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Windows Server 2008 R2 or Windows Server 2012?

windows server 2008 2012 r2

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#1 ArtistX

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Posted 15 February 2013 - 12:15

My brothers company is expanding and they are thinking of getting a server to handle the users in the office so far there are only 15 or so, but more may be added at a later date, other than the price what are the advantages of 2012 over 2008 for a small business?

They are also considering sending me on a course to admin the thing, I have a limited knowledge of a server, the last thing I worked on was Windows Server 2000, and again the courses for each version are different, it all comes down to cost.

I have done some research and most of the things in 2012 are not going to be used or applicable.

Although it is not my money I do not wish to have him spend more than he needs to in order to get what he wants, mainly the network at the moment has just been one large workgroup.


#2 Harrison H.

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Posted 15 February 2013 - 12:22

While 2012 may not offer any immediate advantages, the benefit for it over 2008 is that it will be supported longer. Support for 2008 will run out quicker, meaning you are spending more in the long term because you will need to upgrade sooner.

#3 karl_87

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Posted 15 February 2013 - 12:31

While 2012 may not offer any immediate advantages, the benefit for it over 2008 is that it will be supported longer. Support for 2008 will run out quicker, meaning you are spending more in the long term because you will need to upgrade sooner.


no more needs to be said

#4 OP ArtistX

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Posted 15 February 2013 - 12:32

Guess I need to go tell him the bad news then :p - he hates spending money :)

#5 CPressland

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Posted 15 February 2013 - 12:34

But that said, for Production Servers, 2008 R2 has proven reliability, where as 2012 has only just been released. For my Servers, I only use Server 2008 R2, it's always a good idea to stay one step behind in the Enterprise.

Just an idea, if the office only has 15 or so users, surely something like Office 365 for Business would be an easier to support and manage. Hosted Sharepoint + Exchange is probably better than a DC and Fileshares.

#6 OP ArtistX

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Posted 15 February 2013 - 12:36

i Know he will not be upgrading the PC's to Windows 8 ;) I will search about some more and see what costs what, then tell him, typical boss, he is at golf at the moment so cant reach him anyway :p

#7 majortom1981

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Posted 15 February 2013 - 12:45

If you ever want to use hyper-v then go right away with 2012. 2012 is a must for anybody using hyper-v.

Have him get you TechNet. You can then download 2012 to a machine and play around with it.

#8 karl_87

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Posted 15 February 2013 - 12:47

PC Wise, Windows 7 would be ideal, but server back-end I would definitly go latest. 2012 is built from 2008 so should be quite similar in reliability, but obviously not as proven.

#9 Raa

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Posted 15 February 2013 - 12:49

I'd go with 2008 R2.
At least you can upgrade/migrate if you need to... You've already said you won't use the features in 2012, so why pay more for something you won't use?

Stick with what works. (Y)

#10 majortom1981

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Posted 15 February 2013 - 12:50

I'd go with 2008 R2.
At least you can upgrade/migrate if you need to... You've already said you won't use the features in 2012, so why pay more for something you won't use?

Stick with what works. (Y)


The problem is simply upgrading is not as easy as it sounds. especially if your using something like hyper-v.

#11 OP ArtistX

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Posted 15 February 2013 - 12:53

Well I can only give him the figures and let him and his business partner decide, make's no difference what I tell him I know he will ask the people he knows in the IT business what they think and show them what information I have given him, but from all the work I have been doing with him, even the new servers for the big companies are still on 2008R2.

Thanks to all for the advice and information, much appreciated :)

#12 majortom1981

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Posted 15 February 2013 - 12:54

Hyper-v in 2012 now allows live migration to and from NON clustered machines. in 2008 r2 they have to be clustered. This is a HUGE thing which is worth going right to 2012 for. For a small business anything hyper-v is good since it allows them to create a virtual server without having to pay for it.

It has other big features like changing dynamic memory while the machine is running when in 2008 r2 you have to stop the virtual machine .

IIf hyper-v will be used in the future I think starting with 2012 now is a good idea.

#13 episode

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Posted 15 February 2013 - 12:58

Just rolled out Server 2012 on two upgrades from 2003. One was SBS 03 to 2012 Essentials, the other was 2003 Standard to 2012 Standard. Pretty straightforward if you use the migration tools. 2012 runs like a champ.

Only problem with 2012 is that Exchange 2010 (and before) is not currently supported. And on Essentials Exchange is not officially supported at all. (Even 2013). You can get them to install, but you have to follow some workarounds.

What would they be using the server for? File storage? Email? There might be better, cheaper solutions.

#14 ]SK[

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Posted 15 February 2013 - 13:17

2008 R2 is rock solid. Personally though I would go 2012. There are many new features and its the latest release. A lot of people will say wait for the first service pack, personally I think that's over the top. You'll purly be throwing money away by not using the latest release now.

I work in a wintel server team btw.

#15 REM2000

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Posted 15 February 2013 - 13:18

2012 was in beta for a while, so a lot of any of the big problems have been found, in the enterprise it is best to stick one version behind. However 2012 is even easier to admin than 2012 and like the other poster said it will be supported longer.

One other thing i would say re:2012 is de-duplication. You don't need to worry about it now, but in the future you can switch this on and reclaim space. Basically if person A copies a word document onto the server, then Person B copies the same document slightly altered or exactly the same to the server in another location, de-duplication will only save one copy of the file thus saving space.

Ive been testing this out since RTM and it's very fast, very stable and i have had some pretty big successes. On a server with a lot of ISO's (from Technet and Linux sites) on 1TB drive ive saved 400GB due to de-dupe.

Like i said don't worry about it now, but could be a life saver in the future,

There is some other compelling reasons to consider 2012, better performance (not much, but noticable), better utilization of hardware (uses less memory and work better on multiple cores).