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Windows Server 2012

Posted By: WAHEED AFSAR - November 29, 2020

Windows Server 2012

Windows Server 2012

Windows Server 2012 is the fifth version of the Windows Server OS by Microsoft. Windows Server 2012 ISO file download windows server 2012 as a part of the Windows NT family of operating systems. it's the server version of Windows supported Windows 8 and succeeds Windows 7-based Windows Server 2008 R2 released two years prior.

Initial release date: September 4, 2012

License: Commercial proprietary software

Latest release: 6.2 (Build 9200) / Lammas , 2012; 8 years ago

Released to manufacturing: Lammas, 2012; 8 years ago

General availability: September 4, 2012; 8 years ago

Update methods: Windows Update, Windows Server Update Services, Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager


Table 2-2 Windows Server 2012 R2 Hardware Requirements

Component Minimum Requirement Microsoft Recommended

Processor 1.4 GHz 2 GHz or faster

Memory 512 MB RAM 2 GB RAM or greater

Available Disk Space 32 GB 40 GB or greater

Optical Drive DVD-ROM drive DVD-ROM drive

Windows Server 2012 R2 Products and Editions Comparison

Illustrates the differences between the varied Windows Server 2012 R2 products and editions, including information about locks and limits and supported server roles and features.


Windows Server 2012

Microsoft's 'Blue' wave of tools and technologies is quite just an interface refresh. it is the next tread on Microsoft's journey to becoming a devices and services company, and therefore the first of what the corporate intends to be a daily series of updates to its core platform. At the guts of that core, the platform is Windows Server, the inspiration for Azure and for what Microsoft calls its Cloud OS. All of which suggests that Windows Server 2012 R2 is far quite just another service pack; adding new features that make it easier to create cloud applications and services in your datacentre and to maneuver them to and from Azure.


Microsoft recently released a preview build of Windows Server 2012 R2, and that we installed it as a Hyper-V a virtual machine running on a Windows Server 2012 system. Although that meant we were unable to seem at a number of the new Hyper-V features in R2, it gave us an honest picture of what you will need to understand when fixing Microsoft's latest server.


Getting started

Windows Server 2012

Installation is straightforward. Like Windows Server 2012, R2 has two installation options: a full GUI and therefore the command-line-only Server Core. We were ready to rise up and running in only a couple of minutes, only wanting to choose keyboard and language options. Server 2012 R2 boots to the beginning Screen, although there's the choice of selecting boot to the desktop. you also close up hot corner support for Windows 8-style navigation, a feature that comes in handy if you're employing a non-touch-enabled monitor or a foreign desktop. Although we've found that a Surface RT's 1366-by-768 screen is simply the proper size for working with a foreign Windows Server 2012 R2, not everyone has the choice of using the touch features Microsoft has put into its server.

When it involves the interface, there's little difference between Windows Server 2012 R2 and its predecessor. the important changes are under the surface, with significant enhancements to Hyper-V, Storage Spaces, and Active Directory. That should not be surprising; Microsoft has been talking about Windows Server as a key component in its Cloud OS for a few time and people are the key features needed to create and run a cloud service on Windows Server.


Windows Server 2012 R2 is configured, like Server 2012, via Server Manager. it is a modern-style desktop application that provides you a summary of running services from its dashboard, also as launching the familiar Windows Server management tools and handling role and have installation. it is a useful one-stop buy managing one or many servers, although for more complex tasks you'll be wanting to use PowerShell (especially its new Desired State Configuration tools) or System Center 2012 R2. Desired State Configuration (DSC) is a particularly powerful tool that will help prevent configurations from drifting over time — something that's increasingly important in automatically managed service deployments, where users use self-service portals to define the servers they need to deploy. With DSC you'll define the managed elements of a server or a service, and may ensure they always have the right configuration.

Virtual all the way down

Even though we weren't ready to found out Hyper-V on our test install, there are many improvements to Microsoft's virtualization platform. Perhaps the foremost obvious is an improved virtual disk format, with support for up to 64TB dynamic disks which will be resized on the fly. However, the foremost useful new feature is the Hyper-V Replica, which allows you to quickly found out a disaster recovery site, and keeps it up so far. It's asynchronous and replicas are often tested without forcing a failover to the recovery site — and while the replica keeps on being updated (you can set replication points from 30 seconds to fifteen minutes counting on server utilization). The related Hyper-V Recovery Manager handles failover, monitoring primary servers, and automatically switching load to a disaster recovery site, ensuring business continuity.

Microsoft has done tons to enhance how Hyper-V works during a private cloud, with features like Shared VHDX files that make it easier to separate storage and compute, and to quickly migrate a virtual machine from one server to a different one. Live migration now supports migration between different base operating systems, also as using compression to significantly speed up transfers. There's also support for deduplication in virtual disks, which in conjunction with improved caching accelerates booting virtual machines — something that's key to delivering improved VDI performance to your end-users.

There's also improved support for virtual networking, with the Hyper-V Extensible Switch providing a framework for software-defined networking. Third parties, like Cisco, can add extensions to the bottom switch, linking it to regulatory frameworks and adding additional features (like firewalls or data-loss prevention filters), easing the connection between virtual and physical networks. If you're using Windows Server 2012 R2 to host multi-tenant applications, there's now also a multi-tenant VPN gateway to manage secure access to separate virtual networks in your datacentre. Managing those virtual IP addresses is additionally simplified with the addition of virtual address management to Windows Server's IP Address Management (IPAM) tooling.


