Windows Server 2019 Essentials hosting a Windows Server 2019 Essentials VM with Active Directory Role

Guillaume DI FRANCO 21 Reputation points

Hello everyone,

I currently evaluating the licence requirement of a system that I'm designing. There would be only 5 physical servers which will host one virtual machine each (VMs run our own pieces of software and a small SQL Express database).
There won't be more than 5 users able to connect to that whole system (operator, expert, IT responsible, local admin, system admin).

Windows Server 2019 standard seems quite overkill for my use and will also require the acquisition of user CAL if I'm correct. I've read about Windows Server 2019 Essentials which would allow 25 users without requiring CALs.

But, due to new IT rules, I have to use Active Directory, even if that system is isolated from any other system or internet.

Here is my question :

Can I use Windows Server 2019 for both the Physical and the Virtual servers using the same licence and also run AD role and SQL Express database on that same VM?
The AD role would be enabled on one of the VMs, same about the SQL Express database (same VM or different VM, there is no definitive answer and no obligation yet).

Thank you.

Windows Server 2019
Windows Server 2019
A Microsoft server operating system that supports enterprise-level management updated to data storage.
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Windows Server
Windows Server
A family of Microsoft server operating systems that support enterprise-level management, data storage, applications, and communications.
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Active Directory
Active Directory
A set of directory-based technologies included in Windows Server.
5,808 questions
A Windows technology providing a hypervisor-based virtualization solution enabling customers to consolidate workloads onto a single server.
2,527 questions
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Accepted answer
  1. Dave Patrick 426K Reputation points MVP

    Yes, an Essentials server is going to always want to be a root domain controller. During setup on the host you'll just want to cancel the essentials setup wizard and add the hyper-v role as only role.

    --please don't forget to upvote and Accept as answer if the reply is helpful--

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3 additional answers

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  1. Dave Patrick 426K Reputation points MVP

    The server licensing rights have been expanded, allowing you to install an instance of Essentials on your physical server to run the Hyper-V role (with none of the other roles and features of the Essentials Experience installed), and a second instance of Essentials as a virtual machine (VM) on that same server with all the Essentials Experience roles and features.

    --please don't forget to upvote and Accept as answer if the reply is helpful--

    1 person found this answer helpful.

  2. Guillaume DI FRANCO 21 Reputation points

    Thank you again for your quick answer.

    To summerize :

    • The host server has to be installed.
    • Once installed:
      • the Essentials setup wizard has to be cancelled
      • Hyper-V role has to be enabled
    • The virtual machine has to be installed using Hyper-V
    • Active directory role has to be added to the VM while running the VM setup process
    • Other software (SQL Express among others) will be installed afterward
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  3. Dave Patrick 426K Reputation points MVP

    Yes, sounds right. A step by step here may also be helpful.

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