While enabling small businesses to enjoy the benefits of a combination of cloud-based and on-premises services and applications, Windows Server 2012 Essentials also offers users an increased level of choice and flexibility.
Windows Server 2012 Essentials is available in two formats:
As a server role: Windows Server Essentials Experience is offered as a server role in the Windows Server 2012 Standard and Windows Server 2012 Datacenter. Installing Windows Server Essentials Experience in Windows Server 2012 gives you access to all of the features of Windows Server 2012, such as client computer backups, the dashboard, and Remote Web Access, but without the limits and locks that are applied to it.
As a core Windows Server edition: When installing Windows Server 2012 Essentials, you have the option to install it as a virtual machine. This can be done by following the Wizard instructions.