Microsoft is set to release Windows Server 2019 Essentials along with Windows Server 2019 later this year. However, Windows Server 2019 Essentials could be the last Essentials version, indicated Microsoft.
Windows Server 2019 Essentials
The company posted on the Windows Server blog,
While our small business customers are embracing cloud services where they can, on-premises servers are still valuable and desired in the short term for reasons such as price and ability to run traditional applications that may not yet have corresponding cloud-based functionality.
All of this led to our decision to offer yet another version of on-premises server for small businesses – Windows Server 2019 Essentials. This edition will be released along with the other editions of Windows Server 2019 later this year. There is a strong possibility that this could be the last edition of Windows Server Essentials.
Windows Server Essentials is the current retail version of Windows Server 2016 designed to meet the needs of small businesses with up to 25 users, or 50 devices.
Microsoft consulted the MVP community and other influences to understand the business needs of small companies and based on their feedback then decided to release Windows Server 2019 Essentials.
Microsoft says that Windows Server 2019 Essentials will have the same licensing and technical characteristics as its predecessor, Windows Server 2016 Essentials. If configured as a Domain Controller, Windows Server 2019 Essentials must be the only Domain Controller, must run all Flexible Single Master Operations (FSMO) roles, and cannot have two-way trusts with other Active Directory domains.
Benefits to small companies remain the same as its predecessor, including,
- A single license that includes Client Access Licenses (CAL) for up to 25 users/50 devices
- Lower price point
- Ability to run traditional applications and other features, such as file and print sharing
Windows Server 2019 Essentials includes the new hardware support and features and improvements like Windows Server 2019 Standard, including Storage Migration Services, System Insights, and many more.
What’s not included
Windows Server 2019 Essentials will not include the Essentials Experience role. This simply means that features such as Remote Web Access to the Server, Centralized Client PC backups and Office 365 integration will not be a part of the package.
Microsoft recommends small companies to use its Microsoft 365 Business licensing bundle to access services hosted by Microsoft’s data centers instead of hosting their servers to run their applications and store their files. The price to use Microsoft 365 Business is $20 per user per month which includes Office applications, Exchange Online, and SharePoint Online services, along with other services.
What happens to current Windows Server 2016 Essentials users
Microsoft says the customers using Windows Server 2016 Essentials will be supported according to Long-Term Servicing Channel (LTSC) servicing timeline including those who update to the 2019 edition.