Windows Server 2019 Standard vs Datacenter: What’s the Difference?

If you are setting up a new server environment or upgrading your current server environment, you are probably tasked with choosing between Microsoft Server 2019 Standard and 2019 Data Center.

Which one is the right choice for you?

This post will take a look at the key differences in the 2 variations.

The two editions have identical features, but they differ in the number of virtual of the server software you are allowed to run.

Microsoft Server 2019 Standard Edition was engineered for small business organizations that do not have a large demand for virtualization. Server 2019 Standard edition allows you to implement up to 2 Virtual Machines with 1 Hyper-V host for each license. This edition restricts you to only Windows containers, but you can use an unlimited number of containers. Server 2019 Standard is also equipped with Storage Replication feature. However, it is limited to 1 partnership and 1 resource group. Replication feature allows the customers to replicate a single volume up to 2 TB; a great practice for the security of your data.


Server 2019 Datacenter Edition is better-suited for large-scale virtualization.  The Datacenter license allows 1 server to run an unlimited number of Windows Server virtual machines with 1 Hyper V host for each license. It allows you to use all types of containers and does not limit the number of containers. Datacenter Edition also has the replication feature – but there is no size limit vs the 2TB limit of the Standard edition.

Another key difference is Storage Spaces Direct, which gives outstanding performance and efficiency when it comes to data storage. It uses highly-available  locally-attached drives to store your data, allowing lightning fast read/write capability. If you don’t intend to use a SAN/NAS, you can easily utilize this feature with data requirements under 160TB of raw storage (limited only by the size of disks currently available/compatible with your hardware).

The Key Differences between the 2 are outlined in the chart below.


Features available
Server 2019 Standard
Server 2019 Datacenter
Software-defined Networking No Yes
Storage Replica Yes (1 partnership, 1 resource group with single 2TB volume) unlimited
Storage Spaces Direct No Yes
Inherited activation As guest if hosted on DC Can be host or guest
Locks and Limits
Can be used as virtualization guest Yes; 2 VM + 1 Hyper-V host per license Yes; unlimited VM + 1 Hyper-V host per license
Server Roles
Network Controller No Yes
Containers – Windows Unlimited Unlimited
Containers – Hyper V 2 Unlimited
Host Guardian Hyper-V Support No Yes



While this post highlights only differences between the 2 editions, the full list of features can be found here.



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