Windows Server 2012 – Overview and Comparison

The latest release of Windows Server 2012 is out and brings revolutionary new experience and sophisticated look. This new product has new modern look, improved security, it’s more robust and capable for new cloud implementation and virtualization. The new multitenant-aware cloud infrastructure helps users to connect from anywhere and anytime. The Hypervisor allows moving VM to private and cloud location seamlessly across the globe. As a result, IT can respond to business needs with greater agility and efficiency, and the mobile workforce is able to access personalized work environments from virtually anywhere.

Windows Server 2012 including the same Windows NT 6.2 kernel, and the same Metro and Desktop split-personality graphical interface:



Modern work style, enabled:

Access from virtually anywhere, any device – Windows Server 2012 enables easier access to virtualized work environments from nearly anywhere. These environments enable modern work styles by providing users with flexible and controlled access to their data from different computers and devices and different locations

Full Windows experience anywhere- Windows Server 2012 helps business users who want to roam while staying productive on different devices in different locations.

Enhanced data security and compliance- Enabling the possibilities of access from virtually anywhere, on nearly any device can create security and compliance challenges. Richer, more pervasive security controls at lower levels in the technology stack support business agility by enabling a faster rate of business and IT services change with less risk. Dynamic Access Control, a new feature in Windows Server 2012, helps enhance data security and maintain compliance by offering granular access to data and corporate resources based on strong identity and device security status.

This new Server 2012 will help to IT groups who wants to reduce their costs through the use of lower cost assets and improve their  service availability and efficiency of management tasks. Windows Server 2012 is efficient, continuously available, and manageable. It integrates a continuously available and easy-to-manage multiserver platform with breakthrough efficiency and ubiquitous automation. Windows Server 2012 makes it nearly as easy to manage many servers across multiple sites as it is to manage a single server, while delivering the reliability and scalability of multiple servers. With new advanced features and capabilities designed to improve manageability, performance, and reliability at the individual server level, within clusters, and across multiple datacenters, Windows Server 2012 offers the power of many servers with the simplicity of one, regardless of the size of an organization’s environment.

Many Servers simplified in one:

 Flexible storage – Through virtualization with resource pooling, organizations can consolidate applications and services onto less hardware and potentially even fewer datacenters, which ultimately can help reduce space, cost and power requirements.

Continuous availability – Windows Server 2012 supports continuous availability by providing high IT service uptime and transparent recovery assistance from a wide range of failure scenarios for individual servers, server clusters, and servers across datacenters.

Management efficiency-  Windows Server 2012 delivers significant management efficiency with broader automation of common management tasks and a path toward full “lights-out” automation. For example, Server Manager  enables multiple servers on the network to be managed effectively from a single pane of glass. Windows PowerShell 3.0 command-line interface provides a platform for robust, multimachine automation for all datacenter elements such as servers, Windows operating systems, storage, and networking. It provides centralized administration and management capabilities like deploying roles and features to virtual hard disks even when they are offline, and deploying roles and features remotely to both physical and virtual servers

Last but not least,  the Windows Server 2012 product line-up has been streamlined and simplified, making it easier for customers to choose the edition that is right for their needs.


  • Windows Server 2012 Datacenter is designed for highly virtualized private cloud environments. This edition provides Unlimited virtual instances and all features for the price of $4,809
  • Windows Server 2012 Standard is designed for physical or minimally virtualized environments. It suppors two virtual instances and agives you all of the features for he price of $882
  • Windows Server 2012 Essentials is ideal for small businesses that have as many as 25 users and 50 devices. This edition has limited features and two processors for the price of $501.
  • Windows Server 2012 Foundation provides a Windows Server experience for as many as 15 users and is prepared for OEM only.



Here is a summary of key server features:



Feature Datacenter Standard Essentials Foundation
Active Directory Rights Management Services 1 l l l
BranchCache Content Server l l l
BranchCache Hosted Server l l l
Direct Access l l l
Hyper-V l ¡ ¡
Internet Information Services 7.5 l l l
Network Access Protection l l l
Remote Desktop Services 2 l l l
Server Core l ¡ ¡
Server Manager l l l
Windows Deployment Services l l l
Windows PowerShell l l l




On the table below is a summary of key server roles by edition:

l Full

¢ Partial/Limited

n Automatically Installed/Configured

¡ Not Available

Server role Datacenter Standard Essentials Foundation
AD Certificate Services l n ¢
AD Domain Services l n l
AD Federation Services l l l
AD Lightweight Directory Services l l l
AD RMS l l l
Application Server l ¢ l
DHCP Server l l l
DNS Server l n l
Fax Server l l l
File Services l n ¢
Hyper-V l ¡ ¡
Network Policy & Access Services l n ¢
Print & Doc Services l l l
Remote Desktop Services l n ¢
UDDI Services l l l
Web Services l n l
Windows Deploy Services l l l
Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) l ¡ ¡

 In conclusion, Windows Server 2012 delivers so many new features and upgrades. This is perfect product for small or mid-size companies trying to look bigger and stronger on the market. This product has a potential for huge payoff in a long term and easy to use, access, modify and manage platform. If you are still wandering how to deploy it within your organization, please click on this link to connect with our IT Support team.

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