Server 2012 Installing and Configuring Servers

Flashcard maker : Lily Taylor
Exam Tip
Some exam questions are in multiple-choice format, where answers are either right or wrong. If in the exam there are two answers that are right, you’ve likely missed a clue in the question.
What bit versions of Server 2012 are there?
Only 64-bit now.
What versions of Server 2012 are there to choose from?
Datacenter, Standard, Essentials, and Foundation.
Does Server 2012 support Itanium processors?
What install options are there?
Server Core, full GUI installation, and Minimal Server Interface
What capabilities does Datacenter have?
Designed for large and powerful servers with up to 64 processors and fault-tolerance features such as hot add processor support. As a result, this edition is only available through the Microsoft volume licensing program and from original equipment manufacturers (OEM’s), bundled with a server. Unlimited amount of virtual environments.
What capabilities does Standard have?
Includes the full set of Server 2008 features and differs from the Datacenter edition only in a number of VM instances permitted by the license. 2 virtual environments.
What capabilities does Essentials have?
Includes nearly all the features in the Standard and Datacenter editions, except for Server Core, Hyper-V, and Active Directory Federation Services. This edition is limited to one physical or virtual server instance and a maximum of 25 users. 1 virtual environment.
What capabilities does Foundation have?
A reduced version of the OS designed for small businesses that require only basic server features such as file and print services and application support. The edition includes no virtualization rights and is limited to 15 users. Only OEM available. No virtual environments.
What are the minimum installation hardware requirements for Server 2012?
1.4 GHz 64-bit processor, 512 MB RAM, 32 GB available disk space (absolute minimum, will need extra space if installing the system over a network or if your computer has more than 16 GB of RAM installed. Extra space is required for paging, hibernation, and dump files), DVD drive, Super VGA (800 x 600) or higher resolution monitor, keyboard and mouse (or other compatible pointing device), internet access.
What is the maximum hardware config for Server 2012?
640 Logical Processors, 4 TB RAM, 64 failover cluster nodes.
Server Core – What is it?
A stripped down version of the OS, no start menu, no desktop Explorer shell, no Microsoft Management Console, and virtually no graphical applications. You get a single window with a cmd prompt.
Server Core – Advantages to using it?
1. Hardware resource conservation: Eliminates some of the most memory and processor intensive elements of Server 2012 OS, thus devoting more of the system hardware to running essential services.
2. Reduced disk space: Requires less disk space for the installed OS elements and less swap space, which maximizes the utilization of the server’s storage resources.
3. Reduced patch frequency: The graphical elements of Server 2012 are among the most frequently updated, so running Server Core reduces the number of updates that administrator must apply. Fewer updates also mean fewer server restarts and less downtime.
4. Reduced attack surface: The less software there is running on the computer, the fewer entrances there are for attackers to exploit. Server Core reduces the potential opening presented by the OS, increasing its overall security.
Server Core – Difference between 2008 and 2012 versions?
Introduced with 2008. Used to be that you installed the OS using Server Core and it was irrevocable, so you had to reinstall the OS to get the GUI back. In 2012, you can switch a server between Server Core and GUI at will through the use of Windows PowerShell commands. This means you can still take advantage of the benefits of Server Core while holding onto the functionality of the GUI.
Server Core – Additions to 2012 from 08?
Is the default installation option now. Includes comprehensive remote administration tools, Server Manager app (enables admins to add servers from all over the enterprise and create server groups to facilitate the simultaneous config of multiple systems), PowerShell 3.0 which now includes more than 2000 cmdlets,
Server Core – Server roles not included in Server Core that are in the GUI install?
(13/19 roles and support for SQL Server 2012 are included)
1. Active Directory Federation Services
2. Application Server
3. Fax Server
4. Network Policy and Access Services
5. Remote Desktop Services, Gateway, Session Host, Web Access
6. Volume Activation Services
7. Windows Deployment Services
Minimal Server Interface – What is it?
Combines the advantages of Server Core while retaining some of the UI. It removes some of the most hardware-intensive elements from the GUI, such as:
1. IE and components of the Windows shell, including the desktop, File Explorer, and the Windows 8 desktop apps.
2. Control Panel Items implemented as shell extensions, such as: Programs and Features, Network and Sharing Center, Devices and Printers Center, Display, Firewall, Windows Update, Fonts, and Storage Spaces.
Minimal Server Interface – What’s left in it?
Server Manger and MMC applications, Device Manager, and the entire PowerShell interface.
Minimal Server Interface – How to configure a installation to use Minimal Server Interface?
Log into the server with an account that has admin privileges. Wait for Server Manager to open. Go to Manage -> Remove Roles and Features. In Server Pool list, select the server you want to modify, then scroll down the Features list and expand the User Interfaces and Infrastructure feature. Clear the Server Graphical shell check box and confirm, then remove. Restart the server.
Minimal Server Interface – Features on Demand – What is it?
Feature setup files are copied into an installation, so activating features can be done without an installation medium. The drawback of this is that the WinSxS directory occupies a significant amount of disk space, most of which will never be used.

