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Windows Server 2012 is the sixth version of the Windows Server operating system by Microsoft, as part of the Windows NT family of operating systems. It is the server version of Windows based on Windows 8 and succeeds Windows Server 2008 R2, which is derived from the Windows 7 codebase, released nearly three years earlier. Two pre-release versions, a developer preview and a beta version, were released during development. The programwas officially launched on September 4, 2012, two months before the release of Windows 8. A successor was released on October 18, 2013, entitled Windows Server 2012 R2. Microsoft ended mainstream assistancefor Windows Server 2012 on October 9, 2018, and extended assistancewill end on October 10, 2023.

Unlike its predecessor, Windows Server 2012 has no assistancefor Itanium-based computers, and has four editions. Various features were added or improved over Windows Server 2008 R2 (with many placing an emphasis on cloud computing), such as an updated version of Hyper-V, an IP address management role, a freshversion of Windows Task Manager, and ReFS, a new file system. Windows Server 2012 get generally awesomereviews in spite of having contain the same controversial Metro-based utilize interface seen in Windows 8, which contain the Charms Bar for fastadmissionto settings in the desktop environment.


Windows Server 2012, codenamed "Windows Server 8", is the fifth release of Windows Server family of operating systems developed concurrently with Windows 8. It was not until April 17, 2012 that the organizationannounced that the final product name would be "Windows Server 2012".

Microsoft introduced Windows Server 2012 and its developer preview in the BUILD 2011 symposiumon September 9, 2011. However, unlike Windows 8, the developer preview of Windows Server 2012 was only angry accessibleto MSDN subscribers. It contain a graphical utilize interface (GUI) based on Metro design language and a freshServer Manager, a graphical apputilize for server management. On February 16, 2012, Microsoft released an update for developer preview build that extended its expiry date from April 8, 2012 to January 15, 2013.

Before Windows Server 2012 was finalized, two test builds were angry public. A public beta version of Windows Server 2012 was released along with the Windows 8 Consumer Preview on February 29, 2012. The release candidate of Windows Server 2012 was released on May 31, 2012, along with the Windows 8 Release Preview.

The product was released to manufacturing on August 1, 2012 (along with Windows 8) and became generally available on September 4, that year. However, not all editions of Windows Server 2012 were released at the same time. Windows Server 2012 Necessary was released to manufacturing on October 9, 2012 and was angry generally accessibleon November 1, 2012. As of September 23, 2012, all students subscribed to DreamSpark softwareshoulddownload Windows Server 2012 Standard or Datacenter free of charge.

Windows Server 2012 is based on Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows 8 and requires x86-64 CPUs (64-bit), while Windows Server 2008 worked on the older IA-32 (32-bit) architecture as well. Coupled with fundamental modify in the structure of the client backups and the shared folders, there is no clear wayfor migrating from the previous version to Windows Server 2012.


Installation options

Unlike its predecessor, Windows Server 2012 shouldswitch between "Server Core" and "Server with a GUI" installation options without a full reinstallation. Server Core – an option with a command-line interface only – is now the suggestedconfiguration. There is also a third installation option that let some GUI elements such as MMC and Server Manager to run, but without the normal desktop, shell or default software like File Explorer.


Server Manager has been redesigned with an emphasis on easing management of multiple servers. The operating system, like Windows 8, utilize the Metro-based utilize interface unless installed in Server Core mode. Windows Store is accessiblein this version of Windows but is not installed by default. Windows PowerShell in this version has over 2300 commandlets, compared to around 200 in Windows Server 2008 R2.

