What is Windows Server 2012 Essentials
Windows Server 2012 Essentials is an ideal first server that not only helps to reduce costs and increase productivity, but it also can be used as the primary server in a multi-server environment for small businesses. Windows Server 2012 Essentials enables small businesses to protect, centralize, organize, and access their applications and information from almost anywhere using virtually any device.
Features and Benefits
These features were introduced in Windows Server 2012 Essentials to help customers
You can create shared folders on a secondary server while keeping the same Universal Naming Convention (UNC) path prefix. You can specify a space quota for a server folder. You receive an alert when a server folder size grows beyond its defined quota.
File History backups are configured per user instead of per device. Also, you can automatically restore your data through File History backups on a new computer if your old computer is no longer functional or is unavailable.The first time you log on to your new computer in the network, you are prompted to restore your files from your File History backups.
Users and Groups
You can create user groups and add user accounts to them. User account permissions can be managed through their user group memberships. If your server is integrated with Office 365, you can manage your Office 365 distribution groups from the Dashboard.
The Connector can be used to connect to a server running Windows Server 2012 Essentials from a remote location. The Connector can trigger automatic VPN dialing in domain-joined clients, so that customers can always be connected to Server when they are working off-premises.
The Essentials Windows Server 2012 must be the domain controller at the root of the forest and domain, and must hold all the FSMO roles. As part of your installation process, you can opt to install Windows Server 2012 Essentials as a virtual machine by following instructions in a wizard.
MS online services integration
The integration of Windows Server 2012 Essentials with Microsoft online services, including Microsoft Azure Active Directory (Azure AD), Office 365, Windows Intune, and on-premises Exchange, is only supported in a single domain controller environment. The integration wizard for these Microsoft online services must be run on a domain controller.
Gain more and more benefits
Remote Web Access
Remote Web Access is optimized for touch devices and enhanced with rich HTML5 support.
Client Full System Restore
You can create a client restore service by using the Set Up Client Restore Service task, perform client full system restore over the network.
Health Reports is integrated with Windows Server 2012 Essentials, and it no longer needs to be installed as an add-in.
You can turn on BranchCache to improve data access if the server running Windows Server 2012 Essentials is located offsite.
Office 365 Integration
The integration of Windows Server 2012 Essentials with Office 365 is only supported in a single domain controller environment.
If your server is integrated with Office 365, you can manage your mobile devices by using the Exchange Active Sync functionalities.