With the increasing use of VM’s, this is resulting in even more wasted disk space. This coupled with disk space becoming increasingly expensive, makes Features on Demand useful. New to Server 2012, it is a third state for OS features that enables admins to conserve disk space by removing specific features not only from operation, but also from the WinSxS directory. This allows for conservation of disk space.

Features that are used can be Enabled or Disabled, but now they can be Disabled With Payload Removed.

Minimal Server Interface – Features on Demand – How to setup?
You must use PowerShell’s Uninstall-WindowsFeature cmdlet, which now supports a new -Remove flag. The cmd to disable the Server UI and remove its source files from the WinSxS directory would be: uninstall-WindowsFeature Server-GUI-Shell -remove.

Once removed, features can still be enabled, but it will download the feature from Windows Update or a source specified using the -Source flag with the Install-WindowsFeature cmdlet.

Upgrading Servers – Recommendations
In-place upgrades are the most complicated form of Server 2012, being the lengthiest and most likely causing problems during its execution. Microsoft recommends that admins perform a clean install, or migrate required roles, apps, and settings instead.
Upgrading Servers – Non-viable Upgrade Paths
1. Upgrades from Server versions prior to Server 2008.
2. Upgrades from pre-RTM editions of Server 2012.
3. Upgrades from Windows workstation OS.
4. Cross-platform upgrades, such as 32-bit Server 2008 to 64-bit Server 2012.
5. Upgrades from any Itanium edition.
6. Cross-language upgrades, such as from Server 2008, US English to Server 2012, French.
Upgrading Servers – Preliminary Checks
1. Check hardware compatibility.
2. Check disk space.
3. Confirm that the software is signed.
4. Save mass storage drivers on removable media.
5. Check application compatibility.
6. Ensure computer functionality.
7. Perform a full backup.
8. Disable virus protection software.
9. Disconnect the UPS device.
10. Purchase Server 2012.
Upgrading Servers – Is it possible to roll back to a previous OS version after upgrading?
No. However, during the upgrade process when the system restarts, the menu will provide an option to roll back to a previous OS. Once the upgrade is complete, this option is no longer available, and it is no possible to uninstall Server 2012 and revert to the old OS.
Migrating Roles – Recommendations
Migration is the preferred method of replacing an existing server with one running Server 2012. Unlike an in-place upgrade, a migration copies vital info from an existing server to a clean Server 2012 installation.
Migrating Roles – Restrictions?
The restrictions with upgrading servers no longer apply. You can now: 1. Migrate between versions.
2. Migrate data between x86 and x64 servers.
3. Migrate between Server editions.
4. Migrate between physical and virtual instances.
5. Migrate between installation options.

Note, instead of performing a single migration that copies all user data from the source to the destination computer at once, a server migration will require you to migrate roles or role services individually.

