October 17, 2012, 10:43 AM — Windows Server 2012 is a monumental release packed with new features that touch every facet of the operating system. You'll see changes ranging from how data is stored on disk to the protocol for moving data between client and server and much more in between. The major design themes of the new server OS, which center on continuous availability, reduced cost, and lower management overhead, show up in many ways.
One of the principal architects on the Windows Server 2012 team is Jeffery Snover, who made an observation about this version of Windows Server that's worth repeating: "Microsoft has traditionally taken a few versions of major software projects to get them to the point of full maturity. It's significant that Windows Server 2012 has quite a few version 3.0 pieces including Hyper-V, PowerShell, SMB, and more."
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Sure enough, these 3.0 charms alone are worth the price of admission, but a few newer features further sweeten Microsoft's server offering. In fact, I've identified seven Windows Server 2012 features you might call "supersavers." Listed in order of impact below, these features commodify high-end functionality, eliminate the need to purchase third-party software, reduce OS care and feeding, or in the case of PowerShell, offer the potential to save vast numbers of man-hours.
Any one of these features could make Windows Server 2012 a compelling upgrade for you. Perhaps the best part is they're all available in the Standard edition.
Windows Server 2012 supersaver No. 1: Storage SpacesOne of the main themes of Windows Server 2012 is the resiliency of all resources. For disk-related resources, the two new features are the Resilient File System (ReFS) and Storage Spaces. ReFS is the heir apparent to the venerable NTFS originally introduced with the release of Windows NT 3.1 in 1993. NTFS has obviously stood the test of time over the last 19 years with untold numbers of systems still using it today. Windows Server 2012 continues to support NTFS and undoubtedly will for years to come.