Essentials vs Server 2018 Standard

WORKS2011 used Ask the Experts™
Does anyone use Essentials anymore and if so why? What are the benefits for a small company of 10 or less people.

I've been using Server 2016 Standard more often for small businesses with 1VM as the PDC and the 2nd as Exchange. Have a client already on Office 365 thinking Essentials is the way to go. A concern is they may need an additional server, am I correct Essentials doesn't come with any VM's options and we would have to purchase another server?

Client also likes the remote access they had prior in SBS, this is an add on, correct?

Finally, am I correct and the 25 user CAL's are included in Essentials?
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Distinguished Expert 2018
Your subject says "2018 Standard."  There is no such product.  There is 2016 standard, and an upcoming server that will likely be called 2019, but that feature set is not fully known yet, and is subject to is any unreleased product.  So I will only address your questions (in order) based on 2016.

Yes, people still use essentials.  I don't, but some folks do.  The reasons why tend to be either the "access anywhere" feature, the client backup feature, or the price given CALs are not needed in a single-server environment.

You can use the free "Hyper-V server" product and install the Essentials SKU on that.  If they ever need a second server, you'd only need to buy the license, CALs, and create the VM.  You would not be looking at a second physical server or needing to reformat and go crazy reconfiguring your existing server.

"Anywhere access" is still a feature in Essentials 2016.

Essentials 2016 is a product that does *NOT* require CALs.  That is not the same as "including CALs."   Since CALs cover *all* servers in an environment, if it included CALs, that would cover additional servers.  But it doesn't.  It is a fundamental, but subtle distinction.  If you only run Essentials, you are allowed to run up to 25 users without any CALs required (and more users cannot be added.)  If you add a second server, you need to buy CALs for *every* user.  There is no extended coverage from Essentials to the additional server.  Thus I would not say "CALs are included" ...that isn't accurate.
WORKS2011Managed IT Services, Cyber Security, Backup


Thank you.

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