Windows Server 2012 R2

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.

Licensing editions

Compare features in all editions to determine the ideal solution for your virtualization and cloud computing needs.

Compare features in all editions to determine the ideal solution for your virtualization and cloud computing needs.

Datacenter

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

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

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

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).

How to buy

Learn about the benefits of the new licensing model and compare pricing and features for each edition.

Learn about the benefits of the new licensing model and compare pricing and features for each edition.

Windows Server 2012 R2 delivers a dramatically simplified licensing experience. Shaped by feedback from customers and partners, the new Windows Server licensing approach will help make choosing the right Windows Server edition easier while delivering the following benefits.

Simple

It’s easier than ever to determine the right Windows Server edition for you. Choose from just four editions of Windows Server 2012 R2, based on the size of your organization and your requirements for virtualization and cloud computing.

Economical

All editions of Windows Server 2012 deliver excellent economy and ROI for your business. For example, Datacenter edition with unlimited virtualization rights provides the benefits of cloud-level scale with predictable, lower costs. Standard edition now offers all the same enterprise-class features as Datacenter and is differentiated only by virtualization rights.

Cloud-optimized

Businesses today are rapidly adopting a hybrid approach across private and public cloud computing. Windows Server 2012 R2 offers the right edition for you, no matter where you are on your path to the cloud: Datacenter edition for highly virtualized cloud environments, Standard edition for lightly virtualized environments progressing toward cloud, or Essentials edition for an ideal cloud-connected first server.

Edition and pricing overview

Edition

Ideal for...

High-Level Feature Comparison

Licensing Model

Pricing Open NL (US$)

Datacenter Highly virtualized private and hybrid cloud environments Full Windows Server functionality with unlimited virtual instances Processor + CAL* $6,155**
Standard Low-density or non-virtualized environments Full Windows Server functionality with two virtual instances Processor + CAL* $882**
Essentials Small business environments Simpler interface, preconfigured connectivity to cloud-based services; no virtualization rights Server (25 User Account Limit) $501**
Foundation Economical general purpose server General purpose server functionality with no virtualization rights Server (15 User Account Limit) OEM only

*CALs are required for every user or device accessing a server. See the Product Use Rights for details.
**Pricing represents Open No Level (NL) ERP. For your specific pricing, contact your Microsoft reseller.

You can purchase Windows Server 2012 licenses through multiple channels, providing you with optimum flexibility and choice to acquire the software. Learn more about the channels below and determine the option that best meets your needs.

Licensing

Find licensing and pricing details in the downloadable datasheet.

Price quote

Get a full quote that you can share with colleagues or your reseller.

Microsoft sales

Connect with a Microsoft sales office near you.

Volume Licensing

Microsoft offers volume licensing programs to help reduce administrative overhead and software-management costs for your organization, while enabling product licensing on an ongoing basis at considerable discounts. The various licensing options enable you to choose the program that works best for your management and operational needs.

Server and Cloud Enrollment

The Server and Cloud Enrollment (SCE) is a new enrollment under the Microsoft Enterprise Agreement that enables highly committed customers to standardize broadly on one or more of the four Server and Cloud technologies from Microsoft. In exchange for making an installed-base–wide commitment to an SCE component, Server and Cloud Enrollment customers receive a range of benefits, including new cloud-optimized licensing options, simplified license management, and the best pricing and terms.

FAQ

Find answers to questions about features, licensing models, and determining which edition is right for you.

Find answers to questions about features, licensing models, and determining which edition is right for you.

For answers to additional frequently asked questions, download the Windows Server 2012 R2 Licensing Guide (PDF, 257 KB).