Microsoft Windows Server 2012

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Windows Server 2012 R2
Screenshot of Windows Server 2012 R2 Datacenter in German
developer Microsoft
License (s) Microsoft EULA ( Closed Source )
Current  version Windows Server 2012: 6.2 Build 9200

Windows Server 2012 R2: 6.3 Build 9600 (October 2012 / October 2013)

ancestry \ Windows NT
Architecture (s) x64
Others End of support: October 10, 2023
Microsoft Server 2012 R2

Microsoft Windows Server 2012 , working title Microsoft Windows Server 8 , is an operating system of the Windows series from software manufacturer Microsoft and the successor product to Windows Server 2008 R2 .

It is the server version of Windows 8 and was released on September 4, 2012, the further development of Windows Server 2012 R2 in October 2013.

Support for Windows Server 2012 R2 and thus the delivery of security updates will end on October 10, 2023.



Windows Server 2012 uses the new ModernUI - surface , which on the surface of Windows Phone 8 ajar and thus better for touchscreens is designed. However, only ModernUI-Lite (also known as Aerolite ) is available by default . ModernUI-Lite consumes fewer resources, since many animations and the taskbar transparency are deactivated (comparable to the Aero-Basic design from Windows 7 ). The normal ModernUI interface can, however, be installed in the server manager.

An alternative to this is the so-called core installation, which completely dispenses with a graphical user interface and is only configured via the Windows command prompt and PowerShell . The core installation is the default setting and offers more performance for applications, especially when used with Hyper-V or SQL servers.

A third possibility is to use the minimal server interface . This is a restricted graphical user interface, whereby all graphical administration applications are installed, but not all libraries and setting options for adapting the user interface are available.

Task manager

The task manager has been completely revised and replaces the old one (from Microsoft Windows XP , Windows 7 and older). Among other things, running applications are classified into categories (for example system processes, metro applications and "normal" applications). Inactive applications are paused for performance reasons and marked as "Suspended" in the task manager of the current developer version. Its new interface should make finding applications easier and more pleasant.

Active Directory

The Active Directory Domain Services installation wizard has been replaced by a new section in Server Manager, the Active Directory Administrative Center. The Active Directory recycle bin can be accessed in Windows Server 2012 via a graphical interface. The password guidelines and the upgrade process of the Active Directory have been simplified.


Windows Server 2012 contains an updated version of the Hyper-V virtualization platform in the Standard and Datacenter Editions . With Windows Server 2012 R2, Hyper-V has received further innovations: UEFI boot of VMs , improved copy & paste, automatic activation of Windows in VMs, Gen-2 VMs with synthetic devices, faster live migration through compression, the replication interval can be adjusted and expandable to other locations.

File system

With Windows Server 2012, the new ReFS file system is introduced, which serves as a supplement to NTFS . It was specially developed for data storage on file servers and therefore neither supports removable media nor is it bootable.

SMB 3.0

Another innovation is the support of SMB 3 , which enables faster and more stable access to file shares than with the previous protocol versions. This is primarily aimed at application servers that store their data in a shared file, and less at users and workstations. With SMB 3.0, a client can maintain its connection to a resource (file or folder on the file server) even if a failover occurs from one cluster server to another within a file server cluster. In earlier protocol versions, the client connection was interrupted in the event of a failover, which caused many applications to go into an error state due to loss of data access. The function is called "SMB Transparent Failover".

Furthermore, SMB 3.0 supports additional acceleration functions such as RDMA or the use of several parallel TCP connections between client and server ("SMB Multichannel"). However, this requires hardware equipment that is usually only available in the server backend of a data center and not in a workstation computer.

Dynamic access control

Dynamic Access Control (English: Dynamic Access Control , DAC ) controls access to files using metadata. DAC works in addition to Active Directory security guidelines.

DAC can e.g. For example, ensure that files are protected from unauthorized access even after they have been moved to another directory and are backed up.

