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Server 2012 Small Office

Posted on 2014-02-04
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Last Modified: 2016-11-23
I need some advice on purchasing a Server for a small office with 8 - 10 staff.

Is understand that there are user restrictions on Foundation and Essentials and that Essentials has some additional features that may be useful for a small office with no full time IT support apart from are these versions the same as the Standard Server Edition ?

I would be interested in the views of others as to advantages/disadvantages of using Foundation, Essential and Standard versions in a small office that uses only MS Office applications and a relatively small custom database.

Dell gives the option of no partition or 80Gb (see attachment) I have had problems in the past with SBS 2008 preconfigured on a Dell server running out of space I need some advice on whether 80 GB is sufficient and on whether running with just one partition is a good idea.

Thanks

John
DellPartitionOptions.jpg
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Question by:jhswinson
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Lee W, MVP earned 500 total points
ID: 39831926
Foundation Edition CANNOT be expanded beyond 15 users.  It's VERY CHEAP compared to other editions and only comes pre-installed on hardware, but it can be VERY limited and problematic if your company grows over 15 users.  It also doesn't have any "special" capabilities like management wizards to improve ease of deployment (of the same type available in Essentials) or the Remote Web Workplace / App (still can't remember which one they're calling it these days).  One of the biggest benefits is that there are NO Client Access licenses required.

Essentials has a 25 user limit but CAN be expanded beyond the 25 users.  It also includes features like Workstation backup, Remote Web Workplace / App, and Management Wizards that make it easier for a non-IT person to administer the machine.  DO keep in mind, growing beyond 25 users can be expensive as you'll need to buy Client Access Licenses (CALs) for ALL users once you hit user 26 and you'll further need to buy a full copy of Windows server (this can then convert the Essentials product into a full product that retains most if not all of the benefits of Essentials).

Standard Edition doesn't have most of the Wizards of Essentials (though there is an Essentials Role in 2012 R2 Standard), but also requires the purchasing of Client Access Licenses - the server software itself costs ~$900 and then the CALs for 10 people adds $300.  Essentials can cost ~$550 with no additional software licensing required.

If you go for Foundation, you have to buy it with the computer.  If you go for essentials I'd look for either a volume license or retail license.  YES, it will be more expensive, but only a little (in the grand scheme of things) but it will provide more flexibility including the ability to CLEANLY install the product.

I DO NOT recommend single partitions.  I break up the drive and then you have to move DATA to a data partition leaving only the OS and programs on the OS partition.
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by:jhswinson
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Very helpful Thanks
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 39836202
Not sure where my mind was when I wrote my first comment... you can CLEANLY install with any edition of the product... BUT, getting a retail or volume license will give you license transfer rights so you can upgrade the hardware later and keep using the same license for Windows until you're ready to upgrade that.  OEM copies (that come pre-installed) DIE with the hardware.
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