Windows Server 2012
By Joseph Martin
This system has four main editions Foundation, Essentials, Standard and Datacenter.
Foundation is the most basic of the four which then increase in ability from Essentials to Standard to Datacenter. For example Foundation has a maximum user limit of 15 as where Standard and Datacenter are unlimited.
Memory limits for this system also range depending on the edition from 32GB to 4TB. The Foundation edition along with having lower specifications than its counterparts also does not include Server Core mode and Hyper-V. In this system Microsoft really improved on its diversity giving a range of levels of this product. Improvements included User interface, Task Manager, IP address management (IPAM), Active Directory, and Hyper-V. The User interface was redesigned to make management of multiple servers easier, which helps simplify a very complicated system. Task Manager has also been improved including the implementation of a new version of Windows Task Manager along with the old version of Task Manager.
The new version includes changes such as hidden tabs showing only applications by default. It also lists CPU names, applications running and their status, memory, hard disk and network utilization. All processor information that used to be in the old version has been moved to the new details tab. The CPU tab no longer shows a graph for every logical processor but instead displays data from each NUMA node.
All the improvements to Task Manager allows for a more control system with less flipping between pages and panels, which is always good. The IP address management (IPAM) has roles for discovering, monitoring, auditing, and managing the IP address space used on a corporate network, which is an improvement over the last version. It also manages and monitors Domain Name System (DNS) and Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) servers.
In the Active Directory many changes have been made. For example the Active Directory Domain Services installation wizard has been replaced with a new section of the Server Manager, which allows for a more integrated system. Multiple Password policies can also be set in the domain too, which is a nice feature. The Active Directory in Windows Server 2012 is on able to recognize any changes in the virtualization. This means virtualized domain controllers can on be safely cloned. This means that less time needs to be spent on these components making the system more efficient.
The Hyper –V has also been improved in the area of network virtualization. Other improvements like multi-tenancy, storage resource pools, cross- premise connectivity and cloud backup also give the new and improved Hyper-V its edge over its previse versions, especially the cloud backup which allows information to be stored off site.
Windows Server 2012 also has a new file system named Resilient File System (ReFS). ReFs organize files for the most part like a relational database. This component also stored data in checksums which allows for a better isolated storage system in case of corruption. The ReFS is also compatible with many of windows older server components like Bitlocker encryption. This is preferable due to the large amount of data now share between organizations and business, therefore giving you the ability to upgrade without having worry about compatibility issue. Overall this upgrade is a good step forward from previous windows servers.