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Windows Defender (known as Microsoft Security Essentials) Installation on Server 2012 R2

Need feedback installing Windows Defender (known as Microsoft Security Essentials) on Server 2012 R2. Have a host running 2016 Standard Server with 2 VM's. One VM is 2016 Server and the other downgraded to 2012 R2 Standard Server by Microsoft. Had a licensing issue and the best option was downgrading to save on downtime. 2nd VM is an exchange server and doesn't have Windows Defender / Msft Sec Essentials) installed.

1. What sucess and procedures have others followed to install Windows Defender (known as Microsoft Security Essentials) on Server 2012 R2?
2. Any concerns running on an exchange server?

This article  explains the unsupported steps to install Msft Sec Essentials. Anyone try this procedure and how did it go?

Microsoft Tech Net explains turn on the feature located 'User Interface and Infrastructure / Desktop Experience' which I confrirmed is installed. Can't locate Defender/MSFT Essential anywhere.
Desktop Experience
VirtualizationWindows OSSecurity

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8/22/2022 - Mon
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert PRO / EE Fellow/British Beekeeper)

Use and Manage with SCCM.
Sebastian Talmon

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Sebastian Talmon

May I ask what was the reason for the downgrade? If you licensed the Host with Windows Server 2012r2 (is this a single Host or cluster?), you have the right to use 2 VMs with Windows Server 2016, if the Host is only used for Virtualization and has no other roles installed.

(Disclaimer: licensing advice is given on a best-effort base, is not legally binding and maybe not fully correct in any case. The Microsoft licensing terms or OEM licensing terms are the only official terms.)

@Andrew SCCM is an option, something that stands out is the windows update portion. This seems to end up taking up too much space over time and managing the size (IMO) has created issues in the past. From backup costs to sheer size. More so, doesn't seem like this option will assist with my original question regarding Windows Defender.
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William Peck

@Sebastian, downgrade happened after the server was shipped with a license issue between Dell and Microsoft. It's a PowerEdge and Dell said they would get the licensing issue resolved and recommended we use a trial. Since we had a weekend scheduled out and couldn't change this we moved forward. When the trial ended Dell then said it was on Microsofts side, typical Dell non-sense. Hat's off to Microsoft because the VM wouldn't activate with the correct license we were given and they worked for free (they fully refunded the $500 tech support call) and resolved the issue Dell created. Unfortunately they could only do this for the 2012 trial software and probably why there wasn't any charge. Dell to this day hasn't resolved the licending issue and on my list of things to get done. Doesn't make much sense to install a 2016 VM knowing the licensing issue is not resolved.

It's one of 2 free VM's that come with 2016 Standard.

The host is used exactly as you mentioned, to support the two VM's.
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Thanks guys.