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Windows Server 2012 versions help

what are the differences? We are a non profit, and Microsoft donated all these different versions to us - which one should i install? It will be for a small office,  about 10PCs, however need to be working with server 2000 and 2003. (no exchange, it will just have backup exec and serve as domain controller and file server)  
these are the versions i have:
Essentials
Datacenter
r2 standard
standard

thank you
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Cubbybulin
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Cubbybulin
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1 Solution
 
Cliff GaliherCommented:
First, we need to make a distinction between editions and versions, since you listed "r2 standard" and "standard" as two different things.

Essentials, Standard, and DataCenter are editions.

2012, and 2012 R2 are two different *versions.* 2012 R2 is newer than 2012. All three editions (Essentials, Standard, and Datacenter) existed in 2012 and still exist in 2012 R2.

Each standard license allows you to run two virtual machines on a single physical server as long as you meet the other licensing requirements.

Datacenter allows you unlimited VMs per physical machine.

That's the *only* difference between Standard and Datacenter in 2012 and 2012 R2.

Essentials is a specialty product targeting small businesses. It only supports 25 users and does have some other limitations. But it also has unique features that make managing and day-to-day administration easier for non-IT business people. It is significantly less expensive than Standard to help small businesses with limited budgets, but comes with user restriction and other limitations as mentioned above.
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CubbybulinAuthor Commented:
can i use all of those with server 2000 and 2003?
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Cliff GaliherCommented:
In some instances, yes. So.e workloads will not be compatible though. Especially with 2000. 2000 is official very end of life and 2003 ends support very soon. They really shouldn't still be used. Migrating off those systems should be a very high priority.
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CubbybulinAuthor Commented:
yeah i was trying to tlak my boss into that, but with limited budget we decided we will get a new server this year and another one next year. so i guess the best would be to use 2012 with 2003 and retire the 2000, right? Thanks
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Cliff GaliherCommented:
Without knowing a lot more, I can't give specific advice. But loosely, yes.
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CubbybulinAuthor Commented:
thanks!
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