Windows Server 2012 System Requirements

Windows Server 2012 System Requirements

Wow, Microsoft has made 24 new upgrades to their Windows Server 2012.  If you haven’t checked them out yet, this article will give you a brief rundown of the new improvements they have come up with.

The list is huge for what they have done with this server’s functionality.  The following is a complete list of all of the advances they have made to make your life easier if you are an administrator.  Certificate services, active directory domain services, active directory rights management services,  bit locker for windows 8 and windows server 2012, DFS namespaces and DFS replication, DHCP, DNS, change functionality in file and storage services, fail over clustering, file server resource manager, group policy, Hyper-V, IPAM, Kerosene Authentication, managed service account, networking, remote desktop services, security auditing, server manager, smart cards, TLS/SSL (Schannel SSP),  Windows deployment services, Power Shell 3.0.

If I had to pick just a few that I would say would be the most interesting to me they would be Hyper-V it has brought many new features to increase the VM mobility which includes the new simultaneous live migration (windows server 2008 R2 only supported the ability to live migrate one virtual machine at a time. )  With this feature your only limitations are your hardware and network bandwidth. I love this feature for it’s time saving abilities.

The VHDX feature improves performance support for Virtual Fibre Channel which enables virtual machines to communicate with Fibre Channel Storage area Networks .  This enables you to implement 4 KB disk sectors on Hyper V for improved capacity and reliability.  It also gives support for Offloaded Data Transfer (ODX) .  This gives the virtual machine host the ability to focus CPU time on the application and reliance on the SAN to the manage reading and writing to disk.

The last new update that I find to be a great feature is the new and changed functionality of the expression based audit policies. In Windows Server 2012, you have the ability to author audit policies by using expression-based audit policies and resource properties. This enables scenarios that were impossible or too difficult to perform.

After administrators have created and applied the audit policies, the next consideration for them is gleaning meaningful information from the audit events that are logged. Expression-based audit policies can help reduce the volume of audits. However, users also need a way to query these events for meaningful information and to ask questions such as, “Who is accessing my high value data?” or “Was there an unauthorized attempt to access sensitive data?” Windows Server 2012 enhances existing data access events by logging additional information regarding user, computer, and resource claims. These events are generated on a per-server basis. In my opinion this is a feature that would be very useful for keeping track of what employees are doing, when they are doing it, how long it takes them to do a specific task etc.  That is just one area of expression-based audit policies and resource properties that you could take advantage of to keep track of the security of your server.

I want to give you a list of Windows Server 2012 requirements so you can know up front what the system needs for basic functionality.  The following was taken from Microsoft’s website describing the system requirements.

Processor requirements are a minimum of 1.4 GHz 64-bit processor. Keep in mind that the processor performance depends on not only the clock frequency of the processor, but the number of processor cores and the size of the processor cache.

Ram requirements are estimated at a minimum of 512 MB. There is an important note on their website about ram and I want to include the note in this article so you are aware of this issue before you try to install the virtual machine. The note states the following:

“If you create a virtual machine with the minimum supported hardware parameters (1 processor core and 512 MB RAM) and then attempt to install this release on the virtual machine, Setup will fail.

To avoid this, do one of the following:

Allocate more than 800 MB RAM to the virtual machine you intend to install this release on. Once Setup has completed, you can change the allocation to as little as 512 MB RAM, depending on the actual server configuration.

Interrupt the boot process of this release on the virtual machine with SHIFT+F10. In the command prompt that opens, use Diskpart.exe to create and format an installation partition. Run Wpeutil createpagefile /path=C:\pf.sys (assuming the installation partition you created was C:). Close the command prompt and proceed with Setup.”

Disk space requirements for this server are an estimated minimum disk space of 32 GB. This is to be considered however the absolute bare minimum value for a successful installation. These requirements will allow you to install Windows Server 2012 in Server Core mode with the web services server roll. Please note that the system partition will require extra space for the following circumstances. 1. If you need to install the system over a network. 2. When using computers with more than 16 GB of RAM will require more disk space for paging, hibernation, and dump files.

The following are musts as well for the server to successfully install. Gigabit (10/100/1000baseT) Ethernet adapter.  DVD drive (if you intend to install the operating system from DVD media).

You will also need the following if you want to use certain features with the Windows 2012 Server.  Super VGA (1024 x 768) or higher-resolution monitor, Keyboard and Microsoft® mouse (or other compatible pointing device), as well as Internet access (fees may apply).

It is highly recommended that you review all the pre-installation documentation before you begin to install the Microsoft 2012 Server.  Not doing this preparation step may cause you an undue headache of technical errors.

I hope this article has brought to light some of the great new upgrades and features for the Windows 2012 Server.  I highly recommend that you check out all four versions of this server to find out which one would best fit your needs.

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