Five Reasons Why You Should Upgrade to Windows Server 2012

 

Windows Server 2012 Start UI.

Windows Server 2012 has been around for a few months now– but for whatever reason you and your organization is waiting off on upgrading. Perhaps you simply have the question “Why should we?” in your head.

It’s a valid response. Your current version seems to be handled things fine, so why bother?

Let’s take a look at just five reasons, keep in mind that they are likely many, many more.

Server Manager

With Server 2012, a new Server Manager ahs arrived. The new manager has multi-server capabilities and makes it much easier to deploy roles and features remotely.

Additionally, it is now easy to create a server group, which is exactly what it sounds like: a group of series that can be managed together.

Choose Your Interface with Ease

In the past, if you installed Server Core, you were stuck with the command line as your only interface. While this works for some folks– having a GUI is important for other kinds of tasks and can make life easier.

Why did some users stick with the Server Core in the past? It provides better security and performance, but unfortunately it is also a little more complex and daunting at times even for seasoned admins.

In Server 2012, you can turn the GUI on and off at will through “remove roles or features” in the Server Manager.

Storage Spaces

With Server 2012 there is a new feature called “Storage Spaces” that lets you use cheap hard-drives to create a storage pool. This pool can be divided into spaces that are used just like physical discs.
Rather than explain all the great benefits of this feature or how it works– I’ll just point you to an excellent MSDN blog post on the subject.

Hyper-V Replica
In the server world, virtualization is key. Hyper-V is basically Microsoft’s Vmware-like solution and is actually quite impressively good. Many IT professionals now consider Hyper-V to be ahead of the game in many ways.
Windows Server 2012 takes Hyper-V to the next level with several new features, the most important being “Hyper-V Replica”. This new replication feature logs changes to disk in a VM an uses compression to save on bandwith, replicating from a primary server to a replica server. In short, you can store multiple “snapshots” of a VM on a replica server and select the one you want to use when it comes to disaster recovery.

ReFS

NTFS might be a solid improvement over earlier variants of FAT, but ReFS is a much welcome change. Resilient File System supports most of the features of NTFS but also leaves some things behind such as file compression, EFS and disk quota. ReFS also brings some pretty unique abilities of its own into the mix.

Some of the biggest reasons to consider ReFS include its data verification and correction features. Additionally, it can support a theoretical limit of a massive 256 zetabytes.

Summing it Up…

This is just a brief look at some of the many reasons why you should consider Windows Server 2012. Are there more reasons? You bet. Simplified licensing in 2012 is probably at the top of the list of other reasons besides the five mentioned.

Any professionals out there on Server 2012 already? Any particular features you feel should be mentioned that you truly think makes a difference when compared to older versions of the Server software?

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