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Windows Server 2019 Versions and comparison

Windows Server 2019 Versions Comparison

Windows Server 2019 is available in several editions tailored for different business needs and infrastructure roles. Choosing the right version is key to getting optimal capabilities at the right cost. This guide compares the different Windows Server 2019 versions to help inform the best edition for your environment.


The major Windows Server 2019 versions include:

The editions differ primarily in virtualization rights, Azure hybrid capabilities, network load balancing, and hardware/OS environments supported.

Comparison of Features on windows server versions

Virtualization RightsUnlimited2 VMs per license2 VMs per licenseUnlimited
Azure Hybrid BenefitsYesYesNoYes
Network Load BalancingUnlimited2 nodesNoUnlimited
Hyper-V Shielded VMsYesYesNoYes
Supported HardwareBroad supportBroad supportUp to 25 users/50 devicesAzure only

As shown, Datacenter provides the full spectrum of enterprise capabilities while Essentials is purpose-built for small businesses. Standard strikes a balance for many organizations.

Usage Scenarios windows server versions

Datacenter – Mission-critical applications, large virtualized workloads, and software-defined datacenters.

Standard – General application hosting, web serving, smaller virtualization needs.

Essentials – Small businesses running core network/application servers.

Azure – Extending on-premises environments into Azure.


Cost Considerations

Datacenter has the highest cost but provides unlimited virtualization. Standard offers strong ROI for midsize infrastructure needs. Essentials is the most affordable but has limited features. Azure Edition minimizes licensing costs when combined with reserved instances.


Virtualization Rights

Datacenter and Azure editions allow unlimited Windows Server virtualization at no added cost. Standard is limited to two VMs per license unless additional licenses are purchased. Essentials permits two VMs.

This means Datacenter is ideal for large private cloud environments while Standard works for more modest needs. Essentials is not well-suited for significant virtualization.


High Availability

For high availability load balancing, Datacenter allows an unlimited number of network load balanced nodes while Standard is limited to two nodes per license. Essentials has no network load balancing support.


Hybrid Capabilities

Datacenter, Standard, and Azure editions include Azure hybrid benefits for stretching on-premises workloads into Azure. This encompasses services like Azure Site Recovery, Azure Backup, and Azure File Sync. Essentials lacks Azure hybrid features.


Shielded VMs

Datacenter and Azure editions support Hyper-V shielded VMs to protect VM data from theft and tampering. Standard also includes Shielded VM support. Essentials does not support this advanced security capability.


Hardware and OS Support

Datacenter and Standard support broad hardware and OS environments including multi-CPU systems. Essentials is limited to systems with up to 25 users and 50 devices. The Azure edition is tuned for Microsoft Azure infrastructure.


Frequently Asked Questions

What is the simplest windows server versions for small businesses?

The Essentials edition provides basic server features tailored for small businesses with up to 25 users/50 devices.

Which version is best for software-defined datacenters?

The Datacenter edition is ideal for large software-defined datacenters due to its unlimited virtualization rights and broad platform support.

What is the main limit of Standard edition?

The Standard edition limits virtualization rights to 2 VMs per license unless additional licenses are purchased.


Consider your virtualization demands, high availability needs, Azure integration needs, and hardware environments when comparing Windows Server 2019 editions. Essentials is the best option for small organizations, while Datacenter offers complete corporate features. Standard provides many businesses with a good balance.

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