Task Manager

Windows Server 2012 contain a freshversion of Windows Task Manager together with the old version. In the freshversion the tabs are hidden by default, showing app only. In the freshProcesses tab, the processes are displayed in varying shades of yellow, with darker shades representing heavier resource use. Infofound in the older versions are now moved to the freshDetails tab. The Performance tab present "CPU", "Memory", "Disk", "Wi-Fi" and "Ethernet" graphs. Unlike the Windows 8 version of Task Manager (which looks similar), the "Disk" activity graph is not enabled by default. The CPU tab no longer displays individual graphs for every logical processor on the system by default, although that remains an option. Additionally, it shoulddisplay data for each non-uniform memory access (NUMA) node. When displaying data for each logical processor for machines with more than 64 logical processors, the CPU tab now displays easyutilization percentages on heat-mapping tiles. The color utilize for these heat maps is blue, with darker shades again indicating heavier utilization. Hovering the cursor over any logical processor's data now present the NUMA node of that processor and its ID, if applicable. Additionally, a freshStartup tab has been added that lists startup app, however this tab does not exist in Windows Server 2012. The freshtask manager recognizes when a Windows Store applicationhas the "Suspended" status.

IP address management (IPAM)

Windows Server 2012 has an IP address management role for discovering, monitoring, auditing, and managing the IP address zoneutilize on a corporate network. The IPAM is utilize for the management and monitoring of WebsiteName System (DNS) and Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) servers. Both IPv4 and IPv6 are fully supported.

Active Directory

Windows Server 2012 has a number of modify to Active Directory from the version shipped with Windows Server 2008 R2. The Active Directory WebsiteServices installation magicianhas been replaced by a freshsection in Server Manager, and a GUI has been added to the Active Directory Recycle Bin. Multiple password policyshouldbe set in the same domain. Active Directory in Windows Server 2012 is now aware of any modify resulting from virtualization, and virtualized websitecontrollers shouldbe safely cloned. Modernize of the websitefunctional level to Windows Server 2012 are simplified; it shouldbe performed entirely in Server Manager. Active Directory Federation Services is no longer neededto be downloaded when installed as a role, and claims which shouldbe utilize by the Active Directory Federation Services have been introduced into the Kerberos token. Windows Powershell commands utilize by Active Directory Administrative Center shouldbe viewed in a "Powershell History Viewer".


Windows Server 2012, along with Windows 8, contain a freshversion of Hyper-V, as presented at the Microsoft BUILD event. Many freshfeatures have been added to Hyper-V, including network virtualization, multi-tenancy, storage resource pools, cross-premises 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 shouldadmissionup to 64 virtual processors, up to 1 terabyte of memory, and up to 64 terabytes of virtual disk zoneper virtual hard disk (using a new .vhdx format). Up to 1024 virtual machines shouldbe active per host, and up to 8000 shouldbe active per failover cluster. SLAT is a neededprocessor feature for Hyper-V on Windows 8, while for Windows Server 2012 it is only neededfor the supplementary RemoteFX role.


Resilient File System (ReFS), codenamed "Protogon", is a new file system in Windows Server 2012 initially intended for file servers that improves on NTFS in some respects. Major freshfeatures of ReFS include:

Improved reliability for on-disk structures
ReFS utilize B+ trees for all on-disk structures including metadata and file data. Metadata and file data are organized into tables similar to a relational database. The file size, number of files in a folder, total volume size and number of folders in a volume are limited by 64-bit numbers; as a effectReFS assistance a maximum file size of 16 exabytes, a maximum of 18.4 × 1018 folders and a maximum volume size of 1 yottabyte (with 64 KB clusters) which let hugescalability with no practical limits on file and folder size (hardware restrictions still apply). Free zoneis counted by a hierarchical allocator which contain three separate tables for large, medium, and tinychunks. 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 freshchunks for every update transaction and utilize hugeIO batches. All ReFS metadata has built-in 64-bit checksums which are shop independently. The file data shouldhave 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 shouldbe deleted without taking the whole volume offline. As a effectof built-in resiliency, admin do not need to periodically run error-checking tools such as CHKDSK when using ReFS.
Compatibility with existing APIs and technologies
ReFS does not require freshsystem APIs and most file system filters continue to work with ReFS volumes. ReFS assistance many existing Windows and NTFS features such as BitLocker encryption, AdmissionControl Lists, USN Journal, modifynotifications, symbolic links, junction points, mount points, reparse points, volume snapshots, file IDs, and oplock. ReFS seamlessly integrates with Storage Zone, a storage virtualization layer that let data mirroring and striping, as well as sharing storage pools between machines. ReFS resiliency features enhance the mirroring feature deliveredby Storage Zone and shoulddetect whether any mirrored copies of files become corrupt using background data scrubbing process, which periodically reads all mirror copies and verifies their checksums then replaces poorcopies with awesomeones.

