In this chapter, you will learn about the available editions of Server 2012 and which version is right for your organization. In addition, you will discover the hardware requirements for installing Server 2012 as well as what’s required for deploying Hyper-V.
This chapter also outlines which upgrade paths from legacy Microsoft server products are supported and details step-by-step procedures for each installation option: Server Core and Server with a GUI. Also, I’ll give instructions on how to convert from one Server 2012 interface to another—and explain why an administrator would want to do so—as well as explain how to deploy the Minimal Server Interface and customize the server features using Features on Demand.
Windows Server 2012 is currently available in four editions, also known as SKUs (an acronym for “stock keeping units”). As with the last server release—Server 2008 R2—all SKUs are available only in 64-bit; no 32-bit SKUs are available. Microsoft has done away with the Enterprise SKU of Server 2008 R2 in an attempt to streamline versioning and licensing. The four currently available editions are Windows Server 2012 Datacenter, Windows Server 2012 Standard, Windows Server 2012 Essentials, and Windows Server 2012 Foundation.
Pricing for each edition can vary, of course, based on the number of servers as well as every user or device accessing the server directly or indirectly. Each user and device ...