Windows Server 2012 is a server operating system that enables a computer to handle network roles such as print server, domain controller, web server, and file server. As a server operating system, it is also the platform for separately acquired server applications such as Exchange Server or SQL Server. The Datacenter Edition is designed for organizations with large workloads and heavily virtualized server environments.
This donation provides one Datacenter Edition server license. Each license allows up to two physical processors on one server and an unlimited number of virtual instances of the server software. For additional licensing information, see below.
Benefits for Organizations
If you have system administration experience, you can use Windows Server to:
- Run multiple server roles and different operating systems on a single server
- Reduce the amount of hardware needed to run server workloads
- Minimize the time it takes to set up hardware and software and reproduce test environments
- Server virtualization: Hyper-V provides tools for creating and managing a virtualized server computing environment. Hyper-V Replica can replicate a virtual machine from one location to another, without shared storage, storage arrays, or other replication technologies.
- Server management: The Server Core provides a minimal environment for running specific server roles. Those roles are then easier to maintain and manage and less exposed to attack. Administrators can manage groups of servers collectively from within a single, integrated console.
- Integrated services: Windows Server 2012 delivers a unified platform for web publishing that integrates IIS, ASP.NET, and Windows Communication Foundation and also supports SharePoint Services.
- Failover clustering: Administrators can minimize disruptions of services and applications by creating a redundant server environment with dynamic hardware partitioning.
- DirectAccess: This secure tunneling feature allows access to the network from any computer or device. It is faster than typical VPN connections and provides off-site access to file shares, on-premises equipment, and other resources.
The Standard and Datacenter editions of Windows Server both use processor-based licensing, with each license allowing up to two physical processors.
The two editions have identical features, but they differ in the number of virtual instances of the server software you are allowed to run.
For additional information about the available editions of Windows Server 2012 and the server and client licensing requirements, see the Guide to Windows Server Editions and Licensing.
Obtaining This Product
Installing this product requires you to download the software from the Volume Licensing Service Center and enter a license key. You can download any available version or language for your product. After you download the software, learn how to install it or burn it to a disc for later use.
The license key allows you to install the product on as many computers as you have received licenses for. This quantity is specified in the first email you receive from TechSoup after requesting this product.
Expect three emails:
- When your donation request has been approved, TechSoup will send a message to your organization email address confirming the number of licenses you have requested.
- Microsoft will send an email welcoming your organization to the Volume Licensing Service Center (VLSC).
- TechSoup will send an email with information about obtaining your license key and managing your donation at the VLSC. If you are new to the VLSC, you should wait for this email before you register there.
Under the Software Assurance program, you have the right to install any new release of products covered in the agreement during the term of your coverage.