Windows Server 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 Standard edition is designed for small-to-medium-sized organizations with physical or lightly virtualized server environments.
This donation provides two core licenses for Windows Server Standard. Windows Server requires a minimum of 8 core licenses for each physical processor and a minimum of 16 core licenses for each server. The Standard edition allows up to two virtual instances of the server software when all cores on the server are licensed. For additional licensing information, see the Guide to Windows Server Editions and Licensing.
Which Versions of This Software Are Available
You can choose to download the current version or the previous version of this software. You can find out which version is the current one on the Current Versions of Microsoft Products page. In addition, you can download the software in any language that's available.
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: Windows Server provides tools for creating and managing a virtualized server computing environment. You can replicate a virtual machine from one location to another, without shared storage, storage arrays, or other replication technologies.
- Server management: Server Core and Nano Server provide minimal environments 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 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 Microsoft Windows Server 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. 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 email you receive from TechSoup after requesting this product.
Expect two emails:
- When your donation request has been approved, TechSoup will send a message to your organization email address. This email will confirm the number of licenses you have requested and provide information about how to use the VLSC once Microsoft accepts your license agreement. Make sure the email address in your organization details is up to date by visiting your account
- Microsoft will send an email welcoming your organization to VLSC. This email will indicate that Microsoft has accepted your license agreement. After you receive this email, you'll be able to follow the steps in the first email you received from TechSoup to obtain your donation through the VLSC.
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.