Windows Server

Windows Server Standard Vs Essentials Comparison

Windows Server has been declared and has already been created and available. However, there are many editions available for Windows Server. This isn’t very clear, and selecting the correct choice may not be easy. If you’re confused and looking out for the simplest choices for each of the individual editions’ simplest options, we might assist you during this venture.

Windows Server
Windows Server

So, in this post, we will compare the Standard and Essentials editions of Windows Server.

Which is the major version of Windows Server?

The primary Windows Server editions would include Win_dows Ser_ver Standard, Essentials, and Datacentre editions.

Windows Server Essentials

Windows Server Essentials edition is specially designed for short businesses. Essentials edition will be best if you have not more than 25 users. So, you can either opt for a remote or a physical, bare-metal server.

This edition is designed to work with 25 users, and you will not be able to work with more than 20 users. Moreover, you would need a few users, which would include system applications and processes. The Win-dows Ser_ver Essentials consider the new age version of the Win_dows Small Business Ser_ver (SBS) products.

Essential System has access to all the features like MS Exchange, and Active Directory resides on a single physical system. But his sort of setup and configuration will not be in tune with the best practices followed by Microsoft. However, Microsoft recommends having each of those systems on different, dedicated servers or VMs.

The features offered :

  • 25 users and 50 devices limit you.
  • The edition is best suited for little businesses.
  • You can access the Azure Site Recovery service.

But, some tight features offered by the platform would include

  • Easy connectivity with Azure services
  • An easy option for administration
  • Improved Linux operations.

Microsoft Windows Server Standard

Standard version specially created for small and medium-sized businesses. But unlikley, the Essentials plan explained in the above discussion. The Standard edition is best for those looking for more than 20 users or those enterprises.

Windows server standard edition will be a little difficult to understand if you are looking to license Win_dows Ser_ver 2019 properly. You would need to buy the operating system first and then opt for the requisite number of CALs based on your exact needs.

Moreover, this edition comes with a 16 core license pack and an additional Client Access Licences (CALs). You would find similar applications and resources like those on the Essentials edition. The only difference you would see in this edition would be that it is best suited for a business with more than 25 users and 50 devices.

How Windows Server Essentials and Standard separate from one another

The main difference between the two editions of Windows Server is that they only have different user requirements. So, these are easy to work with the businesses as per the discussion above.

The primary difference is just that Win_dows Ser_ver Essentials can use with 25 clients. However, the standard version does not have any such limitations. Moreover, the edition depends upon the number of Client’ access licenses or CALs.

Windows Server Essentials edition comes with a single license with enough CALs that offer you access to up to 25 users or 50 devices. It is available at a lower price range. So, you can able to run almost all applications from within the UI.

Most probably, we will not find the Essentials edition for the future generations of Windows Server. The Windows Server Essentials would be the last option. Moreover, from next year onwards, you would only find Standard or Datacentre editions only.

If you have a small business, you can opt for other solutions like Microsoft 365 or similar other services.

The Comparison table chart

The comparison table chart for the best features offered by Windows Server Essentials and Standard.

FeaturesWindows Essentials ServerWindows Standard Server
Microsoft Windows Server FunctionalityNoYes
Windows Server with Hyper V02
Windows Server containers without Hyper-VNoYes
Licensing modelSpecialty serversCore-based license
CALsNo needWindows Server CALs

After looking at the features and the functionalities offered by each of those options, it would be smarter to go with Windows Server Standard editions. However, if you have a small business or a medium one, the Essentials edition had its own advantages. It does not need more than 25 users, things have changed considerably. Windows Essential edition has just remained a poor shadow of what had once been Windows Server Essentials.


Those were a few details into the significant differences between Windows Server Essentials and Standard. But do note that this would perhaps be the last version you would find the Essentials edition on Win_dows Ser_ver. Next year, you would either need to go with the other cloud products or choose the older Server versions.

The ability of Win_dows Ser_ver has been deprecated to a considerable extent. So, when you compare it to the Server 2016 Essentials. Having understood that, we would suggest you opt for the Server Standard itself no matter whether you require fewer than 25 users or even more than that. Unless budget is not a considerable constraint for you, choose to go with Standard edition, thanks to the additional features and functions that it tends to provide you.

Microsoft windows server

MICROSOFT WINDOWS SERVER 2016 || 10 Best New Features

Microsoft Windows Server 2016 is the seventh release of the Windows Server operating system developed by Microsoft. It was developed concurrently with Windows 10 and is the successor to Windows Server 2012 R2. The first early preview version (Technical Preview) became available on October 1, 2014. [5] Windows Server 2016 was released on September 26, 2016, at Microsoft’s Ignite conference. It broadly released for retail sale on October 12, 2016.

Microsoft windows server
Microsoft windows server

Microsoft Windows Server 2016 is now generally available for use. Its release mirrors contemporary information technology trends of containerization and hybrid connectivity with cloud services. The list of new features in Windows Server 2016 is staggering, but 10 stand out.

