Hello, How are you going to deploy Windows Server 2012 R2? There are some complications here.Windows Server 2012 R2 is available with only 64-bit architectures. Microsoft is shifting all of its server products to be 64-bit only. This means you cannot upgrade from 32-bit installations of Windows Server 2008. You’ll have to do a clean install on new hardware and move any services or data. If you have 64-bit server deployments, then you can do an in-place upgrade. This can be a time-saver, but it’s not usually recommended. Microsoft pretty much urges you to do a clean install every time. However, if your server is running just Microsoft features, roles, and applications (all being 64-bit), then an in-place upgrade is possible. We’ve done this and had reliable servers afterward.
In previous versions of Windows Server, there would be different requirements for each edition of Server you wanted to install, that is, Enterprise versus Standard edition. In Windows Server 2012 R2, Enterprise edition is no longer available and the requirements have been scaled down to just one set for all editions. As usual, you are given a set of minimum and recommended requirements with the operating system. Be aware that minimum means exactly that; the operating system will run, but it will not necessarily run very well. You should also take account of the applications that will be installed and the load that will be placed on your server.
This can vary wildly depending on applications and organizations, so there are no hard and- fast rules on what your server specifications should be. The best thing to do to get accurate specifications is to develop a pilot environment and generate loads on your “proof-of-concept” servers while monitoring the performance and responsiveness of the servers and applications.
However, if your server is going to have moderate loads in a small environment, then you’re probably going to be OK with the recommended specifications.
Table 2.1 describes the requirements from Microsoft for Windows Server 2012 R2.
64-Bit Support :
Windows Server 2012 R2 is available only as a 64-bit product. We’ll reinforce that: there are no x86 or 32-bit versions of Windows Server 2012 R2.
Here are some notes on deploying x64 servers:
- Your hardware support for x64 is probably not a huge issue: The major vendors have been selling x64 processors for years for their mainstream products. You can do a quick audit of your server hardware and check for 64-bit support.
- A lot of 32-bit applications should be able to run on the x64-only Windows Server 2012 R2: This is thanks to 32-bit emulation provided by the Windows-on-Windows (WOW32) subsystem. Don’t count just on this; please check with application vendors, and test in a lab before making fi rm plans to upgrade servers from Windows Server 2008 to Windows Server 2012 R2.
- You cannot do an upgrade from x86 to x64: This precludes upgrading from an x86 installation of Windows Server 2003 or Windows Server 2008 to Windows Server 2012 R2. Getting your servers from x86 to x64 will require a migration plan from one physical server to another.
- 64-bit builds of Windows require digitally signed kernel mode drivers: Sure, the operating system will allow you to install those drivers with a warning, but they will never actually load. Make sure your hardware vendor provides suitably signed x64 drivers for Windows Server 2012 R2. Very often we see people complaining about Microsoft for driver issues, but this is really something that your hardware vendor is responsible for. Printer drivers do appear to be something in particular to watch out for!
As with any project, preparation is the key to success. Review the hardware requirements, and check out application and service compatibility before moving forward with any deployment of Windows Server 2012 R2.
Installing the Operating System:
Your fi rst installations of Windows Server 2012 R2 in your live or laboratory environment will probably be either a clean installation or an upgrade installation. There are some other, more advanced ways to install Windows:
- An unattended installation: We’ll talk about that a little later in this chapter.
- A cloned installation using ImageX from the Windows Automated Installation Kit.
- One of Microsoft’s deployment solutions such as Windows Deployment Services (WDS):This is an advanced installation performed over the network using functionality that is included in Windows Server 2012 R2.
- Third-party solutions: Ghost is the classic example of a third-party cloning solution that works in conjunction with Microsoft’s sysprep tool.
We’re going to look at the clean installation and the upgrade installation processes now. We’ve already mentioned that the installation process is pretty simple.
The clean installation process is very simple in Windows Server 2012 R2. You’re pretty much only being asked to do the following:
- Select a language, time and currency format, and keyboard method.
- Choose an edition and build of Windows Server.
- Agree to the license agreement.
- Choose between a manual and upgrade installation.
- Confi gure the disk.
- Set the default administrator password.
- Log in.
There are some options during this flow:
- Install a driver if needed.
- Repair an existing installation of the operating system on the computer.
In the next section, we’ll cover completing this fl ow for a clean installation and an upgrade installation. Then we’ll cover some of the options that are presented during the installation and follow that up with showing how to customize the installation of the operating system. Windows Server 2012 R2 Installation Requirements.