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Before you ever install any operating systems, you need to go ahead and plan out your installation ahead of time. Planning is a very important part of installation and every installation should begin with a planning phase. One of the things you need to plan out is what settings you will set up in your server before you set it up. The reason why is because many of the settings may be difficult or even impossible to change later without having to totally reinstall your server. If you have to reinstall your server, this will waste a lot of time and effort on your part.
You also need to consider the new features in Server 2012. Even if you're familiar with older versions of Server, you need to be aware there are quite a few new features in Server 2012. A really good source of finding out what those features are is Microsoft's Technet website. Let's go ahead and take a look at that. This is the Microsoft Technet website that lists the new features of Server 2012. As you can see, there are a lot of them. If you need to find out more information about a specific feature such as Active Directory, you can click on that.
It'll bring up a detailed screen about all the things you need to know about what has been added to that feature in Server 2012. Once you're aware of the new features in Server 2012, you need to also consider the role you want your server to play. The reason you want to consider what role you want your server to play before you install it is because some roles can be very difficult to change once they're set up. One example of this is the main controller role. It is very difficult to change the domain controller role to something else once you've set up a computer as a domain controller.
For this reason, you want to make sure you set up the right role the first time. You also need to be aware that not all Server editions support all roles. For example, if you need your server to act as a virtualization server, you will only be able to purchase the Data Center edition. No other edition will support a total virtualized environment. Beyond roles, you also need to consider licensing. The reason you need to consider licensing is because different roles may require different types of licensing.
The reason different roles may require different types of licensing is because different editions support different licensing. Microsoft or the OEM you purchase your equipment from can give you more information about the licensing they provide. The final consideration is virtualization. Virtualization has a lot of advantages to it, as well as a lot of disadvantages. For example, virtualization will require you to use fewer servers. However, the servers you are required to purchase will need to be much more powerful. Virtualization will also offer an overall lower cost to your setup.
However, the individual servers in that setup will cost more. Virtualization will also require to hire fewer technicians. However, the technicians you hire will need to be better trained and especially trained in areas of virtualization. Virtualization will give you much greater flexibility as well. However, that flexibility comes at the expense of a much larger amount of storage space.
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