spaces feature
  • Complete system and client device backups, including Microsoft Online Backup support
  • Supports new Windows 8 File History feature
  • Remote access, including web access and a new Windows phone app
  • Wizard-driven VPN setup
  • Health monitoring of server and client computers running Win7 + and Mac OS X 10.5 +
  • Exchange server uncoupled from product for added flexibility and savings
  • Retains single dashboard management of Exchange server previously reserved for Small Business Server.

Windows Server 2012 Essentials is an important addition to the Microsoft Server product line, providing a flexible, affordable, and easy-to-use entry point to on-premise infrastructure for small businesses. For a small business that wants or needs to maintain control over their data and applications, whether driven by regulation, proprietary factors, or the organization’s risk profile, Sound Technology Services can help determine whether Windows Server 2012 Essentials is the right solution.

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