Windows server 2016 essentials in workgroup


  • Hello, 

    I have 22 computer on the domain. Currently i am running sbs 2011 for email(10) domain joined computer. I have 40 front line clients who need only email. I installed Windows server 2016 essentials for backup the 22 client computer on the domain. WSE 2016 pull all the 62 user info from SBS AD and displaying "The Non-domain Member Check policy detected a condition in your environment that is out of compliance with the licensing policy. This server can only be in a workgroup or be a domain controller".  When i tried to add this server to workgroup it is grayed out.  Is it possible to add this server to a workgroup and backup my 20 client computers without any license violation? Thank you 

    Thursday, July 12, 2018 3:08 PM

All replies

  • Can you verify which version of your server, you can enter msinfo32 in command prompt.

    If your server is windows server 2016 essentials (no standard or datacenter)

    You can’t add this server to a workgroup , because wse cannot be configured in a workgroup environment and domain environment is necessary. In addition, the built-in client backup of WSE is also based on domain environment.

    Note the number of users and devices limited by WSE 2016. It is up to 25 users and 50 devices.

    The definition of WSE and SBS is the same, licensing limitation is the same, so the two servers cannot be used in the same domain.

    licensing limitation refer to this document:


    If your environment not meets this limitation and you only want to make backup for the client, you can directly use the system's own backup mechanism, or consider other three-party backup solutions.

    Friday, July 13, 2018 11:32 AM
  • So Essentials is joined to the domain as a member server currently?

    Robert Pearman @titlerequired Windows Server

    Saturday, July 14, 2018 2:36 PM
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    Monday, July 16, 2018 9:19 AM