Windows Server 2012 Hosting

Windows Server 2012, formerly codenamed Windows Server 8, is the new release of Microsoft Windows Server. It is the server version of Windows 8 and the successor to Windows Server 2008 R2.

Windows Server 2012 New Features:

  • User interface:
    Server Manager has been redesigned with an emphasis on easing management of multiple servers. The operating system uses the Metro UI unless installed in Server Core mode. Windows PowerShell in this version has over 2300 commandlets, compared with around 200 in Windows Server 2008 R2. There is also command auto-completion.

  • Task Manager:
    Windows Server 2012 include a new version of Windows Task Manager together with the old version. In the new version the tabs are hidden by default showing applications only. In the new Processes tab, the processes are displayed in various shades of yellow, with darker shades representing heavier resource use. It lists application names, application status, and overall utilization data for CPU, memory, hard disk, and network resources, moving the process information found in the older Task Manager to the new Details tab. The Performance tab is split into CPU, memory (RAM), disk, ethernet, and, if applicable, wireless network sections with graphs for each. Additionally, a new Startup tab has been added that lists startup applications.

  • IP address management (IPAM):
    Windows Server 2012 has an IPAM role for discovering, monitoring, auditing, and managing the IP address space. IPAM provides for administration and monitoring of servers running Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) and Domain Name Service (DNS). Both IPv4 and IPv6 are fully supported.

  • Active Directory:
    Windows Server 2012 has a number of changes to Active Directory from the version shipped with Windows Server 2008 R2. The Active Directory Domain Services installation wizard has been replaced by a new section in Server Manager, and the Active Directory Administrative Center has been enhanced. A GUI has been added to the Active Directory Recycle Bin. Password policies can differ more easily within the same domain. Active Directory in Windows Server 2012 is now aware of any changes resulting from virtualization, and virtualized domain controllers can be safely cloned.

  • Hyper-V:
    Windows Server 2012 will include a new version of Hyper-V. Many new features have been added to Hyper-V, including network virtualization, multi-tenancy, storage resource pools, cross-premise connectivity, and cloud backup. Additionally, many of the former restrictions on resource consumption have been greatly lifted. Each virtual machine in this version of Hyper-V can access up to 32 virtual processors, up to 512 gigabytes of random-access memory, and up to 16 terabytes of virtual disk space per virtual hard disk (using a new .vhdx format). Up to 1024 virtual machines can be active per host, and up to 4000 can be active per failover cluster.

  • ReFS:
    ReFS (Resilient File System, originally codenamed "Protogon") is a new file system in Windows Server 2012 initially intended for file servers that improves on NTFS. Major new features of ReFS include:
    • Improved reliability for on-disk structures: ReFS uses B+ trees for all on-disk structures including metadata and file data. The file size, total volume size, number of files in a directory and number of directories in a volume are limited by 64-bit numbers, which translates to maximum file size of 16 Exabytes, maximum volume size of 1 Yottabyte (with 64 KB clusters), which allows large scalability with no practical limits on file and directory size (hardware restrictions still apply). File names and file paths are each limited to a 32 KB Unicode text string.
    • Built-in resilience: ReFS employs an allocation-on-write update strategy for metadata, which allocates new chunks for every update transaction and uses large IO batches. All ReFS metadata has built-in 64-bit checksums which are stored independently. The file data can have an optional checksum in a separate "integrity stream", in which case the file update strategy also implements allocation-on-write; this is controlled by a new "integrity" attribute applicable to both files and directories. If nevertheless file data or metadata becomes corrupt, the file can be deleted without taking down the whole volume offline for maintenance, then restored from the backup. As a result of built-in resiliency, administrators do not need to periodically run error-checking tools such as CHKDSK when using ReFS.
    Some NTFS features are not supported in ReFS, including named streams, object IDs, short names, file compression, file level encryption (EFS), user data transactions, sparse files, hard links, extended attributes, and disk quotas. ReFS does not itself offer data deduplication. Dynamic disks with mirrored or striped volumes are replaced with mirrored or striped storage pools provided by Storage Spaces. However, in Windows Server 2012, automated error-correction is only supported on mirrored spaces, and booting from ReFS is not supported either.

  • IIS 8.0

    Windows Server 2012 will include version 8.0 of Internet Information Services (IIS). The new version contains new features such as CPU usage caps for particular websites.

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