Microsoft Windows Server 2019 Buyers Guide

Windows Server 2019 is the latest operating system (OS) for servers from Microsoft. To cover small office servers right up to datacentre deployments, it is available in three versions - Windows Server 2019 Essentials, Windows Server 2019 Standard and Windows Server 2019 Datacenter. But which one should you choose?

Essentials Edition

With up to 25 users or 50 devices, the Essentials edition is the perfect server OS for small businesses. It includes many of the features of the larger editions, such as Windows Admin Centre and System Insights. Rather than a license-based model, Essentials is just a single purchase.

Standard Edition

Standard edition is aimed at users who only need a few Windows Server virtual machines. In addition to installation on the physical hardware, two virtual machines running Windows Server are also possible with the server license. There is no limit on Linux VMs. Nearly all features and server roles from the Datacentre Edition are also included in the Standard version. One exception is Storage Spaces Direct.

Datacenter Edition

With the Datacenter edition, users have the greatest possible flexibility in server deployment and can realise large, rapidly changing workloads. The number of VMs is unlimited and software-defined storage can be implemented using Storage Spaces Direct.

Windows 2019 Edition Ideal for Licensing Model CAL Requirements Cost
ESSENTIALS Small businesses with up to 25 users and 50 devices No License required No CAL required £
STANDARD Physical or minimally virtualised environments Per CPU core Windows Server CAL ££
DATACENTRE Highly virtualised datacentres and cloud environments Per CPU core Windows Server CAL £££

Windows Server 2019 Features

Features Essentials Standard Datacentre
USER LIMIT

Number of concurrent users that can access the server.

25
(or 50 devices)
Unlimited Unlimited
MAXIMUM RAM

The total supported system memory

64GB 24TB 24TB
MAXIMUM CPUs

The total supported processor sockets

2 64 64
VIRTUAL MACHINES (VMs)

The number of Hyper-V instances that can be run per licence.

No
2 Unlimited
WINDOWS SERVER CONTAINERS

Containers allow Windows apps to run across diverse environments on-premises and in the cloud.

No
Unlimited Unlimited
WINDOWS ADMIN CENTRE

Manage your servers, clusters, hyper-converged infrastructure and Windows 10 PCs.

Yes
Yes
Yes
SYSTEM INSIGHTS

Predictive capabilities, each backed by a machine- learning model, locally analyze Windows Server system data to provide high-accuracy predictions that help reduce the operational expenses.

Yes
Yes
Yes
NETWORK CONTROLLER

Provides a centralised, programmable point of automation to manage, configure, monitor, and troubleshoot.

Yes
Yes
Yes
AZURE DNS SERVER

Provides name resolution by using Microsoft Azure infrastructure.

Yes
Yes
Yes
DEVICE HEALTH ATTESTATION

Integrates with Windows 10 Mobile Device Management (MDM) and Supports devices that have a Trusted Module Platform (TPM).

No
Yes
Yes
HYBRID INTEGRATION

Management program that enables you to work with both local and cloud servers.

No
Yes
Yes
SOFTWARE DEFINED NETWORKING

Provides a method to centrally configure and manage physical and virtual network devices such as routers, switches, and gateways in your datacentre.

No
No
Yes
STORAGE SPACES DIRECT

Create highly available, highly scalable software-defined storage at a fraction of the cost of traditional SAN or NAS arrays.

No
No
Yes
SHIELDED VMs

Provides a virtual TPM, and encryption using BitLocker, ensuring VMs can run only on healthy and approved hosts in the fabric.

No
No
Yes
HYPER CONVERGED INFRASTRUCTURE

Supports HCI when compute, network, and storage are all combined into a single piece of equipment.

No
No
Yes

Windows Server 2019 Core Licensing

Windows Server 2019 Standard and Datacenter editions are licensed per CPU core. The standard installations are licensed for 16 or 24 CPU cores, so if your server has more cores that this you will need to buy additional CPU license packs. These are available in various multiples, such as 2, 4 and 16 additional cores.

External users must be licensed with either an individual User CAL or a Device CAL (Client Access License). Which you should choose depends on the way you intend to use your Windows Server 2019 software.

User CAL

With the User CAL, you purchase a CAL for every user who accesses the server to use services such as file storage or printing, regardless of the number of devices they use for that access. Purchasing a User CAL might make more sense if your company's employees need to have roaming access to the corporate network by using multiple devices, or from unknown devices, or if you simply have more devices than users in your organisation.

Device CAL

With a Device CAL, you purchase a CAL for every device that accesses your server, regardless of the number of users who use that device to access the server. Device CALs may make more economic and administrative sense if your company has workers who share devices, for example, on different work shifts.

Should you choose to have a custom server build from 3XS, you can add your choice of Microsoft Windows Server 2019 and we will ensure the product is properly licensed upon purchase. Learn more about the 3XS server range.

Upgrade to Windows Server 2019

You may have an existing server with an older version of Windows Server OS software such as Server 2008R2, Server 2012R2 or Server 2016. Aside from the fact that some of these versions may have limited or no support services remaining for Microsoft, there are many features of Server 2019 that may be worth considering an upgrade to take advantage of.

Feature Windows Server 2008R2 Windows Server 2012R2 Windows Server 2016 Windows Server 2019
AZURE HYBRID INTEGRATION
No
No
No
Yes
STORAGE SPACES DIRECT
No
No
No
Yes
STORAGE MIGRATION SERVICES
No
No
No
Yes
SYSTEMS INSIGHTS
No
No
No
Yes
VM PROTECTION
No
No
Yes
Yes
DATA DEDUPLICATION
No
Yes
Yes
Yes
CLUSTER-WIDW MONITORING
No
No
Yes
Yes
PERSISTANT MEMORY
No
No
No
Yes
STORAGE CLASS MEMORY
No
No
No
Yes

Time to Choose

Hopefully you’ve found this guide to choosing Windows Server 2019 software useful. If you’d still like advice on which may be best version for you then don’t hesitate to speak to one of our advisors on 01204 474747, or contact [email protected].