Microsoft Windows Nano Server

Nano Server boasts a 92 per-cent smaller installation footprint than the Windows Server graphical user interface. Beyond just that, these compelling reasons may make you start running Nano of your Windows Server workloads:

  • Bare-metal OS means far fewer updates, and reboots are necessary.
  • The server has a much-reduced attack surface when compared to GUI Windows Server.
  • Nano is so small that it can be ported easily across servers, data centres and physical sites.
  • It hosts the most common Windows Server workloads, including Hyper-V host.

Microsoft Windows Nano Server is intended to be managed completely remotely. However, Nano does include a minimal local management UI called “Nano Server Recovery Console.


Microsoft is working closely with the Docker development team to bring Docker-based containers to Microsoft Windows Server. Until now, containers have existed almost entirely in the Linux/UNIX open-source world. They allow you to isolate applications and services in an agile, easy-to-administer way. Windows Server 2016 offers two different types of “containerized” Windows Server instances:

  • Windows Server Container. This container type is intended for low-trust workloads. Where you don’t mind that container instances running on the same server may share some common resources.
  • Hyper-V Container. This isn’t a Hyper-V host or VM. Instead, its a “super isolated” containerized Windows Server. Which t is completely isolated from other containers and potentially from the host server. Hyper-V containers are appropriate for high-trust workloads.

Windows Server Linux Secure Boot

Secure Boot is part of the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) specification. It protects a server’s startup environment against the injection of rootkits or other assorted boot-time malware.

The problem with Windows Server-based Secure Boot is that your server would blow up (figuratively speaking) if you tried to create a Linux-based Generation 2 Hyper-V VM because the Linux kernel drivers weren’t part of the trusted device store. Technically, the VM’s UEFI firmware presents a “Failed Secure Boot Verification” error and stops startup.

Nowadays, the Microsoft Windows Server and Azure engineering teams seemingly love Linux. Therefore, we can now deploy Linux VMs under Windows Server 2016 Hyper-V with no trouble.


The Resilient File System (ReFS) has been a long time coming in Microsoft Windows Server. In Windows Server 2016, we finally get a stable version. ReFS is intended as a high-performance, high-resiliency file system.

Microsoft Windows Server Storage Spaces Direct

Both Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 shipped with Storage Spaces. Which provides similar functionality to RAID but in software. Windows Server 2012 R2 added the ability to build a highly available storage cluster based on the same Storage Spaces. The one big requirement for this high-availability cluster is making all storage accessible. The JBOD array must also contain SAS drives for their multi-initiator support.

Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview 2 takes Storage Spaces. A step further, with the ability to build a highly available storage system using only directly attached disks on each node. Resiliency across nodes uses the network and the SMB3 protocol. This new feature, called Storage Spaces Direct, also takes advantage of new hardware like NVMe SSDs. While supporting older SATA-based hardware. A minimum of four nodes must be available to create a cluster with Storage Spaces Direct.


Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS) is a Windows Server role that supports claims (token)-based identity. Claims-based identity is a crucial need for single-sign-on (SSO).

ADFS v4 in Windows Server 2016 finally supports OpenID Connect-based authentication, multi-factor authentication (MFA). Microsoft calls it “hybrid conditional access.” This latter technology allows ADFS to respond when a user or device attributes fall out of compliance with security policies.

Windows Server 2016 Nested Virtualization

Nested virtualization refers to the capability of a virtual machine to itself host virtual machines. This has historically been a “no go” in Windows Server Hyper-V. But we finally have that ability in Windows Server 2016.

Nested virtualization makes sense when a business wants to deploy additional Hyper-V hosts.

Hyper-V Hot-Add Virtual Hardware

Hyper-V Server has allowed us to add virtual hardware or adjust the allocated RAM to a virtual machine. However, those changes historically required that we first power down the VM. In Windows Server 2016, we can now “hot add” virtual hardware while VMs are online and running. I was able to add an additional virtual network interface card (NIC).

PowerShell Direct

In Windows Server 2012 R2, Hyper-V administrators ordinarily performed Windows PowerShell-based. In Windows Server 2016, PowerShell remoting commands now have -VM* parameters. Which allows us to send PowerShell directly into the Hyper-V host’s VMs!

We used the new -VMName parameter of the Invoke-Command cmdlet to run the Stop-Service. And on the Hyper-V VM named server2.

Shielded VMs

The new Host Guardian Service server role, which hosts the shielded VM feature. Which is far too complex to discuss in this limited space. For now, Windows Server 2016 shielded VMs allow for much deeper, fine-grained control.

For example, your Hyper-V host may have VMs from more than one tenant. And you need to ensure that different Hyper-V admin groups can access only their designated VMs. Using BitLocker Drive Encryption to encrypt the VM’s virtual hard disks, shielded VMs can solve that problem.

Final Thoughts

Now we can conclude that the Windows Server engineering team put huge focus on the following OS subsystems:

  • Compute
  • Virtualization
  • Security

Those previous three feature areas also fit hand-in-glove with the Microsoft Azure cloud, not surprisingly. If you haven’t already done so, go ahead and download  Microsoft Windows Server 2016.