Windows Server Migration Tools – Define
A Server 2012 feature that consists of PowerShell cmdlets and help files that enable admins to migrate certain roles between servers. You have to install Server Migration Tools feature on the destination server running Server 2012, then copy the appropriate version of the tool to the source server. Allows you to migrate certain roles, features, shares, OS settings, and other data from the source server to the destination server running Server 2012. Some require the use of migration tools, others have their own internal communication capabilities.
Windows Server Migration Tools – How to Add
You can add it through Add Roles and Features Wizard in Server Manager, or the Install-WindowsFeature PowerShell cmdlet.
Windows Server Migration Tools – Procedure to Follow
There is no single procedure for migrating all server roles, whether they have their own migration tools or not. Instead, Microsoft provides detailed migration guides for individual roles and sometimes for individual role services within a role.
Configure Servers – Post-Installation Tasks
1. Configure the network connection
2. Set the time zone
3. Enable Remote Desktop
4. Rename the computer
5. Join a domain
Configure Servers – Post-Installation Tasks – Using GUI Tools
1. In Server 2012, the Properties tiles in Server Manager provide the same functionality as the Initial Configuration Tasks window in the previous Server versions.
2. To complete any postinstallation config tasks on a GUI installations, use the tools in the Properties tile.
3. The Ethernet entry in the Properties tile specifies the current status of the computer’s network infeterface. If there is an active DHCP server on the network, the server will already have an IP address and other settings used to configure the interface.
4. If there is no DHCP server, or if you must configure the computer with a static IP address, click the Ethernet hyperlink to display the Network Connections window from the Control Panel.
5. Accurate computer clock time is essential for Active Directory Domain Services communication. If the server is located outside of the default Pacific zone, click the Time Zone hyperlink to open the Date and Time dialog box, where you can correct the setting.
6. By default, Server 2012 does not allow Remote Desktop connections. To enable them, click the Remote Desktop hyperlink to open the Remote Tab of the System Properties sheet.
7. In a manual OS install, Windows Setup program assigns a unique name beginning with “WIN-” to the computer. To change the name and join it to a domain, click the Computer Name hyperlink to open the System Properties sheet and click Change to open the Computer Name/Domain Changes dialog box.
Configure Servers – Post-Installation Tasks – Using cmd-line tools
1. To rename a computer, run Netdom.exe and use the following syntax: netdom renamecomputer %ComputerName% /NewName:
2. To restart the computer as directed, use the following command: shutdown /r
3. Then to join the computer to a domain, use the following syntax:
Netdom join %ComputerName% /domain: /userd: /passwordd:*
In this command, the asterisk causes the program to prompt you for the password to the user account you specified.
4. These commands assume that the computer’s TCP/IP client has already been configured by a DHCP server. If this is not the case, you must manually configure it before you can join a domain. To assign a static IP address to a computer using Server Core, you can use the Netsh.exe program or the Windows Management Instruction (WMI) access provided by PowerShell.
5. To enable Remote Desktop connections on the server, use the following cmdlet: Set-RemoteDesktop -Enable
Converting from GUI to Server Core
1. Log onto the server running Server 2012 using an account with admin privileges and wait for Server Manger to open.
2. From the Manage menu, select Remove Roles and Features. The Remove Roles and Features Wizard starts, displaying the Before You Being page.
3. Click Next. The Select Destination Server page opens.
4. Select the sever you want to convert to Server Core and click Next to open the Remove Server Roles page.
5. Click Next. The Remove Features page opens.
6. Scroll down in the list and expand the User Interfaces And Infrastructure feature, as shown in Figure 1-6.
7. Clear the check boxes for the following components: Graphical Management Tools and Infrastructure, Server Graphical Shell
8. The Remove Features That Require Graphical Management Tools And Infrastructure dialog box opens with a list of dependent features that must be uninstalled. Click Remove Features.
9. Click Next to open the Confirm Removal Selections page.
10. Select the Restart The Destination Server Automatically If Required check box and click Remove. The Removal Progress page opens as the wizard uninstalls the feature.
11. Click Close. When the removal is completed, the computer restarts.
Converting from Server Core to full GUI
o To switch from Server Core to a full GUI you must use PowerShell to install the same features you removed in the previous procedure. Use the following PowerShell commands:
1. Install-WindowsFeature Server-Gui-Mgmt-Infra,Server-Gui-Shell -restart
2. To switch from a full GUI to server core, you can use the command: Uninstall-WindowsFeature Server-Gui-Mgmt-Infra,Server-Gui-Shell -restart
NIC Teaming – Define
NIC teaming is a new feature in Server 2012 that enables admins to combine the bandwidth of multiple network interface adapters, providing increased performance and fault tolerance. Virtualization enables admins to separate vital network functions on different systems wihthout having to purchase a separate physical computer for each, so if a single server is hosting multiple VM’s, they have a single point of failure for all of them. NIC teaming, also called bonding, balancing, and aggregation, is a technology that has been available for some time, but it was always tied to specific hardware implementations.

