Windows Server 2012 is the successor to the previous Windows Server 2008. And as such, it offers improvements and additions to the features of its predecessor. Some of the new or improved features over Windows Server 2008 include data deduplication, Hyper-V 3.0, easier Active Directory Domain Service (AD DS) deployment and storage pools.
Windows Server 2012 integrates the steps to deploy a domain controller into a single easy-to-use Graphical User Interface (GUI). It can remotely deploy domain controllers on other servers and perform all necessary pre-requisite checks to minimise errors that slow or stop the installation. All these features are integrated into an installation wizard to give administrators all the information and control they need, all in one place.
With the constant increase of data needing to be transported and stored, storage efficiency is a much-needed factor when storing data. With the amount of data being stored, a lot of duplicate and identical files are being stored, consuming critical storage space that can be better used for more critical data. Windows Server 2012 delivers data deduplication that enables capacity optimisation that is scalable, reliable and protects data integrity. Data deduplication allows Windows Server 2012 to store more data in less physical space by identifying duplicate chunks of data and maintaining a single instance of duplicated data.
Windows Server 2012 also introduced new features to Hyper-V, such as network virtualisation, live migration and virtual hard disk formats. The new VHDX format gives administrators access to increased storage capacity, better data protection and better-quality performance on larger sector disks. The new VHDX format supports storage capacities of up to 64 terabytes and protects against data corruption during power failures by logging updates to the metadata structures. Network virtualisation creates a more secure environment for multi-tenancies as ad administrator can isolate two or more virtual machines running on the same machine from each other. Windows Server 2012 also made improvements to live migrations of virtual machines that allowed virtual machines to be migrated outside of a clustered environment. This allows administrators to improve the performance and flexibility of the systems under their care.
Storage Spaces in Windows Server 2012 enables cost0effective, scalable and flexible storage solutions for administrators. It has storage pools that enable administrators to flexibly create storage pools based on their needs. Administrators can create a one pool of storage space from all available physical storage disks while still appearing as one disk to users or create multiple pools by dividing the disks for more efficient use. These pools can be dynamically scaled to cope with future data growth.
In conclusion, Windows Server 2012 is an agile, flexible and efficient operating system accessible to administrators that allows them to support business needs and create infrastructure that is able to scale up/out and can quickly meet changing business needs while minimising downtimes and failures and still being cost efficient. It creates value for administrators with its advancements in virtualisation, management and flexibility.