I know it has been documented elsewhere, but this is so simple it bears repeating. If you have Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard Edition and you need it upgraded to Enterprise Edition you can update it simply by using the following command from the server's command prompt:Dism /online /Set-Edition:ServerEnterprise /ProductKey:xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx
Obviously, you need a valid Product Key for the Enterprise Edition. When the command completes, let the server reboot. You will observer the upgrading taking place as the server starts back up and within a few minutes you will have your same server configuration on an enhanced platform.
Why upgrade to Enterprise? There are many reasons, but the ones that stand out for me include:
- The ability to use more than 32GB of RAM
- Getting licensed for 4+1 vs. 1+1 if you use Enterprise as a Hyper-V virtual host. This means that with the one Enterprise Edition license, you can have up to four virtual servers installed on that single host as part of the deal. With Standard Edition you are only licensed for one virtual machine within the host's license.
- Enterprise Edition allows clustering of servers
So there you have it. No need to flatten and reload, or burn a DVD and run setup, then apply patches all over again. Two minutes and it is done!