The NIC teaming capability in 2012 is hardware indepedent, enabling you to combine multiple physical network adapters into a single interface. This leads to increased performance by combining throughput of the adapters and protection from adapter failures by dynamically moving all traffic to the functioning NICs.

NIC Teaming – Modes
1. Switch Independent Mode: All the network adapters are connected to different switches, providing alternative routes through the network.
2. Switch Dependent Mode: All the network adapters are connected to the same switch, providing a single interface with their combined bandwidth.
NIC Teaming – Switch Independent Mode
You can choose between 2 configs. Active/standby and Active/Active. Active/Active leaves all network adapters functional, providing increased throughput. If one adapter fails, all the traffic is shunted to the remaining adapters. An adapter failure causes a performance reduction.
NIC Teaming – Switch Dependent Mode
In the active/standby config, one adapter is left offline to function as a failover in the event that the active adapter fails. An adapter failure will have no impact on performance.

You can also choose static teaming, a generic mode that balances the traffic between the adapters in the team, or you can opt to use the Link Aggregation Control Protocol defined in IEEE 802.3ax, assuming your equipment supports it.

NIC Teaming – Limitations
If your traffic consists of large TCP sequences, such as a Hyper-V live migration, the system will avoid using multiple adapters for those sequences to minimize the number of lost and out of order TCP segments. You will therefore not realize any performance increase for large file transfers using TCP.
NIC Teaming – Creating with Server Manager
1. Log onto the server running Server 2012 using an account with Admin privileges. The Server Manager window opens.
2. In the navigation pane, click Local Server. The Local Server homepage will appear.
3. In the Properties tile, click NIC Teaming. The NIC Teaming window opens, as shown:
4. In the Teams tile, click Tasks and select New Team to open the New Team page.
5. Click the Additional Properties arrow to expand the window, as shown:
6. In the Team Name text box, type the name you want to assign to the team.
7. In the Member Adapters box, select the network adapters you want to add to the team.
8. In the Teaming Mode drop-down list, select one of the following options:
• Static Teaming
• Switch Independent
9. In the Load Balancing Mode drop-down list, select one of the following options:
• Address Hash
• Hyper-V Port
10. If you selected Switch Independent for the Teaming Mode value, in the Standby Adapter drop-down list, select one of the adapters you added to the team to function as the offline standby.
11. Click OK. The new team appears in the Teams tile.

Once you have created a NIC team, the NIC Teaming window enables you to monitor the status of the team and the team interface you have created. The team itself and the individual adapters all have status indicators that inform you if an adapter goes offline. (26)

Server Manager – Define
A application/tool in Server 2012 that can install roles and features to any server on the network. The primary difference between 2012 Server Manager and previous versions is the ability to add and manage multiple servers at once.
Server Manager – Adding Servers
Local servers appear in Server Manager when you first run it. You can add other servers, enabling you to manage them together. They can be physical or virtual, and can be running any version of Windows Server since Windows Server 2003. After you add servers to the interface, you can create groups containing collections of servers, such as the servers at a particular location or those performing a particular function. These groups appear in the navigation pane, enabling you to administer them as a single entity.
Server Manager – How to Add Servers
1. Log on to the server running Server 2012 using an account with Administrative privileges. The Server Manager windows opens.
2. In the navigation pane, click All Servers. The All Servers home page appears.
3. From the Manage menu, select Add Servers. The Add Servers dialog box opens, as shown.
4. Select one of the following tabs to specify how you want to locate servers to add: Active Directory (Enables you to search for computers running specific OS’s in specific locations in an AD Domain Services domain), DNS (Enables you to search for servers in your currently configured Domain Name System (DNS) server), and Import (Enables you to supply a text file containing the names of the servers you want to add).
5. Initiate a search or upload a text file to display a list of available servers, as shown.
6. Select the servers you want to add and click the right arrow button to add them to the Selected list.
7. Click OK. The servers you selected are added to the All Servers home page.

