What’s New In Windows Server 2012 and R2?

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.


New Features



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.

Backup Solution for Windows Server 2012

Task Manager

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”.


Active Directory

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.
Hyper-V Backup Solution for Windows Server 2012


File System

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.


SMB 3.0

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.


IIS 8.0

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.


PowerShell 3.0

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.


Hardware Requirements


Minimum hardware requirements for Windows Server 2012

Architecture 64-bit
Processor 1.4-GHz 64-bit processor
Memory 512 MB
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)


Web Links

Official website

TechNet Windows Server 2012

MSDN Windows Server 2012


Windows Server 2012 R2 Overview

Base data
Developer Microsoft
Current version Build 6.2.9200
(October 2013)
Ancestry Windows NT
Older Versionsof Windows Windows NT 3.1Windows NT 3.5
Windows NT 3.51
Windows NT 4.0
Windows 2000
Windows XP
Windows Server 2003
Windows XP Prof. x 64
Windows Vista
Windows Server 2008
Windows 7
Windows Server 2008 R2
Windows 8
Windows phone 8
Windows RT
Windows Server 2012
Architectures AMD64
License MicrosoftEULA (Closed-source)
Website www.microsoft.com






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