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Get a practical introduction to setting up Windows Server 2012. Timothy Pintello breaks down this basic IT task into its core components: installation, roles and services configuration, and local storage setup. He shows you how to practice these steps with VirtualBox and gain real experience without the cost or risks associated with expensive hardware.
Learn how to choose an edition that's right for your setup, install Windows Server 2012 and the VirtualBox drivers, and then configure the services and roles on your new server. Timothy also shows how to set up local storage and manage Windows Server in one of two ways: through the command line or with the simple admin interface that ships with Windows Server.
When initially configuring your servers, you also need to go ahead and plan out your server storage needs. To do this, you can ask yourself several different questions. One question to ask yourself is, do I want a big file server? If I want a big file server, then a need to plan for a large amount of storage on that server. Another question to ask is, do I want to use several smaller servers? If I'm using several smaller servers, then the storage needs for each server will be smaller then in the previous case.
Additionally, I may want to ask myself about virtualization. Do I want to use virtualization on my server? If I want to use virtualization on my server, that will not only impact my storage, but it'll also impact how I configure my network. Another question to ask is, do I have a centralized organization? This means, is my organization centralized in one location, or is it spread out across a large geographical area? If it is spread out across a large geographical area ,then you will have to consider if you want to store your files on local sites, or in a central location that all your sites access.
Finally, you need to ask yourself how many users need to access my server? This is an especially important consideration for a domain controller, because, on a domain controller, you need a minimum of 100 meg per user just to store their basic profile information. Estimating required storage space can be impacted by the type of server you're going to use. If you're setting up a database of some sort, then the type of database you're setting up will impact storage requirements. Active Directory needs storage requirements for a user database. DNS has storage requirements, also. DNS servers store a database of the sites they have accessed so as to streamline accessing those same sites in the future.
Application servers also have storage needs. You need to set aside storage for the files of the applications specifically, but you also need to set aside storage space for any additional storage needs recommended by the manufacturer. User storage needs are also important. Not just for the user database and active directory, but also, you need to set aside a certain amount of free storage for each user based on your company's policy and consider that in your storage needs as well. You also need to consider future storage needs for your network.
You need to consider future storage needs of your updates. You need to consider any new users you may add in the future, both for their profile and for their allocated storage space. You need to also consider database expansion that may be needed in the future. A final consideration for disk planning is Storage Spaces. Storage Spaces is a new feature that Microsoft has added to Sever 2012. Storage Spaces gives Sever 2012 some additional capabilities previous versions of Sever did not have.
One of the things it does, is create a new virtualization technology for Server 2012 when it comes to storing virtual machines. Also, Storage Spaces can create a virtual storage pool from unused physical disk space. What this means, is Storage Spaces can take unused disk space on physical drives, and combine them together to create a virtual storage space called a storage pool. Storage Spaces also allows virtual disks to behave just like physical disks. What this means is, you can manage a virtual disk exactly the way you would have managed a physical disk in previous versions of server.
Finally, a warning about Storage Spaces is that it's dependent on the operating system. What that means is, if your operating system crashes, everything stored using Storage Spaces will be lost.
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