Growing beyond the 25 user limit in Server 2012 Essentials

Remember the word “Transmog“? Microsoft has release an official statement on how the process will work and the bits that are required for this to happen. The official title given to this transmogrification process is called “In-Place Transition from Windows Server 2012 Essentials to Windows Server 2012 Standard.”

In a nutshell:

  • Licensing. You need to purchase a copy of Server 2012 Standard AND the appropriate number of Client Access Licenses (CALs).
  • **After the process. there is NO 25 user limit NOR a 75 user limit.
  • There is a “supported” user and account limit of 75, which means that while the bits should work, Microsoft will not provide support for it if you exceed this limit.
  • You can turn off the Essentials bits, but it is a one-way ticket. You cannot turn the features back on.

The article can be read here –

**NOTE: Windows Server 2012 Essentials has a hard limit of of 25 users. After the in-place transition process, this limit is removed, because the server is transitioned to Windows Server 2012 Standard.

2 thoughts on “Growing beyond the 25 user limit in Server 2012 Essentials”

  1. Why would turning the essentials bits off be a one-way process, cant you just add the Essentials role like you can to any other Windows Standard 2012 server?


    1. This post is related to Windows Server 2012 Essentials, not R2. In R2, the Essentials features were introduced as a role to the Server operating system. Thus, you can now install the Essentials Experience Role, which allows you to get the same features as you would get in the Server 2012 R2 Essentials SKU on a Server 2012 R2 Standard or Datacenter SKU. This was not previously available in Server 2012.

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