Microsoft Windows Server 2022 Buyers GuideMicrosoft Windows Server 2022 StandardMicrosoft Windows Server 2022 Datacenter

How do I know which version I need?

Windows Server 2022 is the latest operating system (OS) for servers from Microsoft. To cover small office servers right up to datacenter deployments, it is available in three versions - Windows Server 2022 Essentials, Windows Server 2022 Standard and Windows Server 2022 Datacenter. But which one should you choose?

Essentials Edition

With up to 25 users or 50 devices, the Essentials edition is the perfect server OS for small businesses. It includes many of the features of the larger editions, such as Windows Admin Centre and System Insights, however it is limited to a single CPU with a maximum of 10 cores.

Standard Edition

Standard edition is aimed at users who only need a few Windows Server virtual machines. In addition to installation on the physical hardware, two virtual machines running Windows Server are also possible with the server license. There is no limit on Linux VMs. Nearly all features and server roles from the Datacentre Edition are also included in the Standard version. One exception is Storage Replica, which is limited to one partnership with a maximum of 2TB volumes.

Datacenter Edition

With the Datacenter edition, users have the greatest possible flexibility in server deployment and can realise large, rapidly changing workloads. The number of VMs is unlimited and software-defined storage can be implemented using Storage Spaces Direct.

Windows 2022 EditionIdeal forLicensing ModelCAL Requirements
Small businesses with up to 25 users and 50 devicesNo License requiredNo CAL required
Physical or minimally virtualised environmentsPer CPU coreWindows Server CAL
Highly virtualised datacentres and cloud environmentsPer CPU coreWindows Server CAL