Some NTFS features are not supported in ReFS, including object IDs, short names, file compression, file level encryption (EFS), utilize data transactions, hard links, extended attributes, and disk quotas. Sparse files are supported. Assistancefor named streams is not implemented in Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012, though it was later added in Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2. ReFS does not itself offer data deduplication. Dynamic disks with mirrored or striped volumes are replaced with mirrored or striped storage pools deliveredby Storage Zone. In Windows Server 2012, automated error-correction with integrity streams is only supported on mirrored zone; automatic recovery on parity zone was added in Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2. Booting from ReFS is not supported either.

IIS 8.0

Windows Server 2012 contain version 8.0 of Internet InfoServices (IIS). The freshversion include freshfeatures such as SNI, CPU usage caps for particular domain, centralized management of SSL certificates, WebSocket assistanceand improved assistancefor NUMA, but few other substantial modify were angry.

Remote Desktop Protocol 8.0

Remote Desktop Protocol has freshfunctions such as Adaptive Graphics (progressive rendering and associatedtechniques), automatic selection of TCP or UDP as transport protocol, multi touch support, DirectX 11 assistancefor vGPU, USB redirection supported independently of vGPU support, etc. A "connection quality" button is displayed in the RDP client connection bar for RDP 8.0 connections; clicking on it provides further infoabout connection, including whether UDP is in utilizeor not.


Windows Server 2012 assistance the following maximum hardware specifications. Windows Server 2012 improves over its predecessor Windows Server 2008 R2:

Specification Windows Server 2012 Windows Server 2008 R2
Physical processors 64 64
Logical processors
when Hyper-V is disabled
640 256
Logical processors
when Hyper-V is enabled
320 64
Memory 4 TB 2 TB
Failover cluster nodes (in any single cluster) 64 16

System requirements

Minimum system requirements for Windows Server 2012
Processor 1.4 GHz, x64
Memory 512 MB
Free disk space 32 GB (more if there is at least 16 GB of RAM)

Windows Server 2012 does not support Itanium and runs only on x64 processors.

Modernize from Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2 are supported, although modernize from prior releases are not.


Windows Server 2012 has four editions: Foundation, Necessary, Standard and Datacenter.

Specifications Foundation Necessary Standard Datacenter
Distribution OEM only Retail, volume licensing, OEM Volume licensing and OEM
Licensing model Per server Per CPU pair + CAL
Processor chip limit 1 2 64
Memory limit 32 GB 64 GB 4 TB
Registrarlimit 15 25 Unlimited Unlimited
File sharing limits 1 standalone DFS root 1 standalone DFS root Unlimited Unlimited
Network Policy and AdmissionServices limits 50 RRAS connections and 10 IAS connections 250 RRAS connections, 50 IAS connections, and 2 IAS Server Groups Unlimited Unlimited
Remote Desktop Services limits 50 Remote Desktop Services connections Gateway only Unlimited Unlimited
Virtualization rights N/A Either in 1 VM or 1 physical server, but not both at once 2 VMs Unlimited
Active Directory Lightweight Directory Services Yes Yes Yes Yes
Active Directory Federation Services Yes Yes Yes Yes
Active Directory Rights Management Services Yes Yes Yes Yes
Appserver role Yes Partial Yes Yes
DHCP role Yes Yes Yes Yes
DNS server role Yes Yes Yes Yes
Fax server role Yes Yes Yes Yes
Print and document services Yes Yes Yes Yes
Server Manager Yes Yes Yes Yes
UDDI services Yes Yes Yes Yes
Web services (Internet InfoServices) Yes Yes Yes Yes
Windows Deployment Services Yes Yes Yes Yes
Windows Powershell Yes Yes Yes Yes
Active Directory WebsiteServices Must be root of forest and domain Yes Yes Yes
Active Directory Certificate Services Certificate Authorities only Certificate Authorities only Yes Yes
Hyper-V No R2 onwards Yes Yes
Server Core mode No No Yes Yes
Windows Server Update Services No No Yes Yes