Once you have added remote servers to the Server Manager interface, you can access them in a variety of ways, including the standard MMC administrative tools, the Computer Management console, and a remote Windows PowerShell session.

For administrators of enterprise networks, it might be necessary to add a large number of servers to Server Manager. To avoid having to work with a long scrolling list of servers, you can create server groups based on server locations, functions, or any other organizational paradigm.


Server Manager – Adding Roles and Features
The Server Manger program in Server 2012 combines what used to be separate wizards for adding roles and features into one. The Add Roles and Features Wizard. Once you add multiple servers to the Server Manager interface, they are integrated into the Add Roles and Features Wizard, so you can deploy roles and features to any of your servers.
Server Manager – How to Install Roles and Features
1. Log on to the server running Windows Server 2012 using an account with Administrative privileges. The Server Manager window opens.
2. From the Manage menu, select Add Roles and Features. The Add Roles and Features Wizard starts, displaying the Before You Begin page.
3. Click Next to open the Select Installation Type page.
4. Leave the Role-Based or Feature-Based Installation option selected and click Next. The Select Destination Server page opens, as shown.
5. Select the server on which to install the roles or features. If the server pool contains a large number of servers, you can use the Filter text box to display a subset of the pool based on a text string. When you have selected the server, click Next. The Select Server Roles page opens. (Although you can install components to any server added to Server Manager, you cannot install components to multiple server at once. It can be done through PowerShell though)
6. Select the roles you want to install on the selected server. If the roles you select have other roles or features as dependencies, an Add Features That Are Required dialog box appears. (Unlike previous versions of Server Manager, Server 2012 enables you to select all the roles and features for a particular server config at once, rather than making you run the wizard multiple time)
7. Click Add Features to accept the dependencies, and then click Next to open the Select Features page, as shown.
8. Select any features you want to install in the selected server and click Next. Dependencies might appear for you feature selections.
9. The wizard then displays pages specific to the roles or features you have chosen. Most roles have a Select Role Services page, on which you can select which elements of the role you want to install. Complete each of the role-specific or feature-specific pages and click Next. A Confirm Installation Selections page opens.
10. You can select from the following option functions: Restart The Destination Server Automatically If Desired (Causes the server to restart automatically when the installation is completed, if the selected roles and features require it), Export Configuration Settings (Creates an XML script documenting the procedures performed by the wizard, which you can use to install the same configuration on another server by using Windows PowerShell), Specify An Alternate Source Path (Specifies the location of an image file containing the software needed to install the selected roles and features).
11. Click Install to open the Installation Progress page. Depending on the roles and features installed, the wizard might display hyperlinks to the tools needed to perform required postinstallation tasks. When the installation is complete, click Close to complete the wizard.

To use an exported config file to install roles and features on another computer running Server 2012, use the following cmd in a PowerShell session with elevated privileges:

Install-WindowsFeature -ConfigurationFilePath

Once you install roles on your servers, the roles appear as icons in the navigation pane. These icons represent role groups, and each role group contains all instances of that role found on any of your added servers. You can therefore administer the role across all of the server on which you have it installed.


Server Manager – Deploying Roles to VHD’s
In addition to installing roles and features to servers on the network, Server Manager also enables admins to install them to VM’s that are currently in an offline state. For example, you might have an offline web server VM stored on a backup host server, in case the computer hosting your main web server VMs should fail. Server Manager enables you to select a VHD file and install or remove features without having to start the VM. To install roles & features to an offline VHD file, do the following:

