Windows Server 2012, formerly codenamed Windows Server 8, became generally available to Microsoft customers in September of 2012. The Windows Server operating system is found installed on many servers located in data centers all over the globe.
The introduction of Windows Server 2012 redefines the server category, introducing new features and enhancements spanning various categories such as virtualization, networking, storage, cloud computing, and more. These enhancements help you to reduce costs and increase the level of business value.
Microsoft has downsized the number of editions with Server 2012. The two editions of Server 2012 that you will see in many datacenters are Standard and Datacenter. These two editions replace six of the editions of Server 2008. The Small Business Standard, Enterprise, HPC, and Web editions of Windows Server have been retired.
Microsoft will be offering a free HPC software add-on to Standard and Datacenter for high performance computing systems. Most server implementations running common applications such as File and Print, Exchange, SharePoint, SQL, etc., will be installed with the Standard edition.
For those systems that will take advantage of running multiple guest virtual machines (VMs), they will be running the Datacenter edition. The main reason for running the Datacenter edition is the cost. Two other versions of Server 2012 will be available to customers. The Foundation edition will only be sold through OEMs. This edition is intended as a bare-bones version of server with no virtualization support.
Windows Server 2012 Essentials, will replace Windows Small Business Server Essentials 2011 and will be available in the near future. Server 2012 Standard and Datacenter both support significantly larger amounts of processing power, storage, and memory when compared to Server 2008 R2.
Download Windows Server 2012
What to take a look at Windows Server 2012? Great! Windows Server 2012 is available for download. You can download an ISO or VHD. For downloading, follow this link to the Microsoft website: Download Windows Server 2012. The best way to get well acquainted with an operating system is to get a few books and build a lab. Don’t have a lab set up yet? No problem, Microsoft has one for you, and it is online and free.
Windows Server 2012 Virtual Labs
Another great way to learn more about Windows Server 2012 is to set up a virtual lab so that you can install Windows Server 2012 and practice some of the exercises you will find in the books you read. If you do not have a virtual lab implemented at your home or school, do not worry. Microsoft has set up a virtual lab environment and is free to use.
While it may not be as responsive or as flexible as having your own dedicated lab, it is still a great resource you can use to sharpen your skills. It’s simple to use. No complex setup or installation is required to try Windows Server 2012 running in a full-featured virtual lab. You get a downloadable manual and a 90-minute block of time for each module.
Free eBook Kindle Edition
Get ahead by evaluating Window Server 2012 with help from this free eBook. This eBook is a practical introduction that focuses on the new features and capabilities. There are also scenarios that demonstrate how you can use these features to meet your business needs.
The eBook is based on the final release-to-manufacturing (RTM) software. It provides a high-level summary needed so you can begin to prepare for your future deployments of Windows Server 2012. If you have a Kindle, there is no need to purchase this book.
Other Formats – Direct Download
If you prefer to download the eBook in a different file format, follow these links.