Server 2012 R2 Essentials
Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials is designed for small businesses with less than 75 users. It is designed to host all roles on one box, from Active Directory, file services (including BranchCache), VPN, and backups. This product used to be called Windows Small Business Server.
Installation of Server 2012 R2 Essentials is just the installation of any other operating system. You need to have your product key handy during installation. When installation is complete, the operating system launches a configuration wizard that sets up your domain. This process can take 10-15 to complete, depending on your hardware. Once it is complete, however, you have your domain ready to go. This process installs all major Active Directory components, such as Group Policy and DNS. You even have the same interfaces – Active Directory Users and Computers, Group Policy Management, and DNS mmc snap-ins.
Managing the Server
In Essentials, Microsoft replaced Server Manager with a dashboard. From this dashboard, you can add user accounts, create shared folders, configure a VPN, and connect to Microsoft Cloud services.