Windows Server 2019 Essentials: New option for small businesses

Microsoft just announced the newest version of its on-premises server for small businesses, Windows Server 2019 Essentials. The company plans on releasing this new offering later in the year along with the other versions of Windows Server 2019. Here’s what you need to know about the new offerings.

About Windows Server Essentials

Microsoft has been offering these small business editions of Windows Server for more than a decade, with Windows Server 2016 Essentials as the current option. These versions are meant for companies with up to 25 users.

Windows Server 2019 Essentials will include many of the same characteristics as the 2016 version. So small businesses that use the product currently should already be familiar with the basic features, like the single license that includes Client Access Licenses for up to 25 users on 50 devices, the ability to run traditional applications, and other features like file and print sharing. Additionally, the Essentials version of Windows Server is available at a lower price point than the full version, making it a more attractive option for small companies with limited resources.

What’s new in Windows Server 2019 Essentials

But not everything is the same with this version of Windows Server Essentials. The 2019 version has the same licensing and technical characteristics of its predecessor, but it includes new hardware support and features like the updates available with Windows Server 2019 Standard. These include Storage Migration Services and System Insights, among others.

If you configure Windows Server 2019 Essentials as a Domain Controller, it must be the only Domain Controller and run all Flexible Single Master Operations roles. It also cannot have any two-way trusts with other Active Directory domains. In addition, the program will not include the Essentials Experience role, which was made primarily for simplifying file sharing and device management. Instead, you can now use Windows Admin Center for those purposes.

How to access it

Customers who are currently using Windows Server 2016 Essentials will automatically have access to the new version when it becomes available, according to Microsoft’s Long Term Servicing Channel servicing timeline. Companies that have more than 25 users on 50 devices, or companies that have grown beyond that size, should access Windows Server 2019 Standard instead.

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