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Setting up directory federation with Office 365 can be complex, but Essentials simplifies the process, giving you a wizard that sets up the connection and configures domain names appropriately.
Storage Spaces give Windows Server 2012 Essentials a simple-to-setup resilient file system, using the Windows 8 wizard rather than the more complex tools that ship with the full Windows Server.
Storage Spaces tools
Once set up, you can use the Storage Spaces tools in Windows Server 2012 Essentials to control how files are stored in a pool, and to add additional disks if necessary.