IIS 8.0

With IIS 8.0 (Internet Information Service), extended validation certificates are no longer loaded individually for each server, but are stored centrally on a file server. Furthermore, the computing power of CPUs can be throttled for individual websites instead of switching off the entire website.

PowerShell 3.0

All system settings in the Microsoft Management Console and the Server Manager are implemented and processed in PowerShell commands. Alternatively, all system settings can also be made manually using PowerShell. The Windows PowerShell Web Access application also allows configuration via a web browser. In addition, the direct execution of Windows Workflow Foundation applications is possible.

Microsoft Windows Azure

Microsoft Windows Server 2012 offers a direct connection to Microsoft Azure . This enables the server to be backed up to the Azure cloud as required. Services such as additional virtual machines or SQL Azure can also be integrated.


The DirectAccess introduced in Windows Server 2008 R2 has been improved in such a way that PKI is no longer necessary and IPv6 bridging technologies are already included in the server.

Time schedule

Microsoft hosted the “Build Windows” conference from September 13 to September 16, 2011, at which Windows Server 8 was presented. At this conference, a development version was released, which made it possible to get a first impression of the new Windows server version. This pre-release version was made available to Microsoft Developer Network subscribers on September 9, 2011 . A public beta version was released on February 29, 2012. From June 1, 2012, the release candidate version could be downloaded from Microsoft free of charge, but subject to registration. The final version has been delivered since September 4th, 2012.

Hardware requirements

Minimum hardware requirement for Windows Server 2012
architecture 64-bit
processor 1.4 GHz 64-bit processor
random access memory 512 MB
graphic card DirectX 9 graphics processor with WDDM 1.0 ( Aero )
HDD free space 32 GB of free hard disk space (from 16 GB of RAM, correspondingly more for the larger swap, hibernation and crash dump files)
optical drive DVD drive (only for installing DVD / CD media)

Windows Server 2012 R2

The revised version of Windows Server 2012 appeared at the same time as Windows 8.1 in October 2013. The internal version number is the same as in Windows 8.1 NT 6.3. The installations with a graphical user interface contain the new features familiar from the desktop, such as the returned start menu button. Most of the innovations can be found in the area of Hyper-V virtualization . The speed when handling virtual hard disks (VHD) increases through additional compression across multiple files. VHDs can be assigned to multiple servers, and their size can be changed on the fly. VHDXs can also be used instead of VHDs and can reach a size of over 2 TB. Virtual machines now also support UEFI and Secure Boot .

In addition, the Microsoft cloud service Windows Azure is being upgraded with Windows Server 2012 R2 . With new services such as Windows Azure Services for Windows Server, cloud-based virtual servers and servers in company networks can be jointly managed and centrally controlled in a web portal.

Web links

Commons : Windows Server 2012  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Microsoft Lifecycle. Retrieved March 5, 2020 .
  2. Support for Windows Server 2012 R2 ends on October 10, 2023. In: Windows Support. Microsoft, accessed January 12, 2020 .
  3. Windows Server Installation Options. In: Microsoft TechNet , accessed September 5, 2012 .
  4. Build Windows Agenda. In: Microsoft , accessed March 23, 2012 .
  5. Paul Thurott: Q: Where can I download and get more information on Windows Server 8 Beta and Windows 8 Consumer Preview? (No longer available online.) In: Penton, February 29, 2012, formerly in the original ; accessed on March 23, 2012 (English).  ( Page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.@1@ 2Template: Dead Link /  
  6. Windows Server 2012 release candidate available. Retrieved June 8, 2012 (German).
  7. Windows Server 2012 Arrives September 4th (No longer available online.) Archived from the original on November 7, 2013 ; accessed on August 14, 2012 . Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  8. Installing Windows Server 2012. In: Microsoft TechNet , accessed on July 26, 2013 (German).
  9. Dirk Makowski: Windows Server 2012. Retrieved on August 12, 2017 .
  10. Thomas Joos: Windows Server 2012 R2 - All new features at a glance . In: PC WORLD . ( [accessed on August 12, 2017]).