Overview of Windows Server versions currently available at Wiresoft
At Wiresoft, you will find not only the latest version of Windows Server - Windows Server 2019 - but also a number of previous versions. This allows you to both supplement your existing server licenses at a reasonable price and upgrade to a higher version. We offer the following versions of Windows Server in our online store:
- Windows Server 2019: Standard 16-core, Standard 2-core, Datacenter 16-core, Datacenter 2-core
- Windows Server 2016: Standard, Datacenter
- Windows Server 2012 R2: Standard, Datacenter
- Windows Server 2008: Standard
Wiresoft's diverse offering for Windows Server allows you to tailor your server licensing to reduce IT costs while increasing business efficiency. Depending on the server version or edition, you can purchase core-based licenses as well as individual server licenses plus client access licenses (CALs).
Below you will find a brief description of the respective server versions, detailed information is available on the respective product pages as well as directly from us - via email or chat.
Windows Server 2019
Windows Server 2019 optimally supports the current, increasing trend towards cloud-based services and applications. The server operating system is based on Windows 10 and has a number of optimizations of existing and new features that facilitate the efficiency of typical business processes and at the same time increase the management and protection of data. Through the close connection of Microsoft's Azure services, companies also benefit from additional layers of security, including the integration of Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection, in addition to the new hybrid features. Key new features in Windows Server 2019 include:
- Shielded Virtual Machines (Shielded VM) - for developing highly secure virtualization infrastructures. This security technology reliably protects critical VM data stored in the public cloud from misuse and theft.
- Software Defined Networking (SDN) - with this tool, both physical network components such as routers and switches and virtual ones - such as gateways - can be centrally configured and dynamically managed.
- Storage Replica - with the disaster preparedness integrated in Storage Replica, downtimes and data losses are minimized. Storage Replica supports both synchronous and asynchronous replication of data.
- Storage Spaces Direct - for connecting local data stores to a virtual cluster and building scalable, highly available storage systems - even from disparate disk systems.
- Enhanced Kubernetes and Linux support - including parallel use of Linux and Windows containers managed with Kubernetes; this has also been expanded to include new features such as container networking.
Windows Server 2016
Microsoft Windows Server provides enterprises and institutions with a flexible cloud-ready operating system that offers all the features needed to create and manage highly virtualized data center environments. With optimized scalability, this version of Windows Server can support any number of virtual machines. Key features in Windows Server 2016 include support for Docker containers, Nano Server, which provides enhanced security, Hyper-V-shielded-VM to protect data in the cloud, and Network Controller, which allows administrators to efficiently manage switches and subnets in both virtual and physical networks, among others:
- Nano Server in Windows Server 2016 makes it possible to save more than 90% space in a virtual machine, allowing significantly leaner servers to be created. Further, Nano Server can also be used as a file server or to create Hyper-V clusters.
- Hypervisor (Hyper-V) - a key element of Microsoft's Server Software-Defined Datacenter (SDDC) - has greater scalability and also offers Storage Spaces support; with VM Storage Resiliency, tolerance to storage system failures is increased.
- Storage Spaces Direct simplifies the aggregation of local data stores into a virtual storage cluster, also enabling the creation of scalable, high-availability storage systems.
- Storage Replica not only minimizes server downtime, but also effectively prevents data loss. Storage Replica supports both synchronous and asynchronous replication by synchronizing two servers or replicating volumes between clusters.
- In addition, Shielded Virtual Machines with Host Guardian Service (HGS) and the Guarded Hosts provide reliable protection against data misuse or theft of data in the public cloud.
- Software Defined Networking (SDN) allows both central configuration and dynamic management of physical (routers, switches) and virtual network devices (gateways). It is used to dynamically create as well as secure networks and includes features for defining and scaling policies to control physical as well as virtual networks.
Windows Server 2012 R2
Windows Server 2012 R2 has a number of new important features as well as optimizations to existing tools - with a particular focus on virtualization, which will be further strengthened with the connection to cloud services with Windows Azure. Based on Windows 8.1, virtual and local servers in corporate networks can be managed together and controlled centrally via a web portal - including a virtual desktop infrastructure. In addition, the server version also offers improved access and data protection. Important functions in detail are:
- Hyper-V for a higher level of virtualization: to this end, Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) access has been simplified - this now takes place via the host in Windows Server 2012 R2; thus, virtual servers can be activated more quickly in an automated manner, improving efficiency.
- The new Hyper-V Recovery Manager enables cloud-based replication or backup of virtual servers based on Hyper-V or Windows Azure virtual machines.
- Storage Spaces connects SSD and SATA disks in storage pools; this allows them to be shared, significantly increasing the performance of a file server.
