Windows Server 2003 End Of Support Part 3a - Target Your Destination - Windows Server 2012 R2

In today's post I will cover the first target scenario, which is Windows Server 2012 R2, and in the next post I will cover Microsoft Azure, Cloud OS Network and Office 365 scenarios.

You must choose a migration destination for each application and workload.

There are four destinations for migration:

•Windows Server 2012 R2

•Microsoft Azure

•Cloud OS Network

•Office 365

Different workloads and applications will logically lead to certain targets. Others could offer the possibility of migration to one or more of these destinations. The choice will be driven by factors such as speed and ease of migration, cost, and desired functionality in the migrated solution.

Windows Server has seen many advancements in the past 10 years, and today the current version is Windows Server 2012 R2.

Enterprise-class scale and performance

•Windows Server 2003 R2

•Scales to 64 logical processors and 1 terabyte of memory (x64 versions)

•Windows Server 2012 R2

•Scales to 320 logical processors and 4 terabytes of physical memory (x64 versions)

•Scales to 64 logical processors and 1 terabyte of memory on a virtual machine

•Supports up to 64 nodes and 8,000 virtual machines in a cluster

Shared nothing live migration with Remote Direct Memory Access (RDMA)

•Windows Server 2003 R2

•Not available

•Windows Server 2012 R2

•Enables migration of virtual machines among Hyper-V hosts on different clusters or servers with no storage sharing, using Ethernet connection only—with virtually no downtime

•Offers faster live migration among Hyper-V hosts by establishing an efficient memory-to-memory transfer of data using RDMA

Hyper-V Network Virtualization

•Windows Server 2003 R2

•Not available

•Windows Server 2012 R2

•Enables isolation of network traffic from different business units or customers on a shared infrastructure, with reduced need for virtual local area networks (VLANs)

•Enables moving of virtual machines as needed within virtual infrastructure, while preserving virtual network assignments

•Performs site-to-site (VPN), NAT, and forwarding functions with an in-the-box multitenant gateway

•Makes full management of HNV gateway possible through System Center 2012 R2 Virtual Machine Manager

•Supports guest clustering for high availability

Low-cost, highly available file-based storage

•Windows Server 2003 R2

•Not available

•Windows Server 2012 R2

•Offers new SMB 3.0 protocol enhancements and low-cost, “commodity” hardware with new File Services for storing server application data such as SQL databases and VHDs for Hyper-V on file shares

•Automatically rebalances Scale-Out File Server clients

•Tracks SMB client connections per file share, and then redirect clients to the cluster node with the best access to the volume used by the file share

•Enables leveraging of commodity storage into virtual storage pools, which can then be provisioned as Storage Spaces

•Provides virtualized drives that can be formatted and accessed just like a physical drive, which can also be dynamically resized with the addition of more physical drives to the storage pool

•Includes storage tiers, write-back cache, parity space support for failover clusters, dual parity, and the ability to automatically rebuild storage spaces from storage pool free space

Backup and recovery

•Windows Server 2003 R2

•The backup utility (Backup) in Windows Server 2003 helps back up directories, selected files, and system state data, including Windows Server 2003 operating system registry information (very simple utility)

•Windows Server 2012 R2

•Provides a set of wizards and other tools to perform basic backup and recovery tasks for the server it is installed on

•Windows Server Backup role in Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012 R2 has the following enhanced features:

•Ability to back up and restore individual virtual machines from a Hyper-V host server

•Improvements to managing backup versions and backup retention

•Ability to back up volumes greater than 2 terabytes and with 4-KB sector sizes

•Support for backup of Cluster Shared Volumes (CSVs)

•Ability to report system state components

•Hyper-V supports incremental backup (backing up only the differences) of virtual hard disks while the virtual machine is running

•Microsoft Azure Online Backup (cloud-based backup service) offers offsite protection against data loss from failure with a cloud-based backup solution, which allows files and folders to be backed up and recovered from the cloud (Microsoft Azure Backup Overview:

Hybrid applications

•Windows Server 2003 R2

•Requires virtual private networks (VPNs) or other form of point-to-point connectivity for communication among geographically separated parts of an application

•Windows Server 2012 R2

•Protects existing investments in on-premises applications

•Unifies application management

•Provides flexibility to build and deploy hybrid applications on-premises and in the cloud

•Provides a common development environment for .NET developers to build cloud (Azure) and on-premises applications

Windows PowerShell 4.0

•Windows Server 2003 R2

•Provides more than 100 cmdlets

•Windows Server 2012 R2

•Provides more than 3,000 cmdlets in over 100 modules and includes several significant features that enable easier and more comprehensive control and management of Windows-based environments

•Enables the deployment and management of configuration data for software services and the environment in which these services run through Desired State Configuration (DSC)

Simplified, feature-rich Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI)

•Windows Server 2003 R2

•Not available

•Windows Server 2012 R2

•Provides simplified wizard-based setup procedures for Remote Desktop Services deployment

•Includes a unified management console for virtual desktops, session-based desktops, and applications

•Simplifies the creation, assignment, and patch management of pooled and personal virtual desktops and provides a richer experience on different devices, in various locations, and over changing network conditions

•Provides online storage deduplication and session shadowing