1. Log onto the server running Server 2012 using an account with admin privileges. The Server Manager window opens.
2. From the Manage menu, select Add Roles And Features. The Add Roles And Features Wizard starts, displaying the Before You Begin page.
3. Click Next to open the Select Installation Type page.
4. Leave the Role-Based or Feature-Based Installation option selected and click Next. The Select Destination Server page opens.
5. Select the Select A Virtual Hard Disk option. A VHD text box appears at the bottom of the page.
6. In the VHD text box, type or browse to the location of the VHD file you want to modify.
7. In the Server Pool box, select the server that the wizard should use to mount the VHD file, and click Next. The Select Server Roles page opens. (The wizard must mount the VHD file on the server you select to look inside and determine which roles and features are already installed. Mounting a VHD file only makes it available through the computer’s file system; it is not the same as starting the VM by using the VHD)
8. Select the roles you want to install on the selected server, adding the required dependencies if necessary, and click Next. The Select Features page opens.
9. Select any features you want to install on the selected server and click Next. Dependencies might appear for your feature selections.
10. The wizard then displays pages specific to the roles or features you have chosen, enabling you to select role services and configure other settings. Complete each of the role-specific or feature-specific pages and click Next. A Confirmation page opens.
11. Click Install. The Installation Progress page opens. When the installation is complete, click Close to dismount the VHD and complete the wizard.


Configuring Services – Context with Server Manager
Many Server roles and features include services, which are programs that run continuously in the background, typically waiting for a client process to send a request to them. Server Manager provides access to services running on servers all over the network.

When you are on the Local Server home page in Server Manager, one of the tile you find there is the Services tile. This tile lists all the services installed on the server and specifies their operational status, and their Start Type. When you right-click a service, the shortcut menu provides controls that enable you to start, stop, restart, pause, and resume the service.

The Services tile in Server Manager is similar to the traditional Services snap-in for MMC found in previous versions of Server. Although you can start and stop a service here, you cannot modify its Start Type, which specifies whether the service should start automatically with the OS. You must do that using the Services MMC snap-in.

Another difference of the Services tile is that this tile appears in many locations throughout Server Manager, and in each place it displays a list of services for a different context. This is a good example for the organizational principle of the new Server Manager. The same tools, repeated, providing a consistent interface to different sets of components.

Configure Local Storage – Virtual Disks
Virtuals disks behave just like physical disks, but the actual bits might be stored on any number of physical drives in the system. VD’s can also provide fault tolerance by using the physical disks in the storage pool to hold mirrored or parity data.

After creating a VD, you can create volumes on it, just as you would on a physical disk. Server Manager allows you to create and manage storage pools and virtual disks and the ability to create volumes and file system shares, with some limitations.

Configure Local Storage – Partition Styles
Master Boot Record (MBR) – has been around since before Windows and is still a common partition style for x86 and x64 based computers.

GUID (Globally Unique Identifier) Partition Table (GPT) – newer than MBR, no x86 version prior to Server 2008 and Vista supported it. x86 had to use MBR, x64 could use either as long as the GPT disk was not the boot disk.

It is not possible to boot from a GPT disk, and you can only use GPT on separate nonbootable disks used for data storage.

When you use Server Manager to initialize a disk in Server 2012, it uses the GPT partition style, regardless of virtual or physical disk. There are no controls in Server Manager supporting MBR, although it displays the partition type in the DIsks tile.

Configure Local Storage – Disk Types
Basic DIsk – uses the MBR partition style. Uses primary partitions, extended partitions, and logical drives to organize data. A primary partition appears to the OS as though it is a psychically separate disk and can host an OS, in which case it is known as the active partition. When working with basic MBR disks in Server 2012, you can create 3 volumes that are primary partitions. When you create a fourth volume, the system creates an extended partition with a logical drive on it of the size you specified. If there is free space left on the disk, the system allocates it to the extended partition, where you can use it to create additional logical drives.

When you use a GPT partition style, the disk still appears as a basic disk, but you can create up to 128 volumes, each of which can be a primary partition. There are no extended partitions or logical drives on GPT disks.

Dynamic Disks – Creates a single partition that occupies the entire disk. You can create an unlimited number of volumes out of the space in that partition, but you cannot mark an existing dynamic disk as active. Dynamic disks also support several types of volumes.

