Windows Server 2012 to 2012 R2 Questions

Discussion in 'Operating Systems' started by ElectroPulse, Sep 3, 2013.

  1. ElectroPulse

    ElectroPulse Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    129
    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2013
    Hello, all!

    I am preparing to get a Windows Server set up in the near future here at a mission school I just started working at.

    Here's what I am planning on running:
    Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V, under which I will run 3x virtual machines (Server 2012 Standard, pfSense, and Untangle).

    Since I am needing to get this implemented as soon as possible, I am trying to decide what to do, considering Windows Server 2012 R2's release is just around the corner.

    I'm wondering... Is 2012 R2 going to be a completely different OS, in that you need to purchase a separate license key to run it if you already have 2012? Or will it be more like a service pack?

    Also, can the preview version be upgraded to release once it is released?

    The reason I am asking is that I am needing to get this set up as soon as possible, and need to know how to proceed. Should I use Hyper-V preview and Standard preview (if there is one... Only seen datacenter so far) then upgrade to release and purchase licenses, or is there something else that would be preferable?

    Thanks!
    ElectroPulse
     
  2. bigdogchris

    bigdogchris Wii was a Novelty

    Messages:
    17,203
    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2008
    2008 R2 and 2012 R2 are new operating systems that require you to purchase them. I believe 2012R2 has gone RTM recently, which means in a few months you should be able to get it.

    There are a lot of VM improvements in 2012, and even more in 2012R2. If you're just running a basic setup it's not needed to hold out for, unless you're not under any time constraints, then why not. Here is a list of the major R2 features.

    I'm not sure how well pfSense and Untange will run in a Hyper-V VM. The Gen 2 VM and improved Linux support of R2 may be needed for better operation.
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2013
  3. ElectroPulse

    ElectroPulse Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    129
    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2013
    Ok, thank you for the info!

    So is it possible to go from 2012 R2 preview to 2012 R2 release? Or should I get 2012 evaluation, then upgrade to 2012 R2 once it releases, and purchase the license for 2012 R2 at that point?
     
  4. bigdogchris

    bigdogchris Wii was a Novelty

    Messages:
    17,203
    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2008
    You're going to hear difference of opinion on this, but I personally do not care for in-place OS upgrades. I don't do it on a desktop computer, I really don't want to do it on a server, especially release preview to RTM (not sure it's even possible).

    For things like DC's you can just spin up a new install and allow the system to replicate over. For Hyper-V, you can just back up the VMs and restore to the new server. There may be a few scenarios where you may want to do in place upgrade but it's few and far between.
     
  5. ElectroPulse

    ElectroPulse Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    129
    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2013
    Thanks for the reply!

    Yea, I never have been that interested in in-place upgrades for desktops... Hadn't really thought of it like that for servers. I had figured it would be more like a windows update kind of deal going from 2012 R2 Preview to Release.

    Now, what does "DC" stand for?

    Also, I've never done much with servers in the way of setup or migration (just used servers that were already in place), so what type of migration tools are in place for upgrading? Is there some sort of "export all settings" type of tool, that exports all users, all groups, all DHCP settings, all DNS settings, etc? Or would I need to pretty much re-do it after the upgrade?

    Thanks!
     
  6. Demon10000

    Demon10000 [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    4,502
    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2006
    I would wait.

    You don't want preview stuff in production, and since you're using VMs, you're going to want to use R2. There are many, many, many Hyper-V enhancements.

    A while back I stood up a 12 node Hyper-V Cluster with 2012. Then Microsoft announced R2 like a week later. After reviewing the changes, I decided to halt my 2008 R2 migration and wait for 2012 R2 to come out. It's that big of a deal, and only a few months out.

    Server Upgrades (and desktop upgrades) these days are not like the prior days where it carries all the crap over with it. You should be able to go from one to the other with a bit of work. There are migration tools that you can use.

    If you have redundant hardware, I would go 2012 now (on the first server). Then build 2012 R2 when it's available (on the second server) and then you can migrate your VMs to R2. Once your second server is up and running, with everything moved over, you can rebuild your first server with R2.

    I know we all have those deadlines that we have to do what we have to do --
    * hold out for 2012 R2 if you can
    * if you can't, go with 2012
    * never put the preview into production
     
  7. ElectroPulse

    ElectroPulse Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    129
    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2013
    Alright, thank you for the reply.

    Hmm... Trying to decide what to do about it now. The reason I am in a big hurry, is that there has been a problem with students' files being deleted, so was hoping to set up an AD server so that they could each have their own profile that could be moved around (students, even 3 weeks into the year, are still switching around between my different Computers 1 sections... So if two students are locked to one computer, that can be a problem if they are both in the same section of the class).

    Since it's just a little over a month, I am thinking about just coping with it for now. I may just set up all the students with their own local user accounts... That could be a mess, but it would probably be better than how it is now.

    As for redundant hardware, yes, I believe that I may be able to get a second computer for it. Our current "server" (right now just running pfSense) looks to be an old computer they had laying around, and they just added more ram (a whopping 4GB ;) ). It's running a Pentium D 3.2ghz processor (not sure what model, so don't know whether it supports virtualization... I may reboot it later to go into the BIOS to see if that shows the model, since pfSense doesn't). I've been eyeing a computer that was recently(?) donated to the school, with a mobile AMD APU (E2-1800) and 6gb of RAM. However, I just pulled the thing out of the box, and unfortunately it is on some sort of small motherboard with no expansion slots for a second NIC. However, the computer I'm currently using has room for expansion slots for extra NICs, and is running 4gb of RAM and an AMD Athlon II X4 @3.2ghz. So, I might try to swap that one for the donated computer if I can't come up with any other solutions.

    Since what I had been thinking about getting set up was two servers, one primary one that was actively being used, and the other one that would be a backup in case the first one died, I'm wondering if I should just go ahead and get Server 2012 evaluation for the next month, then migrate what I've done so far to 2012 R2 once it's released?