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Windows Server 2012

  1. Which version to install

The first thing to decide is which version of windows server 2012 to install, in this case we must to take in consideration the number of physical and virtual instance of Windows Server that we are allowed to install, the type of instances that it’s possible  to install are POSE(physical operating system environment) and VOSE (virtual operating system environment). The POSE instance refers to the installation on the physical server and the VOSE instance refer to the installation on virtual machines. In the next table we can see the limitations for each version:

Edition POSE Instances VOSE Instances
Data Center 1 Unlimited
Standard 1 2
Foundation 1 0
Essentials 1 (POSE or VOSE) 1 (POSE or VOSE

2. Minimum requirements

The Minimum requirements for the installation are very low considering the resource levels of the servers that we can find today. To install Windows Server 2012 we need:

  • 1.4 GHz 64-bit processor
  • 512 MB RAM
  • 32 GB available disk spaces
  • DVD Drive
  • Super VGA (800×600) or higher resolution
  • Keyboard and mouse
  • Internet access

But there are also a Maximum configuration supported, we should not exceed the next configuration when we install windows server 2012:

Windows Server 2012 Windows Server 2008 R2
Logical processor  640 256
RAM 4 terabytes 2 terabytes
Failover Cluster nodes 63 16

 3. Installation type

When we install Windows Server 2012 we can choose between 2 type of installation, GUID or Server Core, these options are only included on Windows Server 2012 Standard and Data Center edition.

The different between these two options is that when we install the Server Core option we don’t have the typical Windows interface; we don’t have the desktop or the Windows Explorer. A Server Core installation provides a minimal environment for running specific server roles, though we can use a remote server with a full installation to configure the Server Core installation.

Server core installation

The server core installation provides the next advantages:

  • Elimination of some of the most processor and memory consuming elements
  • Less disk space utilization.
  • Elimination of the need of install patch to graphical elements of the operating system, this means fewer server restarts and less downtime.
  • Without graphical interface there is less entrance point for attackers increasing the security.

A server running Server Core installation supports the following roles:

  • Active Directory Certificate Services
  • Active Directory Domain Services
  • Active Directory Lightweight Directory Services (AD LDS)
  • DHCP Server
  • DNS Server
  • File and storage services
  • Hyper-V
  • Print and Document Services
  • Streaming Media Services
  • Web Server
  • Remote access Remote Desktop
  • Remote Desktop services : Remote Desktop Connection Broker, Remote Desktop Desktop Licensing , Remote Desktop Virtualization Host

A server running Server Core installation NO supports the following roles:

  • Active Directory Federation Services
  • Application Server
  • Fax Server
  • Network Policy and Access Services
  • Remote Desktop services : Remote Desktop Gateway,  Remote Desktop Session Host
  • Volume Activation Services
  • Windows Deployment Services