The 2012 edition of Windows Server has been a major revision for this Windows Operating System. Much was changed in terms of how data are stored or moved between client computers and servers.
Many of these changes are making this product a real asset for businesses that can reduce their costs and can count on a higher return on investment (ROI) – this information technology solution can, in fact, eliminate need for some third-party software and can reduce the man hours required for many tasks.
An important feature of Windows Server 2012 is its ability to manage data storage. The Resilient File System (ReFS) and Storage Spaces are new features. ReFS refers to the way data are written to the disk. The new system solves a problem that the previous NTFS (New Technology File System) had with corrupting metadata. ReFS have ways to prevent corruption and validate data through checksum.
Storage Spaces, instead, saves money by not needing a disk controller and by allowing virtual space that exceed the actual physical volume of the drive.
ReFS, however, do not support deduplication which is however available in the standard edition of Server 2012 for NTFS volumes.
Windows Server 2012 also offers the new Hyper-V 3.0 that has better specs than its predecessors, supports Server Message Block for file-level storage and a virtual SAN (Storage Area Network) that allows the direct connection of a VM (virtual machine) to an HBA (Host Bus Adapter) which allows better performance. The Hyper-V Replica allows the recovery of data after failure without any third-party IT solution.
The SMB 3.0 protocol was updated and now allows the use of commodity disk drive for high-end storage and, through the Witness service, is able to detect quickly any connection failures and re-direct clients to a working node.
The PowerShell 3.0, which is another feature of 2012 Windows Server, allows running scripts on any server from anywhere. PowerShell allows users a way to get any administration task done remotely. Users also have a chance to automate tasks by saving a list of commands in a set procedure that can be recalled at any time for quick use.
Another way this information technology solution by Microsoft allows reduction of cost is through including clustering in the Windows Server 2012 Standard Edition, which is able to prevent costs associated with the need for special components in previous editions. Also, the CAU (Cluster-Aware Updating) feature allows running patches and updates to clusters in use without interrupting or needing to reboot.
This CAU feature has also been able save users a lot of disk costs. Just as important, it is convenient to have when patching nodes in a cluster and to ensure cluster continuity. When necessary, one just simply adds more disks for storage. This is possible without putting the server offline or without putting offline entire clusters (only some nodes in them).
This is a major cost saving feature as it allows continuous service and no disruption during critical updates.