Dynamic Disk Volume Types – Simple Volume
Consists of space from a single disk. After you’ve created a simple volume, you can extend it to multiple disks to create a spanned or striped volume, as long as it is not a system volume or boot volume. You can extend a simple volume into any adjacent allocated space on the same disk or, with some limitations, shrink the volume by deallocating any unused space in the volume.
Dynamic Disk Volume Types – Spanned Volume
Consists of space from 2 to 32 physical disks, all of which must be dynamic disks. A spanned volume is essentially a method for combining the space from multiple dynamic disks into a single large volume. Server 2012 writes to the spanned volume by filling all the sapce on the first disk and then filling each of the additional disks in turn. You can extend a spanned volume at any time by adding disk space. Creating a spanned volume does not increase the disk’s read/write performance, or provide fault tolerance. In fact, if a single physical disk in the spanned volume fails, all the data in the entire volume is lost.
Dynamic Disk Volume Types – Striped Volume
Consists of space from 2 to 32 physical disks, all of which must be dynamic disks. The difference between a striped and spanned volume is that in a striped volume, the system writes data one stripe at a time to each successive disk in the volume. Striping provides improved performance because each disk drive in the array has time to seek the location of its next stripe while the other drives are writing. Striped volumes do not provide fault tolerance, however, and you cannot extend them after creation. If a single physical disk in the striped volume fails, all the data in the entire volume is lost.
Dynamic Disk Volume Types – Mirrored Volume
Consists of an identical amount of space on two physical disks, both of which must be dynamic disks. The system performs all read and write operations on both disks simultaneously, so they contain duplicate copies of all data stored on the volume. If one of the disks fails, the other continues to provide access to the volume until the failed disk is repaired or replaced.
Dynamic Disk Volume Types – Raid-5 Volume
Consists of space on three or more physical disks, all of which must be dynamic. The system stripes data and parity information across all the disks so that if one physical disk fails, the missing data can be re-created by using the parity information on the other disks. RAID-5 volumes provide improved read performance because of the disk striping, but write performance suffers due to the need for parity calculations.
Configure Local Storage – File Systems
To organize and store data or programs on a hard drive, you must install a file system. A file system is the underlying disk drive structure that enables you to store info on your computer. You install file systems by formatting a partition or volume on the hard disk.

In Server 2012, five file system options are available: NTFS, FAT32, exFAT, FAT (or FAT16), and ReFS. NTFS is the preferred file system for a server. The main benefits are improved support for larger hard drives than FAT and better security in the form of encryption and permissions that restrict access by unauthorized users.

Because FAT file systems lack the security that NTFS provides, any user who gains access to your computer can read any file without restriction. Additionally, FAT file systems have disk size limitations: FAT32 cannot handle a partition greater than 32 GB or a file greater than 4 GB. FAT cannon handle a hard disk greater than 4 GB or a file greater than 2 GB. Because of these limitations, the only viable reason for using FAT16 or FAT32 is the need to dual boot the computer with a non-Windows OS or a previous version of windows that does not support NTFS, which is not a likely config for a server.

ReFS is a new file system first appearing in Server 2012 that offers practically unlimited file and directory sizes and increased resiliency that eliminates the need for error-checking tools, such as Chkdsk.exe. However, ReFS does not include support for NTFS features such as file compression, Encrypted File System (EFS), and disk quotas. ReFS disks also cannon be read by any OS older than Server 2012 and Windows 8.

File and Storage Services Role
A Submenu in Server Manager that provides access to home pages that enable administrators to manage volumes, disks, storage pools, shares, and iSCSI devices.

Server Manager can manage storage pools and create virtual disks. It can also perform some, but not all, of the standard disk and volume management opeartions on physical disks. Like the other Server Manager home pages, this page enables you to perform tasks on any servers you have added to the interface.

Disk Management is an MMC snap-in that is the traditional tool for performing disk-related tasks. To access the Disk Management snap-in, you must open the Computer Management console and select Disk Management. You can also manage disks and volumes from the command line by using the DiskPart.exe utility.

Adding a Physical Disk
When adding a new hard disk to a Server 2012 computer, you must first initialize a disk before you can access its storage. After adding the disk, it should show up in Server Manager in the Disks tile with a status of Offline and an unknown partition style.

You must first bring it online by right clicking it in the Disks tile and selecting Bring Online. Once Online, right click and select Initialize. Unlike the Disk Management snap-in, Server Manager does not allow you to choose the partition style for the disk. A Task Progress window opens, and when the process is completed, click Close, and the disk appears in the list with a partition style of GPT.

