Windows Server 2012 handbook for every admin

A guide to Windows Server 2012 features, changes and management tips for desktop and virtualization admins

Upgrading to Windows Server 2012 affects IT folks from systems and desktop administrators to the virtualization team.

With this guide, each group will get answers to questions about Hyper-V 3.0, Remote Desktop Services 2012 and all the other new enhancements. Windows Server 2012 comes with a new user interface, a revamped PowerShell version and more product integration to facilitate cloud computing.

For server virtualization administrators, Microsoft's Hyper-V 3.0 hypervisor reinvents virtual networking and makes disaster recovery easier with Replica. Plus, it adds the VHDX virtual hard disk format. Desktop virtualization admins, on the other hand, will be interested in changes to Remote Desktop Services (RDS). The new version improves the RemoteFX protocol technologies and simplifies virtual desktop provisioning.

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Windows Server 2012 launch: Review, news and more

Windows Server 2012 is now available to the general public, bringing with it 300 new improvements over its predecessor, Windows Server 2008 R2. It is the first major release of a server operating system since 2009.

What can users expect from the new server? A revamped and modernized virtualization option in Hyper-V 3.0, an overhauled PowerShell language, a new UI and a lot more.

We've compiled our best features, news and more into this guide. We'll answer the basic question: should I buy it? Plus, we'll explain how to prepare for the upgrade and dive deeper into the technologies. After poring through the news and tips, you can test your knowledge of Windows Server 2012's newest features with our quiz.

Learn more about the product on our Windows Server 2012 topic page and for the latest news and stories, follow us on Twitter @SearchWinServer.

View Windows Server 2012 launch: Review, news and more

Server virtualization changes in Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V

Microsoft released Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V last year to a glut of fanfare -- with many saying it would be the first hypervisor to really challenge VMware's hold on the virtualization market. Since then, we've learned a lot more about new features such as shared-nothing live migration and a new virtual hard disk format that could be important for small or growing Hyper-V shops.

It's too early to say whether Microsoft will eventually replace VMware at the top of the food chain, but it's clear that Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V is already changing the virtualization market.

Whether you're a VMware customer contemplating a switch or a Windows Server 2008 shop getting ready for an update, this guide contains what you need to know about new features in Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V and how to move those new features to production.

View Server virtualization changes in Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V

Virtual desktop admin's Windows Server 2012 guide

Windows Server 2012 brings some exciting updates for desktop virtualization administrators. Here’s what's new and how to install this version.

Windows Server 2012 Remote Desktop Services (RDS) makes it easier to create virtual desktop collections and comes with a new stateless pooling mechanism. Plus, the RemoteFX remote display protocol technology adds adaptive graphics and multi-touch features.

Once you wrap your head around the changes, you can determine whether it's time to upgrade. Learn how to install Windows Server 2012 RDS, improve high availability and take advantage of RemoteFX improvements in this guide.

View Virtual desktop admin's Windows Server 2012 guide