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Server Operating System.

Windows Server 2012 product technologies provide the core of Windows Server 2012 Essentials. For more detailed information, visit the Windows Server 2012 web site (http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2012). Windows Server 2012 Essentials provides an end-to-end integrated setup that installs and configures many of the roles and features of Windows Server 2012 according to best practices configuration for small business environments. This provides customers with immediate out-of-the-box value and productivity.

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Data Protection.

Windows Server 2012 Essentials leverages several new features available in Windows Server 2012 to provide greatly improved data protection capabilities. The new Storage Spaces feature allows customers to aggregate the physical storage capacity of disparate hard drives, dynamically add hard drives, and to create volumes with specified levels of resilience.

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Anywhere Access.

Remote Web Access provides a stream-lined, touch-friendly browser experience for accessing applications and data from virtually anywhere they have an Internet connection using almost any device. Windows Server 2012 Essentials also provides an updated Windows Phone app and a new Metro app for Windows 8 clients, allowing users to intuitively connect to, search across, and access files and folders on the server; files are also automatically cached for offline access and synchronized when a connection to the server becomes available. Windows Server 2012 Essentials turns setting up virtual private networking (VPN) into a painless wizard-driven process of just a few clicks, and simplifies the management of VPN access for users. Client computers can leverage a VPN connection to remotely join the Essentials environment without the need to come into the office.

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Health Monitoring.

Windows Server 2012 Essentials monitors its own health status and the status of client computers running Windows 7, Windows 8, and Mac OS X version 10.5 and above. Health status notifies you of issues or problems related to computer backups, server storage, low disk space, and more.

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Workload Flexibility.

Windows Server 2012 Essentials has been designed to allow customers the flexibility to choose which applications and services run on-premises and which run in the cloud. In previous versions, Windows Small Business Server Standard included Exchange Server as a component product, which added expense and complexity for customers who wished to leverage cloud-based messaging and collaboration services. With Windows Server 2012 Essentials, customers can take advantage of the same integrated management experience whether they choose to run an on-premises copy of Exchange Server, subscribe to a hosted Exchange service, or subscribe to Office 365.

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Extensibility.

Windows Server 2012 Essentials builds on the extensibility model of Windows SBS 2011 Essentials, which allows other software vendors to add capabilities and features to the core product, and adds a new set of Web Services APIs. It also maintains compatibility with the existing software development kit (SDK) and Add-Ins created for Windows SBS 2011 Essentials.