Windows Server 2012

Storage and BYOD

Storage Spaces, Microsoft's storage virtualization technology also gets an overhaul in Windows Server 2012 R2. Microsoft has added support for storage tiering, letting you combine traditional hard drives and solid-state disks. With storage tiers, you'll identify slow and fast disks during space for storing, and Windows will move data between them automatically to offer you the simplest performance — putting data that are accessed regularly on SSD, and data that are not needed so often on slower, cheaper hard drives.


The CPU, storage and networking employed by a service composed of several virtual machines can now be monitored as an entire, by wrapping all the resources used as one resource pool. you'll then get data on just how they're all getting used by a service (or by a tenant on a multi-tenant system).


One of the foremost significant new features in Server 2012 R2 is Workplace Join. Best thought of as a granular version of full Active Directory membership, joining a workplace lets lightly-managed devices (like a Windows RT tablet, or a user's own PC) access files and directories. Workplace Join creates a lively Directory entry for the device and delivers an authentication certificate which will be wont to give access to files on corporate servers — without having to hitch a website. There's also an option for users to settle on to feature a Workplace Joined device to Windows Intune or System Center 2012 R2 Configuration manager, to supply additional management capabilities.



You'll find new server roles among the various familiar options. Want to put in Work Folders to offer your BYOD users access to their files? Click to expand the File and Storage Services options. (Screenshot: Simon Bisson/ZDNet)

Another closely related new feature, Work Folders, allows you to synchronize files and folders with users' devices. it isn't as granular because of the old offline files model, but Work Folders let BYOD users with Workplace-joined devices get managed copies of their files on their PCs and devices. There's one flaw with Work Folders at the present though: there is no support for selective synchronization. meaning it'll attempt to copy equivalent files on a 32GB Surface RT as on a 256GB laptop — with no option of selecting the files you would like on which device.


With cloud at the guts of Server 2012 R2, it's interesting to ascertain it comes with a variety of service provider-friendly (and BYOD-friendly) features. One key new role is support for Server 2012 Essentials' features, giving system administrators an approach to shared storage and backup which will work on consumer devices; without requiring membership of a website or a workspace.


AD for Identity

Active Directory remains at the guts of Window Server 2012 R2, with an increased, specialize in managing user identities. that creates sense, like a shift to services running on public, private or hybrid clouds, single sign-on is increasingly important, and a uniform source of user identity is required to manage those sign-on. If you're working with Azure and Windows Server 2012 R2 (an increasingly likely scenario) you'll use Active Directory Federation Services to link your on-premises AD to the cloud-hosted Azure Active Directory, or to virtualized AD servers running on your own private clouds.


The Cloud OS: Windows Server and System Center

Although Windows Server 2012 R2 can standalone, it's now best considered in tandem with System Center 2012 R2. the 2 products were developed alongside one another, and System Center now is an impact layer for the tools and services that run on Windows Server — especially around managing networks and virtual servers and applications. the 2 together are the idea of a software-defined datacentre that reaches from your server to the cloud (whether it's Azure or a hosting provider's Windows Servers).


That's probably the foremost important part of this release: the particular relationship between management tools and server roles. If you would like to use Windows Server 2012 R2 as a virtual machine host, you are going to wish to run System Center 2012 R2 Virtual Machine Manager to urge the foremost from your system — including automating live migrations and giving your users a portal to put in and configure virtual machines. System Center is that the automation layer on top of Windows Server, and it's essential if you're planning on building a personal — or maybe a public — cloud on your Windows Server systems. you'll escape without it, if you are a small business, or running development servers, but if you do not want to spend your life configuring functions and features and tidying up after users, you are going to wish to deploy the 2 products in tandem (and add in Windows Intune for managing Workspace-joined devices). Microsoft's joint development program for the 2 tools are sensible, especially as what it calls the Cloud OS is basically the delivery of the company's future Dynamic IT vision.


Windows Server 2012

The initial verdict

So do you have to upgrade from Windows Server 2012 to the R2 release? Certainly, it is a compelling release, with new Hyper-V and storage features making it a big upgrade over last year's server. it is also surprisingly stable for a beta release of an OS that's been under development for fewer than a year, showing just how effective Microsoft's new sustained engineering and continuous development processes became. But with pricing and release date still unclear, any initial deployments should be purely to check out the new features. Where R2's new features are likely to be essential is that if you're moving from a standard application-centric datacentre to a service-centric private cloud, and where you would like to automate as many of your server operations as possible.


If you do not install R2 this year, then there will be another new server along with this point next year (and possibly even sooner). That new cadence may be a big change to how we roll in the hay, and one that's getting to take some getting won't to — especially in additional traditionally run IT organizations. there is a hierarchy to how Microsoft is shipping new server features: Azure gets them every three weeks approximately, Office 365 and therefore the remainder of the company's cloud services get upgraded every three months, and therefore the on-premises tools get an annual boost. This, then, is Microsoft's new approach to server development: shipping its Cloud OS on cloud time.

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Windows Server 2012

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