Windows Server 2012 R2 captures the experience Microsoft has gained from building and operating public clouds to deliver a highly dynamic, available, and cost-effective server platform for your datacenter and private cloud. It offers a scalable, multitenant-aware cloud infrastructure that can help your organization’s distributed and mobile workforces connect more securely across premises and enable IT to respond to business needs faster and more efficiently. The following information provides an overview of your key licensing options.
Datacenter edition is ideal for customers who want to have a highly virtualized private and hybrid cloud environment. As always, it provides access to all the product features and enables unlimited instances of Windows Server with each license, enabling your virtual environment to grow as you do. The licensing for Datacenter edition will continue to be processor plus CAL (Client Access License), with each license covering up to two physical processors on a single server.
Standard edition is ideal for those customers who want to have a physical or lightly virtualized environment. This edition enables you to run up to two virtual instances of Windows Server with each license and provides all the same features as Datacenter edition. The licensing for Standard edition will continue to be processor plus CAL, with each license covering up to two physical processors on a single server, just like Datacenter edition.
Essentials edition is ideal for small businesses that have up to 25 users and want to have a simpler, pre-configured connection to cloud-based services. This edition enables you to run a single virtual instance of Essentials. The licensing for Essentials will continue to be a server license for a two processor server that does not require CALs.
Foundation edition is ideal for small businesses that have up to 15 users and want a general purpose server. The licensing for Foundation has not changed; it continues to be a server license for a one-processor server that does not require CALs and is sold only through OEM (original equipment manufacturer).