You can convert a disk from one partition style to another at any time by right-clicking the disk you need to convert and then, from the shortcut menu, selecting Convert To GPT Disk or Convert To MBR Disk. As this is a destructive process, you can only perform the conversion on an unallocated disk, so if the disk you want to convert contains data, you must back the disk up and then delete all existing partitions or volumes before you begin the conversion.

Creating and Mounting VHD’s – What are VHD’s
Hyper-V relies on the VHD format to store virtual disk data in files that can be easily transferred from one computer to another. The Disk Management snap-in in Server 2012 enables you to create VHD files and mount them on the computer. Once mounted, you can treat them just like physical disks and use them to store data. Dismounting a VHD packages the stored data in the file, so you can copy or move it as needed.
Creating and Mounting VHD’s – Creating
1. Log on to Server 2012 using an account with admin. privileges. The Server Manager window opens.
2. Click Tools > Computer Management. The Computer Management console opens.
3. Click Disk Management to open the Disk Management snap-in.
4. From the Action menu, select Create VHD. The Create And Attach Virtual Hard Disk dialog box appears.
5. In the Location text box, specify the path and file name for the file you want to create.
6. In the Virtual Hard Disk Size box, specify the maximum size of the disk you want to create.
7. Select one of the following Virtual Hard Disk Type Format options: VHD (The original and more compatible format, which supports files of up to 2,040 GB) or VHDX (A new version of the format that supports files of up to 64 TB but can only be read by computers running Server 2012.
8. Select one of the following Virtual Hard Disk Type options: Fixed Size (Recommended, allocates all the disk space for the VHD file at once), or Dynamically Expanding (Allocates disk space to the VHD file as you add data to the virtual hard disk)
9. Click OK. The system creates the VHD file and attaches it so that it appears as a disk in the snap-in.

Once created and attached, the VHD appears as an uninitialized disk in the Disk Management snap-in and in Server Manager. By using either tool, you can initialize the disk and create volumes on it, just as you would a physical disk. After storing data on the volumes, you can detach the VHD and move it to another location or mount it on a Hyper-V VM.

Creating a Storage Pool – Powershell Command
New-StoragePool -FriendlyName -StorageSubSystemFriendlyName -Physical Disks
Creating a Virtual Disk – Layout Options
Simple – Requires the pool to contain at least one physical disk and provides no fault tolerance. When more than one physical disk is available, the system stripes data across the disks.

Mirror – Requires the pool to contain at least two physical disks and provides fault tolerance by storing identical copies of every file. Two physical disks provide protection against a single disk failure; five physical disks provide protection against two disk failures.

Parity – Requires the pool to contain at least three physical disks and provides fault tolerance by striping parity information along with data.

Creating a Virtual Disk – Disk Level Fault Tolerance
The fault tolerance built into Storage Spaces is provided at the disk level, not the volume level, as in the Disk Management snap-in. Theoretically, you can use Disk Management to create mirrored or RAID-5 volumes out of virtual disks, but this would defeat the purpose of creating them in the first place, because the virtual disks might be located on the same physical disk.
Creating a Virtual Disk – Provisioning Type
Thin – The system allocates space from the storage pool to the disk as needed, up to the maximum specified size.

Fixed – The system allocates the maximum specified amount of space to the disk immediately on creating it.

Creating a Simple Volume – DiskPart.exe Utility
DiskPart.exe is a cmd-line utility included in Server 2012 for managing basic disks. You can create four primary partitions or three primary partitions and one extended partition. The DiskPart.exe contains a superset of the cmds support by the Disk Management snap-in.

However, Disk Management snap-in prevents you from unintentionally performing actions that might result in data loss while DiskPart does not prohibit you from performing such actions. For this reason, DiskPart.exe should only be used by advanced users and with caution.

Creating a Simple Volume – Volume Requirements
Striped, Spanned, and Mirrored – At least 2 disks.

RAID-5 – At least 3 disks.

Spanned will take a specified amount of space for each individual disk.

The others will only take one specified amount as all volumes require the same amount of space on each disk.

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