Part 5 -
This was the Introduction, New Features and Enhancements section in my Migration from Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2 to 2012 book. Because of some changes in the format and content of this book, we have decided not to include any introduction or new features section in this book. The focus of the book is to provide more hands-on and step-by-step instructions on migration. So I decided to add Introduction, New Features and Enhancements section in my blog in 5 different parts. You can read the rest of the sections in the book.
Infrastructure and Security
The infrastructure services such as DNS, DHCP, WINS etc. are the backbone of any Microsoft network. The native support for high availability, centralised management or regulatory compliance can provide a great value to any organization. In this version, you will see many enchantments in this arena to accommodate these customer requirements. The following section will provide an overview:
DHCP High Availability
Microsoft has introduced a true failover and loadbalacing solution for DHCP in Windows Server 2012. It sycnhronizes IP addresses and lease information between DHCP servers. There are two options available in Windows Server 2012 – Hot Standby and Load Sharing mode. In Hot Standby mode, the secondary server in the failover relationship will act as a standby server and will respond to the client queries only if the primary server is not available. In Load Sharing mode, both DHCP servers will be active and will respondto the client DHCP request is based on the load ratio configued on these severs.
In the above screenshot the default mode is Load Balance mode. In this mode, you can modify the Load Balance percentage parameter on the local and partner servers. In hot standby mode, you can select the reserved addresses for the standby server.
IP Address Management (IPAM)
IP Address Management (IPAM) provides a framework for a centralized managment and administration of IP address. During the configuration process, you can select either of the two provisioning options – Manual or Group Policy Object (GPO) based. In Manul option, you have to manually configure Security groups, Networkshare, Firewall shares etc on each managed servers. If you are using GPO based provisioning, you can deploy these settings through a GPO.
NIC Teaming is natively supported on Windows Server 2012. It doesn’t require any additional or third party software to enable NIC teaming in Windows Server 2012. It can support multiple vendor NICs and can support upto 32 NICs in a team.
Windows Software Update Service (WSUS)
Microsoft Windows Software Update Service (WSUS) is a new Role in Windows Server 2012. Unlike Windows Server 2008 or Windows Server 2008 R2, the software does not have to be installed separately.
Cluster Aware Updating (CAU)
This is one of the most awaited features. As an administrator, installing updates on cluster nodes can be a challenge. In Windows Server 2012, Microsoft has introduced a new feature called Cluster Aware Updating (CAU). It is a cluster aware service. During the update process, Cluster Aware Updating (CAU) process will move all services to an available cluster node, install the patches and restart the cluster nodes automatically as required.
Dynamic Access Control
It is a powerful security and compliance feature in Windows Server 2012. With this feature, you can define a centralized file access policy and apply this policy on to servers in an Active Directory domain. The file can be classified based on an attribute value or a tag. It can be fully automated (dynamically) based on these values. The Kerberos user and device claims are supported.
Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS)
The 2.1 version of Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS) is part of Windows Server 2012. You can add this Role using Server Manager. ADFS 2.1 supports Kerboros based claims and it can integrate with Windows Server 2012 Dynamic Access Control.
Group Managed Service Accounts (gMSA)
Microsoft has introduced a new concept called Group Managed Service Accounts (gMSA) in Windows Server 2012. The Managed Service Account (MSA) in Windows Server 2008 R2 is considered as a “standalone” account since it is tied to a single server. In other words, if you have multiple servers, you will have to create multiple Managed Service Accounts (MSA) in the Active Directory. This limitation has been removed by introducing the Group Managed Service Accounts (gMSA) concept in Windows Server 2012. The gMSA can support multiple servers.
File System and Storage
Like other technologies in Windows Server 2012, you will see some major changes in the file system technology also. The Storage Spaces and Resilient File System (ReFS) are the two key new features on Windows Server 2012. The following section gives you a high level overview of these features:
Storage Spaces and Pools
In Windows Server 2012, you can virtualize the physical disks into different containers. These containers are called Storage Pools. The virtual disks can be carved out from these storage pools without the need to administer each physical disk separately. More physical disks can be added to these storage pools at a later stage to support additional storage space.
Resilient File System (ReFS)
A new file system called Resilient File System (ReFS) is introduced in Windows Server 2012. This is not a replacement of the NTFS or any other file system. This new file system improves the performance and scalability by automatically fixing the data corruption errors. You will not be able to convert existing file system into ReFS.
The new Data Reduplication feature provides a native option to identify and reduce the duplicate data on a disk volume. You will see the Reduplication Rate details from Server Manager itself (File and Storage Service -> Volume).
What is Next?
The following topics and step-by-step instructions are included in the book:
· Windows Server 2012 Core and GUI installation and configuration
· Windows Server 2012 local and remote administration
· Windows Server 2012 Roles and Feature deployment
· Active Directory and domain controller migration
· Network Services (DNS and DHCP) migration
· Data and file server migration
· Printer and print server migration
· Hyper-V and virtual server migration
· Decommissioning old servers and domain controllers
This book currently available in all major stores.
Safari Books Online – http://my.safaribooksonline.com/9781849687447?cid=packt-cat-readnow-9781849687447