Overclock.net › Forums › Specialty Builds › Servers › 2012 Standard Vs Essentials
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

2012 Standard Vs Essentials

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Can anybody give me clarification on the main differences between Standard and Essentials server 2012, apart from CAL's of course?

I'm asking because I have a Server 2012 Standard license to use at home but not sure if its suited for what I need. Is there anything in essentials that's like the old WHS versions that is not included in the new Standard 2012 edition?

All I am looking for really is the pooling option (or raid, not decided yet), easy backups for client PC's, file sharing handling, direct access, possible VPN at some point, remote desktop and maintenance.

Can anyone shed any light on this?

Thanks
post #2 of 8
Both versions have Storage Spaces, if that's what you are wanting. Performance wise, Storage Spaces isn't quite yet there though.

The main difference between these do versions, is actually quite a bit. Standard and Datacenter are completely identical, except for Virtual Machine licensing.

Essentials on the other hand, does not support Hyper-V. Essentials is the new version of WHS and Small Business Server, mixed together. It has a simplified version of Active Directory, File Sharing, etc. If you want just one server that will server multiple purposes, go with Essentials. If you are looking to build out a real domain at home with multiple servers, go server.

All the stuff you listed (except for DirectAccess) would be easily doable with Essentials. Direct Access can be set up on Essentials, but it's a lot of work as it involves IPv6, DNS64, NAT64, and certificates.

Essentials has the simplified dashboard like WHS has, but Standard/Datacenter does not have this. Standard/Datacenter has the full blown server manager. If you want a simple single server solution for what you want to do, definitely definitely definitely go with Essentials. If you want to build a more elaborate home environment and learn, go with Standard. What you want will be much easier with Essentials though.
Main PC
(9 items)
 
  
Reply
Main PC
(9 items)
 
  
Reply
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tycoonbob View Post

Both versions have Storage Spaces, if that's what you are wanting. Performance wise, Storage Spaces isn't quite yet there though.

The main difference between these do versions, is actually quite a bit. Standard and Datacenter are completely identical, except for Virtual Machine licensing.

Essentials on the other hand, does not support Hyper-V. Essentials is the new version of WHS and Small Business Server, mixed together. It has a simplified version of Active Directory, File Sharing, etc. If you want just one server that will server multiple purposes, go with Essentials. If you are looking to build out a real domain at home with multiple servers, go server.

All the stuff you listed (except for DirectAccess) would be easily doable with Essentials. Direct Access can be set up on Essentials, but it's a lot of work as it involves IPv6, DNS64, NAT64, and certificates.

Essentials has the simplified dashboard like WHS has, but Standard/Datacenter does not have this. Standard/Datacenter has the full blown server manager. If you want a simple single server solution for what you want to do, definitely definitely definitely go with Essentials. If you want to build a more elaborate home environment and learn, go with Standard. What you want will be much easier with Essentials though.

Ok great, thanks for the info.
What about installing Server Standard and then Hyper-V the Essentials on top? I will probably just use the storage pooling option as I've not got suitable drives available at the moment.
What will it be like performance wise in essentials through a storage pool? I've got around 4TB of various drives that will be dedicated to essentials. Server standard would be used as a DC, AD, DNS etc.
Direct access would be on the DC aswell I think.

What's your thoughts on this?
post #4 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigyin View Post

Ok great, thanks for the info.
What about installing Server Standard and then Hyper-V the Essentials on top? I will probably just use the storage pooling option as I've not got suitable drives available at the moment.
What will it be like performance wise in essentials through a storage pool? I've got around 4TB of various drives that will be dedicated to essentials. Server standard would be used as a DC, AD, DNS etc.
Direct access would be on the DC aswell I think.

What's your thoughts on this?