- Desired State Configuration (DSC) is an extension to PowerShell that makes it even easier for administrators to manage and deploy configurations of services to computers and servers in their environment.
- VM Connect enables easy drag-and-drop copying and moving of files. Likewise, Live Migration makes it possible to move or copy virtual servers between Hyper-V hosts while they are running and at a much higher speed than before. Virtual hard disks can also be enlarged or reduced in size, or virtual servers can share a virtual hard disk without employees being hindered in their work.
- Dynamic Access Control complements Active Directory security lines - this tool controls access to data using metadata and also protects it from unauthorized access during moving.
Windows Server 2008
Windows Server 2008 offers companies a reliable basis for building a robust, virtualizable network; to this end, the server software provides all the important tools in the areas of administration, protection and transfer of data - supplemented by the integration of Windows Vista. The most important features include PowerShell, which is based on the .NET Framework, Point of Service for .NET, Windows Portable Devices, improved failover clustering and, in addition to RemoteApp, Hyper-V, which enables the virtualization of server systems.
In the area of security, Windows Server 2008 Standard also includes many new security features, such as the integrated firewall with snap-in for remote server management tools, the read-only domain controller, and NAP (Network Access Protection) network access protection. The following features in Windows Server 2008 should be highlighted:
- Active Directory - the directory service of Microsoft Windows Server - consists of the five roles of Active Directory Domain Services for domain and resource management, Active Directory Lightweight Directory Services for connecting LDAP-compliant services, Active Directory Federation Services for authenticating users logging on via the Web, Active Directory Rights Management Services for protecting against unauthorized access, and Active Directory Certificate Services to provide the public key infrastructure.
- Hyper-V in Windows Server 2008 uses the hypervisor to allow virtual servers to be set up and managed on a physical server, the latter using Microsoft Management Console (MMC). Hyper-V also allows for live migrations of virtual machines on the fly, as well as failover clustering. By supporting Network Address Translation (NAT) and Network Access Protection (NAP) manner, Hyper-V also helps reduce the use of valuable resources.
- Cluster Shared Volumes (CSV) CSV provide a common cluster file system that simplifies the management of highly available virtual environments; allowing multiple nodes in a failover cluster to have simultaneous read/write access to the same LUN (Logical Unit Number).
- Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) - a component of RemoteApp - enables desktops to be made available in a virtual environment. Individual applications can also be virtualized, which are then used like permanently installed programs.
- DirectAccess allows secure configuration of remote clients when accessing the company network via a protected VPN connection - until now one of the biggest security gaps in communication.
The Microsoft licensing model for Windows Server
Microsoft defines a partly different license metric for the different Windows Server versions. This also regulates the licensing options or alternatives available for each edition.
Licensing of Windows Server with server license plus client access license
Especially for the Standard edition of Windows Server versions, Microsoft offers licensing per server license plus client access licenses (CALs). This represents a cost-effective option, especially for smaller companies, for using the functions of the Windows Server software. The following conditions apply:
1. Each individual server requires its own license. This also provides admin access rights.
2. In order to be able to use the server services and functions as an employee, an individual client access license - CAL - must be purchased.
3. This CAL is available in two variants: as User CAL for a single person or as a device CAL for a single end device (PC, laptop, etc.).
4. Each client access license can be assigned only once, a later transfer to another person or another end device is not possible.
Licensing of Windows Server on core basis or according to the number of processors
For other server editions, such as the frequently purchased Enterprise edition of Windows Server, the 2012 server version marks a change in licensing: While the number of available processors of a server was decisive up to Windows Server 2008, the number of cores is the basis for licensing with the subsequent 2012 version. The following conditions apply to core-based licensing of Windows Server versions:
1. When calculating the license requirement, a minimum of 16 cores is always assumed, even if the actual number a server has is less.
2. In any case, therefore, 8 packages of 2-core licenses are required for correct licensing, or for the 2019 version, the licenses are also available in 16-core packages.
3. Core licensing also covers additional access licenses - CALs are therefore not required.
License purchase including license consulting for Windows Server at Wiresoft
At Wiresoft you can find licenses for all described server versions including CALs for Standard-Editions as original Microsoft license products - at a particularly favorable price. You benefit from our special reduced price of the server licenses - these have been legally purchased by European companies through Wiresoft and are 100% operational. As a Wiresoft customer you are always on the safe side, because all licenses have been checked by us for their authenticity.
License your servers economically with the license offer of Wiresoft - and take advantage of our expert advice. If you have any questions about the most suitable licensing with a Microsoft Server version, please do not hesitate to contact us.