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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.
Another consideration when you're setting up your server, is to consider what type of disk settings you're going to use. Before we discuss disk settings though, we need to consider partitioning. Partitioning is the process of breaking up a physical drive into smaller components that are easier to manage. One type of partitioning is the Master Block Record type of partitioning. This is an older form of partitioning, and can be managed with the MMC Disk Manager Tool, which we will look at later.
A second type of partitioning that Windows can do is the Globally Unique Identifier Partitioning Table or, GPT. This is the newest form of partition available on Windows and was introduced with Windows Vista. The GPT can also be used for both physical and virtual hard disk. One consideration of GPT though, is that it needs Extensible Firmware Interface to work. The Extensible Firmware Interface, or EFI, is a newer style of BIOS that many of the most recent computers use.
Once considering partitioning, there are two basic disk types that Windows Server 2000 can handle. The first basic disk type is simply called Basic Disk. This is an older disk type that is easy to manage and is used on most personal computers. One thing to keep in mind is that the first partition on any computer must be a basic disk type because the operating system must be stored on a basic disk partition.
The basic disk type only supports the MBR partitioning style. Basic disk also supports a total of four partitions per physical drive. The types of partitions that Basic Disk support are the primary partition and the extended partition. The primary partition can create up to three primary partitions per hard drive. The operating system start-up files must be on the very first partition. You can place additional operating system files on other primary partitions, but the handful of files are usually needed to boot up the system must be on the first partition.
For this reason, the first partition has to be a primary partition type. The extended partition is the other partition type that Basic Disk uses. Basic Disk only supports one extended partition per physical drive. However, that extended partition can be broken down in to separate logical drives, which the computer treats as different hard drives, even though they are all in one single partition on one physical drive. The other type of disk that is supported by Windows 2012 is the Dynamic Disk capabilities.
This capability was actually introduced way back in Windows 2000. This disk type supports GPT and MBR. There are five separate volume types that are supported by the Dynamic Disk disk type. This is much better than the two partitions supported by the Basic Disk type. Dynamic Disk also supports up to 128 volumes per physical disk. These volumes can even be extended across multiple physical disks to create one larger volume. However, a warning about Dynamic Disk is that it is dependent on the operating system to work. What this means is the operating system manages all of the capabilities that Dynamic Disk has. If something were to happen to your operating system, there's a very good chance you would lose all data stored on your Dynamic Disk. It is for this reason that many larger companies will actually buy dedicated storage hardware, rather than use Dynamic Disk for their storage needs.
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