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Windows Server 2012 R2 Question

Hello,

 

I have access to Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard, Windows Server 2016 Standard and Windows Server 2019 Standard.

 

I have an old Intel Chassis Server (S3420GP Motherboard) and I want to install Windows Server on it as a Domain Controller with RADIUS and a few other things. I have tested Server 2012 R2, 2016 and 2019 on it and I found that Server 2016 and 2019 ran terribly, and felt very unfinished and not polished compared to Server 2012 R2 which felt fast, bug free, and much more streamlined and felt more like a finished product.

 

My question is: Is Windows Server 2012 R2 still a fully functional and useable Server OS? Can it be used in a Windows 10 environment? Does it support most new features? Are there any features that Server 2016 and 2019 have that are must-haves or that make compatibility with a Windows 10 domain environment much better?

 

I just don't like the idea of Server 2016 and 2019, they do not feel like polished operating systems that I would want to use on a server, they feel buggy, and after literal memes being made about how bad the updating is on Server 2016, it is making me very cautious.

Workstation:

Intel Core i7 6700K | AMD Radeon R9 390X | 16 GB RAM

Mobile Workstation:

MacBook Pro 15" (2017) | Intel Core i7 7820HQ | AMD Radeon Pro 560 | 16 GB RAM

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For a server with that little load why not just run them in VM's as a server cluster and do replication between them for a bit?

 

This way you can see which one does better over time and simply prune the ones that are not working as intended.

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Trying to answer your questions:

 

1.- Yes, its fully funcitonal and usable Server OS, the new end-of-extended support date for Windows Server 2012 is Oct. 10, 2023. So you have quite a few years left there before having to migrate. Now AD migrations if you AD is sufficiently clean and healthy aren't too complicated or stressful (also depends on the size of your forest and domains).

2.- Yes for the most part, WS2016 and WS2019 "valuable" advantages are mainly for Azure and hypervisor level. For more info https://www.microsoft.com/en-cy/cloud-platform/windows-server-comparison

3.- Not that I think of, there aren't any specific features at least for most standard businesses that WS2012 R2 cant satisfy even with Windows 10 only clients.

 

Once again this is my humble opinion on the current landscape of Windows Administration. Others might defer and have good arguments on why.

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WS2016 and WS2019 are optimised for 15K disks and SSD and generally run sluggish on anything less than that. WS2012 is blazing fast on most hardware and perfectly viable still. 

 

Having deployed WS2016 over the past year and a half, I can say it’s a very stable core, but it’s just not super fast. Certainly wouldn’t be happy running RDS on it without some killer SSDs.

PC Specs - AMD Ryzen 5 5600X MSI B550M Mortar 16GB Crucial Ballistix DDR4-3600 @ CL15 - RX5700XT 660p 1TBGB & 256GB 600p Fractal Define Mini C CM V550 - Pop!_OS 20.04

 

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7 hours ago, Husky said:

1. Is Windows Server 2012 R2 still a fully functional and useable Server OS?

2. Can it be used in a Windows 10 environment?

3. Does it support most new features?

4. Are there any features that Server 2016 and 2019 have that are must-haves or that make compatibility with a Windows 10 domain environment much better?

1. yea, it's used commonly in windows environments as it's a standard, Microsoft will still be sporting it until Oct. 10, 2023, even then i don't think it's going to go out without a fight

2. there is a bug where the GPO doesn't get applied when using a 2012 R2 domain controller, but it's been fixed just update the server and clients and you should be fine

3. server OS's don't really get new features during their life cycle, if it does happen a new improved version is released separately so that existing ones don't have to upgrade as it's not recommend to upgrade your server OS at all cause it can cause problems with existing installations and configurations

4. here is a comparison from microsoft: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/cloud-platform/windows-server-comparison , it's mainly a feature set but it can provide some insight on what OS would be best for what job.

 

7 hours ago, Husky said:

I just don't like the idea of Server 2016 and 2019, they do not feel like polished operating systems that I would want to use on a server, they feel buggy, and after literal memes being made about how bad the updating is on Server 2016, it is making me very cautious.

yea, server 2016 is notorious in the server industry for it's auto restart update crap as many business don't want that to happen at all

you can override it by screwing around with some files, settings and other crap, but even then Microsoft has been known to reverse these alterations with updates resetting those things

i can't find any info if 2019 does this but Microsoft pulled it from their website due to a problem with the OS, most likely to fix the file deletion issue that win 10 had

 

even then every time a windows server version is released, most people recommend the version before it because it's most likely going to be more stable then the newer version.

i do recommend windows server 2012 R2 but i recommend updating to a newer server version some time in 2020 to 2021 as thats the time that 2012 R2 will have main stream support ended and it will be on extended support only fixing critical issues and security flaws etc.

*Insert Witty Signature here*

System Config: https://au.pcpartpicker.com/list/Tncs9N

 

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