Gag me with a first server marketing plan. There they go again...
Microsoft | Windows Server 2012 Essentials | Windows Small Business Server Next Version:
Stressing that "first server" marketing plan again.
Show me a small business that doesn't have a server and I'll show you a micro sized firm that probably would be better suited with a Windows 2012 foundation server. Show me a firm that would really thrive with the benefits of Essentials, and I'll show you a firm that shouldn't be buying Essentials but should buy Windows 2012 standard instead.
Say what? You ask?
Bear with me, I'll explain. When you buy Windows 2012 standard you get the ability to install one copy as a HyperV parent. You then get the right to downgrade each of the child instances or keep them as 2012 versions - it's up to you. So if I wanted the parent as 2012 server and then I made one of the children a 2012 essentials virtualized, and a 2008r2 member server for say remote desktop.. or an on premises exchange or a 2012 member server or whatever you want that second instance to be you can.
This downgrade right gives you the ability to have a nicely/securely build virtualized solution. And while you are at it, don't buy via OEM, but via Volume licensing. Why? Because for sure I know you immediately get all of the downgrade right keys, I'm not 100% sure you'll get it if you buy a OEM server. Oh, I know that it's legal to get these downgrade rights, I just don't know the logistical way to get these licenses.
Don't get software assurance. I say this as a person who has Windows 2012 standard/Exchange 2013 as part of my "make good" rights from SA with SBS 2011 but I still say I'm one OS short and Microsoft should throw in an Essentials license. Not to mention if you are on SA you might want to review that you have a key still in your VLSC for SBS 2011 standard/Essentials (it's now a joint key) and for the Exchange server up there. I had to call the other week and get a situation fixed as they said I wasn't a SBS 2011 customer. Needless to say my SA patience has snapped and I no longer feel it of value in the SMB space. I'm sure many of you are questioning my sanity for ever thinking it was in the first place.
But bottom line instead of 'first server' think VIRTUALIZED server. As while it can't be a hyperv PARENT, for sure it can be virutalized and in fact if you buy Windows 2012 standard you get a 1+2 rights included.