Microsoft best practice is to not have Direct Access configured on your DC, since it will be communication to the internet directly. Server 2012 Standard with Essentials in Hyper-V would work, but you would want to use your Standard box for Storage Spaces to pool your drives. If you ran your VMs from your Storage Spaces pool, performance would be the same (basically) as running from a single drive, which is perfectly fine.
Main PC
(9 items)
 
  
Reply
Main PC
(9 items)
 
  
Reply
post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 
So I've been playing around with a lab I've setup recently, basically to test out my new server setup at home. I got server standard 2012 installed on my old HTPC I had lying around. It's a AMD A4 3300 2.5Ghz Dual Core, 8GB DDR3, 60GB SSD, 6 X SATAII Ports - so I thought this would be an ideal place to start.

So server standard installed no problem on my SSD, configured all the services I know that I would put on this which was - AD, DNS, DHCP, Hyper-V.
Next I pooled 4 X 1TB Drives in parity mode - which was a breeze, and I really really like this feature. Top Stuff.

Next I installed server essentials on top in hyper-v. Gave it 3.5GB of RAM from host. Installed no problem and got it all hooked up with DC fine. Got all my services running nice on this which were backup services, media server (PLEX, HP). Hooked up shared drives etc...all went perfectly.

Two Problems I encountered.

1. When I hooked up a client (windows 7) and tested, server essentials + windows 7 became incredibly slow!! I mean real slow. I did a backup test (with no data or anything) - took 45 mins!
2. I wanted to install a firewall as well on my hyper-v. The most familiar one I know is pfsense as well as untangle to a certain extent. I've never setup one of these in hyper-v before, however I have in virtual box. Is there anything I need to note when installing on hyper-v?
post #6 of 8
I think you're making things needlessly complex by virtualizing your firewall.
    
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
2x intel Xeon E5-2650 Supermicro MBD-X9DR3-F-O Onboard awesomeness 8 x 8GB Kingston DDR3 1333 ECC 
Hard DriveCoolingOSMonitor
4x WD Green 2TB in RAID 10 2x Coolermaster Hyper 212 EVOs Windows Server 2012 Datacenter 3x Dell Ultrasharp U2410s 
PowerCase
Corsair AX1200 Case Labs TX10-D 
  hide details  
Reply
    
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
2x intel Xeon E5-2650 Supermicro MBD-X9DR3-F-O Onboard awesomeness 8 x 8GB Kingston DDR3 1333 ECC 
Hard DriveCoolingOSMonitor
4x WD Green 2TB in RAID 10 2x Coolermaster Hyper 212 EVOs Windows Server 2012 Datacenter 3x Dell Ultrasharp U2410s 
PowerCase
Corsair AX1200 Case Labs TX10-D 
  hide details  
Reply
post #7 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oedipus View Post

I think you're making things needlessly complex by virtualizing your firewall.

I would agree. While it can be done, it's not worth it in my opinion. Hyper-V has very specific and limited support with *nix systems, and pfsense as well as untangle have no integration components for Hyper-V, which means you are running the older Legacy NICs which cap out at 100Mbps. For a residential firewall, that is usually fine, but will still want two physical NICs dedicated to your virtual firewall. Other problem is VLAN Tagging isn't supported in any of them that I have found yet, except for Microsoft's own UAG (which will work in Hyper-V fairly well).

I prefer building a small low powered box for a firewall application.
Main PC
(9 items)
 
  
Reply
Main PC
(9 items)
 
  
Reply
post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
Ah well just an idea - thought that was the whole point in virtualization. So after all this, i'm gonna have to build another small box for my firewall?! Gotta love IT thumb.gif

Reason I wanted this was so I could keep power consumption to a minimum. I am aware that building an atom box or something in the region will run for next to nothing, but would have been nice to having it run in hyper-v.

What about the slow VM's I mentioned, any thoughts? I know it should run a lot better on the final hardware (once I get it), but wanted to know any bottlenecks in Hyper-V anyways.

Thanks
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Servers
Overclock.net › Forums › Specialty Builds › Servers › 2012 Standard Vs Essentials