Seamless Deployment: A Step-by-Step Guide to Windows Server 2019 Download

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Seamless Deployment: A Step-by-Step Guide to Windows Server 2019 Download

Windows Server 2019 is a server operating system from Microsoft, utilized for managing networks, databases, web services, and other tasks. Its capabilities and functionalities are sufficient to furnish an enterprise with reliable network infrastructure, at a more advantageous price compared to later versions. In this guide, you will learn everything you need for Windows Server 2019 download and install.

Edition Options

Windows Server 2019 is available in several editions, each tailored to specific needs.

Windows Server 2019 Standard

The Standard edition provides essential networking capabilities, data storage, security features, and management tools for basic server workloads. It is suitable for small and medium-sized organizations that require no more than two instances of server software in a virtual operating system.

Key Features:

  • Active Directory, DNS, DHCP, and IIS— for identity management and networking.
  • Hyper-V with support for two containers — for entry-level virtualization.
  • Failover clustering — to enhance application and service availability.
  • Basic storage functionalities with ReFS, deduplication, and Storage Spaces Direct (two nodes).
  • Remote Desktop Services, FSLogix profile containers — for VDI environments.

It allows running two instances of OSE or VM per license.

Windows Server 2019 Datacenter

The Datacenter edition is optimized for large-scale virtualization and is intended for data centers with a high number of concurrently running software applications.

Key Features:

  • An unlimited number of Windows Server containers and Hyper-V isolation.
  • Shielded virtual machines and Host Guardian services.
  • Storage Spaces Direct with an unlimited number of nodes.
  • Stretched failover clusters across multiple sites.
  • Advanced networking capabilities with a software-defined SDN stack.
  • Direct integration with Azure services such as Azure Backup and Site Recovery.

The license provides unlimited virtualization rights, allowing you to run as many virtual machines as your hardware supports.

Windows Server 2019 Essentials

The Essentials edition is designed for small businesses with up to 25 users and 50 devices.

Key Features:

  • There is no requirement for Client Access Licenses (CALs) for each user or device.
  • Provides basic Windows Server functionalities without virtualization capabilities.
  • Includes a simplified management interface with pre-configured connections to cloud services.

It’s a cost-effective option with an adequate basic set of features for small companies. However, it doesn’t support unlimited virtualization rights or advanced features like Storage Spaces Direct, shielded VMs, or the SDN stack available in the Datacenter edition.

Choosing an Edition Based on Tasks

When selecting a specific edition of Windows Server 2019, it’s essential to carefully analyze planned tasks and server workloads:

  • For small servers with limited virtualization needs, the Standard edition is suitable. It’s adequate for organizing basic directory services, remote desktops, and file servers. The Standard Edition allows running up to two virtual machines or Hyper-V containers per server, making it an economical choice for small and medium-sized organizations with modest virtualization requirements.
  • If a scalable virtual infrastructure for applications, databases, and web services is required, opt for the Datacenter edition. It’s the most functional edition for medium- and large data centers. The Datacenter Edition provides unlimited virtualization rights, allowing you to run as many virtual machines and containers as your hardware supports. Additionally, it includes advanced features such as shielded VMs, Storage Spaces Direct with an unlimited number of nodes, stretched clusters, and software-defined networks (SDN). These features make the center ideal for high-load virtualized environments and hybrid cloud scenarios.
  • For small businesses with up to 25 users, the Essentials edition is optimal. It’s cheaper while still providing a sufficient basic set of features for such companies. Essentials doesn’t require Client Access Licenses (CALs) for users and devices, simplifying licensing. It includes a simplified management interface with pre-configured connections to Microsoft cloud services. However, Essentials imposes restrictions on the number of users and doesn’t support advanced virtualization and networking capabilities available in higher editions.

In addition to basic server tasks, specific requirements for virtualization, performance, and scalability should be considered. If intensive use of virtual machines and containers is planned, choosing the Datacenter Edition is essential. For critical business applications requiring high availability and fault tolerance, the clustering and replication features in this edition will be indispensable.

When integrating with Azure cloud services, it also makes sense to use Datacenter, as it provides advanced backup and disaster recovery capabilities with Azure Backup and Azure Site Recovery.

In the case of deploying large virtualized or containerized environments, software-defined networks (SDN) and network controllers in the Datacenter edition will allow centralized management of network policies and settings for numerous virtual machines and containers.

If server workloads are relatively light, and the number of users is limited, Standard or Essentials editions may be a more economical and practical choice.

Ultimately, the decision should be based on a careful analysis of the organization’s current and future needs, considering plans for growth and development of the IT infrastructure. Choosing the right edition of Windows Server 2019 will optimize expenses while providing the necessary functionality, performance, and scalability.

For Windows Server 2019 to operate correctly, the computer must meet the following minimum specifications:

  • Processor: 64-bit processor with a minimum clock speed of 1.4 GHz. The more cores and a higher clock speed, the better.
  • Memory: minimum 2 GB of RAM; optimal is 16 GB or more. It should be noted that memory requirements increase with the number of guest OSes and applications.
  • Disk space: requires at least 32 GB; it is better to reserve 40 GB or more, especially if updates and other files are planned for installation.
  • Network card: A gigabit Ethernet card is desirable; optimal are several for redundancy and performance improvement.
  • Software requirements: A 64-bit version of Windows Server 2019 is needed, and the computer’s firmware must support Secure Boot. Internet access is mandatory for obtaining updates and using online services.

Downloading the ISO

To download Windows Server 2019:

  • Visit the official Microsoft website and select the desired edition: Standard, Essentials, or Datacenter, depending on the server tasks.
  • Click the “Download” button. 
  • Download the ISO file to install the operating system. 
  • Then, this image can be written to a bootable USB flash drive for installation.

Installation Process

After booting the server from the bootable media, the Windows Server 2019 installation process will begin:

  1. Choose the language, time zone, and keyboard layout, then click “Next”.
  2. Click “Install” to start the process.
  3. Select the desired edition of Windows Server 2019 and click “Next”.
  4. Accept the license agreement by checking the appropriate box.
  5. Choose the installation type: clean or upgrade (if you want to keep files).
  6. Specify the disk for installing Windows Server 2019.
  7. Wait for the process to complete. 

After installing the system, it can be activated using the product key. The easiest way to do this is to run the command prompt as an administrator and enter the command:

  1. For Standard: Dism /online /Set-Edition: ServerStandard /AcceptEula /ProductKey: XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX
  2. For Datacenter: Dism /online /Set-Edition:ServerDatacenter /AcceptEula /ProductKey:XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX- XXXXX-XXXXX
  3. For Essentials: slmgr.vbs /ipk XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX 

Instead of X, you should enter your key.

Now you can begin configuring Windows Server 2019 and installing the necessary roles, services, and applications.

The installation of Windows Server 2019 is a crucial step in building a reliable server infrastructure capable of meeting many of your organization’s needs. Whether you are managing a small office network, a data center, or hosting websites and applications, Windows Server 2019 provides a powerful and functional platform for addressing a variety of tasks.

By following this guide, you can easily download the necessary distribution and install Windows Server 2019 on your infrastructure — both on physical servers and virtual machines.

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Ashish Sidhu
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Ashish Sidhu

I write about the tips and tricks about graphic designing and web development.

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