The Windows Server 2019 Essentials does what the current version of Windows Server 2016 was designed to do: answering the needs of small businesses employing between 25 users or using a total of 50 devices.
The latest Windows Server 2019 Essentials was developed after broad consultations to understand the needs of small companies.
For a long time, small business customers have been embracing cloud services. However, business premises still need servers as valued assets that help in supporting the operations that are not yet compatible with cloud technology.
The Windows Server 2019 Essentials is another on-site version that small business users will find appropriate.
There are indications from Microsoft that the Windows Server 2019 Essentials could be the last edition of Windows Server Essentials.
Nonetheless, the company will continue its Server Essentials support based on the existing service schedule.
A word from Microsoft also indicates that the new release will have the same technical and licensing specifications as the earlier versions.
If you intend to use Windows Server 2019 as a Domain Controller, Windows Server 2019 Essentials must be the only Domain Controller and be flexible enough to run all Flexible Master Operations (FSMO) roles and allow only two-way trusts with other Active Directory Domains.
The New Approach
The new Windows Server 2019 Essentials will support new features and hardware such as Storage Migration Services and System Insights, without the inclusion of the Essentials Experience role.
Some of the removed features leave system administrators and small businesses unattended because they will no longer support these features:
- Remote web access to the server
- Centralized client PC backups
- Office 365 integration
With the above features missing, some of the key stakeholders consulted before the introduction of Windows Server 2019 Essentials expressed their dissatisfaction with the new implementation because the new release looks like a foundation server, and it is not set up to run like a complete Essentials.
In response to such claims, Microsoft suggests that System Administrators should use the Windows Admin Center as part of a replacement to the lost features.
They also recommend the use of Microsoft Business Licensing bundle to access hosted services on Microsoft data centers, instead of running applications and storing their files.
The use of Office365 as a file sharing option and collaboration tool is complete when you consider Office Applications, intelligent solutions, Windows 10, security, and Enterprise Mobility.
Other features supported by Office 365 include e-mail, cloud storage, calendar, data protection, and more.
Those who may not see the need to move to the new Windows Server 2019 Essentials can still access their Windows Server 2016 Essentials through the Long-Term Servicing Channel (LTSC) timeline.
The same applies to those who chose to update from the current server installation to the 2019 edition.
What Do We Have in Windows Server 2019 Essentials?
Even though the new Essentials will have the same characteristics as the ones in earlier versions, the following stand out:
- A single license, including Client Access Licenses (CAL) for 50 devices or 25 users
- Reduced costs
- Ability to run traditional applications such as file sharing and print sharing
The idea behind Microsoft’s decision to reduce the functionalities of Windows Server Essentials for the 2019 Server edition may not be clear to everyone.
However, the general assumption has been to bring small businesses aboard the Microsoft 365 Business platform.
The business platform is based on subscriptions that include Windows 10, Enterprise Mobility and Security, and Office 365.