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Windows Server 2012 – are you ready?

20 August 2012

Even with the move to cloud computing, there is still a need for the small business server: enter Windows Server 2012.

Microsoft’s latest product trumps its predecessor, Windows Small Business Server 2011 Essentials, which many believe fell short of expectation. The new version hosts applications, manages directory services and more. It mixes business and consumer features providing opportunity for resellers to combine the key elements of Office 365 (Microsoft’s cloud offering) and Windows Server 2012 Essentials as a small business package.

Getting started is easy and the server experience simplified:

  • Easy installation that only requires an administrator and initial user account
  • A setup checklist helps you get a system ready for users and helps ensure you're ready to take a server live
  • Built-in Dashboard with tools for managing your server and your users
  • User accounts can be given different levels of access to the shared folders.

The tie-up with Windows 8’s File History helps ensure files are backed-up. PC’s already running Windows 8 will automatically configure to store the history.

To simplify access to shared resources and for remote access to a server, Windows Server 2012 still uses LaunchPad to handle full device backups. Watch out for Windows 8 Metro and Windows Phone client to support additional remote access.

Windows Server 2012 in the Cloud
Windows Server 2012 doesn’t come with an email server but is easily adaptable to any email program. It can quickly connect to Office 365 or an Exchange Server running on your network. Multiple server management is easy as long as Windows Server 2012 is the only Active Directory server in the network.

The full Windows Server Manager is also available, complete with support for some of its more complex features including the ability to use PowerShell to create management scripts.

Other features

Moving away from the Server Manager, Windows Sever 2012 Essentials also provides storage support with Storage Spaces, Microsoft’s new storage solution. Using new technologies it builds thin storage pools to house data, much like the Drive Extender features of Windows Home Server, but with a simpler management system.

Windows Server 2012 Essentials allows your network and business to grow and achieves this by growing with you; when you reach its 25-user limit, you can do an in-place upgrade to Windows Server 2012 Standard. The majority of the Essentials features continue to be supported (up 75 users), allowing you time to build a larger Windows network.

Its flexibility is further highlighted by the addition of consumer features; a media server is included for you to store photos, videos and music and available to use via desktop music players and network connected devices.

Find out more about Windows Server and other Microsoft products from Total Training Solutions. For up-to-the-minute information on course content and availability please call 0800 612 1299 or email info@tts-uk.com.

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