Microsoft Windows Server 2012, also known as Microsoft Windows Server 8, is an operating system of the Windows series of the software developer company Microsoft. Server 2012 is the successor of Windows Server 2008 R2.
Windows 8 is the workstation version of Server 2012 and was released on September 4, 2012. Windows Server 2012 R2 was released in October 2013.
Windows Server 2012 used the new Modern UI-surface, which is better for touchscreens and borrowed concepts from the Windows Phone 8 technology.
An alternative to that UI is the so-called core installation which is basically entirely without a graphical user interface and is configured only via the Windows command prompt and PowerShell . The core installation is the default setting and offers more power for applications, especially when using Hyper-V or SQL Server.
The third alternative is to use the Minimal Server Interface. It is a limited graphical interface, where all graphical administration applications are installed, but not all libraries and settings options are available to customize the interface.
The Task Manager has been completely redesigned. Among other changes, applications are categorized (for example into system processes, Metro- and regular applications). Inactive applications are suspended for performance reasons and marked in the task manager as “suspended”.
The Active Directory domain services installation wizard was replaced by a new area in the new Server Manager, the so-called Active Directory Administrative Center. In addition, the Active Directory Recycle Bin can be called via a graphical interface in Windows Server 2012. Password policies, as well as the upgrade of Active Directory have been greatly simplified.
Windows Server 2012 contains an updated version of the Hyper-V virtualization hypervisor, in the Standard as well as the Datacenter Edition. With Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V was extended with even more features: UEFI boot of VMs, improved copy & paste, automatic activation of Windows in virtual machines, Gen-2 VMs with synthetic devices, faster live migration by compression, and replication intervals are customizable and extendable to other locations.
In Windows Server 2012 the new file system ReFS was added as a supplement to NTFS . It is specifically designed for storing data on file servers and supports therefore neither removable devices nor is it bootable.
Another new feature is support for SMB 3, allowing for a faster and more stable access to file shares as with the previous versions of the protocol. This improvement was added mainly for application servers that store their data on a file share, and much less for users or workstations. Using SMB 3.0, a client can maintain a network connection to a resource (file / folder on the file server) even when a file server in a cluster fails over to another. In earlier versions of the protocol, the client connection was interrupted during a failover, which caused applications to lose data access and report error conditions. This new feature is called “SMB transparent failover”.
SMB 3.0 supports additional improvements such as RDMA or the use of multiple parallel TCP connections between client and server (“SMB multichannel”). This requires however a hardware configuration, which is usually only available in servers in data centers and not in PC environments.
Dynamic Access Control
Dynamic Access Control, DAC, access to files is controlled via metadata. DAC supplements Active Directory security policies.
For example, DAC may be useful to ensure that files be protected even after they are moved to a different directory. Using DAC ensures that moved folders are still protected against unauthorized access and backed up properly.
With the introduction of IIS (Internet Information Service) 8.0 Extended Validation Certificates no longer need to be loaded individually on each server. Instead they can be loaded from a centralized file server. In addition, CPU power can be throttled for each CPU and individual websites. This can prevent crashes and improves overall quality of service.
All system settings in the Microsoft Management Console and the Server Manager are implemented as PowerShell commands and processes. Alternatively, all system settings can be changed manually by using the PowerShell. Moreover, the Windows PowerShell Web Access feature allows system configuration to be done via a web browser. It is also possible to directly run Windows Workflow Foundation applications.
Microsoft Windows Azure
Microsoft Windows Server 2012 offers a direct connection to Microsoft Windows Azure. As a result, the server can be backed up as needed on the azure cloud. Also you can involve services such as additional virtual machines or SQL azure.
DirectAccess was first introduced in Windows Server 2008 R2 and has been greatly improved. For example, there is no PKI requirement and IPv6 bridging technologies are already integrated in the operating system.
Minimum hardware requirements for Windows Server 2012
|Processor||1.4-GHz 64-bit processor|
|Graphics card||DirectX 9 graphics-processor with WDDM 1.0 (Aero)|
|HDD free space||32 GB of free disk space (+16 GB memory or more for the paging, hibernation and crash dump files)|
|Optical drive||DVD drive (only to install from DVD/CD media)|
Windows Server 2012 R2 Overview
|Current version||Build 6.2.9200
|Older Versionsof Windows||Windows NT 3.1Windows NT 3.5
Windows NT 3.51
Windows NT 4.0
Windows Server 2003
Windows XP Prof. x 64
Windows Server 2008
Windows Server 2008 R2
Windows phone 8
Windows Server 2012