Windows Server is a brand name for a group of server operating systems released by Microsoft. It includes all Windows operating systems that have “Windows Server” in their names: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Server 2016 (upcoming) but not any other Microsoft product. The first Windows server edition to be released with that brand was Windows Server 2003. However, the first server edition of Windows was Windows NT 3.1 Advanced Server, followed by Windows NT 3.5 Server, Windows NT 4.0 Server, and Windows 2000 Server; the latter was the first server edition to feature many things like Active Directory, DNS Server, DHCP Server, Group Policy, and many other popular features used today.
Windows Server 2012 R2, was available in four different editions: Windows Server 2012 R2 Foundation, Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials, Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard, and Windows Server 2012 R2 Datacenter.
Windows Server 2012 R2 provides a wide range of new and enhanced features and capabilities spanning server virtualization, storage, software-defined networking, server management and automation, web and application platform, access and information protection, virtual desktop infrastructure, and more.
Windows Server 2012 R2 Features
- Server Virtualization
Take advantage of the cost savings of virtualization, and maximize server hardware investments by consolidating your servers as virtual machines on a single physical host. Hyper-V runs multiple operating systems including Windows, Linux, and others, in parallel, on a single server. Windows Server 2012 R2 extends Hyper-V’s capabilities with additional features and industry-leading scalability for host processors and memory.
Whatever your storage platform, the data it holds is the bedrock of your business. Windows Server 2012 R2 helps you optimize your existing storage investments, such as SANs. It also lets you build scalable, high-performance, highly available storage solutions using industry-standard hardware and Windows Server 2012 R2. Windows Server 2012 R2 helps ensure your storage remains continuously available, so your services can be, continuously available too.
You can manage an entire network as a single server, so you get the reliability and scalability of multiple servers at a lower cost. Automatic rerouting around storage, server, and network failures keeps file services online with minimal noticeable downtime. Together with System Center 2012 R2, Windows Server 2012 R2 can provide an end-to-end software defined networking solution across public, private, and hybrid cloud implementations.
- Server Management and Automation
Following a standards-based management approach, the Windows Management Framework provides a common platform for automation and integration to help you automate your routine tasks with tools like Windows PowerShell. Other improvements help simplify deployment, ensure that the components of your data centers have the correct configuration, and enable you to take action to manage across multiple servers through a single relevant dashboard in Server Manager.
- Web and Application Platform
Windows Server 2012 R2 builds on the tradition of the Windows Server family as a proven application platform, with thousands of applications already built and deployed and a community of millions of knowledgeable and skilled developers already in place. You can build and deploy applications either on premises or in the cloud—or both at once, with hybrid solutions that work in both environments.
- Information Protection
With Microsoft’s Information Protection solutions, you can manage a single identity for each user, across both on-premises and cloud-based (SaaS) applications. You define a user’s level of access to information and applications each user has to information and applications based on who they are, what they are accessing, and from which device, even applying multi-factor authentication. You can provide secure remote access to your mobile workers using the Windows Server Remote Access (RRAS) capabilities of DirectAccess and VPN (including automatic VPN connections) and enable your users to sync their work files from a corporate server to their devices. Also, you can manage mobile devices to remove corporate data and applications when a device is lost, stolen, or retired from use.
- Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI)
With Windows Server 2012 R2, it’s even easier to deploy and deliver virtual resources across devices. VDI technologies offer easy access to a rich, full-fidelity Windows environment running in the datacenter, from virtually any device. Through Hyper-V and Remote Desktop Services, Microsoft offers three flexible VDI deployment options in a single solution: Pooled Desktops, Personal Desktops, and Remote Desktop Sessions.
- Software Name: Windows Server 2012 R2
- Developers: Microsoft
- License: Free Trial
- Latest Version: Version R2 6.3 (Build 9600) added on October 6, 2015
- Setup Type: ISO Bootable Image
- Compatibility Architecture: 64 Bit (x64)
- Installer: Install Offline / Full Standalone Setup
- Compatibility: 64 Bit (x64)
- File Size: 3.97 GB
- Operating System: Windows 8.1, Windows 8, Windows 7, Macintosh OS X versions 10.5 to 10.8
- Memory (RAM): 1 GB of RAM required
- Disk space needed for installation: 160 GB with a 60-GB system partition
- CPU (Processor): 1.3 GHz (64-bit processor) or faster for multi-core
Windows Server 2012 R2 Free Download
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