Help Me Choose: Server Operating Systems

 

Windows Server 2012 R2 Foundation is an economical, general purpose server for physical computing environments only. It provides customers with a Windows Server experience for up to 15 users. The licensing for Foundation will continue to be a server model with no CAL requirements.

Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials is a cloud connected first server, ideal for small businesses with up to 25 users. It provides customers with the flexibility to have email in the cloud, run line of business applications, or run email on premises. The licensing for Essentials will continue to be a server model with no CAL requirements.

Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard is ideal for physical computing or lightly virtualized environments. It now provides customers with an additional virtual instance for a total of 2 virtual instances and all of the features, just like Datacenter edition. The licensing for Standard will change and adopt to the same model as Datacenter, of a processor plus CAL, where the license will cover up to two physical processors on a server.

Windows Server 2012 R2 Datacenter will continue to be the ideal edition for highly virtualized private and hybrid cloud environments. It provides customers with unlimited virtualization rights and all of the features of the product. The licensing for Datacenter will continue to follow a processor plus CAL model, however now, each license will cover up to two physical processors on a server.

Red Hat® Enterprise Linux® (RHEL) is an open source operating system designed for edge of network and core data center workloads. RHEL is a subscription-based operating system licensed in 2- and 4-socket versions. Within each socket licensing is an additional licensing option to choose one virtual image, four virtual images or unlimited virtual images to run on top. RHEL can be used in small, medium and large corporate and government organizations without additional licensing and comes in 1, 3- and 5-year subscriptions.

SUSE® Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) is an open source operating system designed to handle workloads running in large data center environments down to single-server environments. SLES is a subscription-based operating system that allows you access to patches, fixes and security updates through their customer portal. SLES has only one type of license that can be used on 1, 2- and 4-socket servers and can be purchased in 1 or 3-year subscriptions.

 If you need ...

  Choose ...
Full Windows Server functionality with unlimited virtual instances for an unlimited number of users. Ideal for highly virtualized private and hybrid cloud environmentsWindows Server 2012 Datacenter
Full Windows Server functionality with 2 virtual instances for an unlimited number of users. Ideal for low density or non-virtualized environmentsWindows Server 2012 Standard
Basic solution that includes shared files, printers and remote access for fewer than 15 usersWindows Server 2012 Foundation