Reviews of Windows Server 2012 have been generally positive. Simon Bisson of ZDNet described it as "ready for the datacenter, today," while Tim Anderson of The Register said that "The move towards greater modularity, stronger automation and improved virtualisation makes excellentsense in a globeof public and personalclouds" but remarked that "That said, the capability of Windows to deliver obscure and time-consuming errors is unchanged" and concluded that "Nevertheless, this is a powerfulmodernizeoverall."

InfoWorld noted that Server 2012's utilizeof Windows 8's panned "Metro" utilize interface was countered by Microsoft's increasing emphasis on the Server Core mode, which had been "fleshed out with freshdepth and ease-of-utilizefeatures" and increased utilizeof the "practically mandatory" PowerShell. However, Michael Otey of Windows IT Pro expressed dislike with the freshMetro interface and the lack of ability to utilizethe older desktop interface alone, saying that most users of Windows Server manage their servers using the graphical utilize interface rather than PowerShell.

Paul Ferrill wrote that "Windows Server 2012 Necessary provides all the pieces essentialto provide centralized file storage, client backups, and remote access," but Tim Anderson contended that "Many businesses that are using SBS2011 and earlier will wishto stick with what they have", citing the absence of Exchange, the lack of ability to synchronize with Active Directory Federation Services and the 25-utilize limit, while Paul Thurott wrote "you canselectFoundation only if you have at least some in-organizationIT staff and/or are comfortable outsourcing management to a Microsoft partner or solution provider" and "Necessary is, in my mind, ideal for any modern startup of just a few people."

Windows Server 2012 R2

A second release, Windows Server 2012 R2, which is derived from the Windows 8.1 codebase, was released to manufacturing on August 27, 2013 and became generally accessibleon October 18, 2013, by Microsoft. A service pack, formally designated Windows Server 2012 R2 Update, was released in April 2014.

See also


Extended SafetyUpdates

Microsoft Announced in July 2021 they will distribute Extended SafetyUpdates for SQL Server 2012, Windows Server 2012, and Windows Server 2012 R2, for a maximum of three years after the end of Extended Assistancedate.

End of Support

Microsoft originally designedto end assistancefor Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012 R2 on January 10, 2023, but in order to provide customers the standard transition lifecycle timeline, Microsoft extended Windows Server 2012 and 2012 R2 assistancein March 2017 by 9 months. With a final set end date, Windows Server 2012 will end Extended Assistanceon October 10, 2023.

Further reading

Windows Server 2012 Hack Mod Tricks with Tons of Advices and Bonuses.



Windows Server 2012A version of the Windows NT operating system
Windows Server 2012 Start Screen, including Internet Explorer 10
DeveloperMicrosoftOS familyMicrosoft WindowsWorking stateCurrentSource modelReleased to manufacturingAugust 1, 2012; 9 years ago (2012-08-01)GeneralavailabilitySeptember 4, 2012; 9 years ago (2012-09-04)Latest release6.2 (Build 9200) / August 1, 2012; 9 years ago (2012-08-01)Marketing targetBusinessUpdate methodWindows Update, Windows Server Update Services, SCCMPlatformsx86-64Kernel typeHybrid (Windows NT kernel)Defaultuser interfaceWindows shell (GUI)LicenseCommercial proprietary softwarePreceded byWindows Server 2008 R2 (2009)Succeeded byWindows Server 2012 R2 (2013)Official websiteSupport status
  • Start date: October 30, 2012
  • Mainstream support ended on October 9, 2018
  • Extended support until October 10, 2023
  • Windows Server 2012 is eligible for ESU (Extended Security Updates) program. This program allows customers to purchase security updates in yearly installments for the operating system through at most October 13, 2026 only for volume licensed editions.

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