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Plan for Windows Server 2012 R2

Prepare to deliver Windows Server 2012 with tools and resources to help you inventory applications and hardware, assess compatibility, plan for migration from an earlier version of Windows Server, and understand compatibility and licensing considerations.

Assess readiness

What's New in Windows Server
Learn about what's new and changed in Windows Server 2012.

Technical Scenarios
This guidance addresses areas of interest or particularly compelling capabilities enabled by Windows Server 2012.

Download Microsoft Assessment and Planning (MAP) Toolkit 9.1
MAP Toolkit works with the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit and Security Compliance Manager to help you plan, securely deploy, and manage new Microsoft technologies—easier, faster, and at less cost.


Prepare to install and deploy

Installing Windows Server 2012
Before you start your installation, find out about system requirements and known issues.

Release Notes: Important Issues in Windows Server 2012
Read about the most critical known issues you may need to work around after installation is complete.

Evaluation Versions and Upgrade Options for Windows Server 2012
This document summarizes key information about evaluation versions of Windows Server 2012, including where to obtain them, the limits on their use, and how to convert them to full retail versions. It also summarizes the supported upgrade paths from previously licensed retail versions of Windows Server to Windows Server 2012.

Windows Server Installation Options
Learn about installation options, including the management options that are available after installation, and how to switch between the installation options during use.

Features Removed or Deprecated in Windows Server 2012
Review the list of features and functionalities that have been removed from the product in the current release or are planned for potential removal in subsequent releases.


Explore installation and deployment options

Install and Deploy Windows Server 2012
Use the articles in this section to learn how to install and deploy Windows Server 2012.

Server Core and Full Server Integration Overview
Convert between a Server Core installation and a full installation as needed.

Configure and Manage Server Core Installations
This collection of articles provides the information needed to install and deploy Server Core servers; install, manage, and uninstall server roles and features; and manage the server locally or remotely.

Install or Uninstall Roles, Role Services, or Features
In Windows Server 2012, the Server Manager console and Windows PowerShell cmdlets for Server Manager allow installation of roles and features to local or remote servers, or offline virtual hard disks (VHDs).


Watch demonstrations and tutorials

These videos will help you to deploy and install Windows Server 2012.

Deploying Windows Server 2012 with the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit
The Microsoft Deployment Toolkit is a free tool that can help enterprises deploy Windows Server 2012.
  Virtually Speaking with Yung Chou: (Part 1) Windows Server 2012—Server Core
Yung Chou kick-starts his Windows Server 2012 series by focusing on installation options for Server Core.


Find your way around

Common Management Tasks and Navigation in Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows Server 2012
As you get familiar with the new Windows user interface, this document will help you find and open common management tools, create shortcuts to frequently-used programs, and perform common tasks, such as signing in and out.


Secure Windows Server 2012

Secure Windows Server 2012
Find out how to help secure your servers running Windows Server 2012 with these resources.

Security and Protection Overview
This page provides a summary of security technologies in Windows Server 2012.

Access and Information Protection
Windows Server 2012 has fundamentally changed the approach to identity and access management with significant improvements to Active Directory and with the introduction of Dynamic Access Control.

Security Tools to Administer Windows Server 2012
This topic for the IT pro lists and describes Microsoft tools that are available for Windows Server 2012 to administer security technologies and address ongoing threats to your computers and network.

Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer 2.3 (for IT Pros)
MBSA 2.3 provides a streamlined method to identify missing security updates and common security misconfigurations.

Microsoft Security Assessment Tool 4.0
This risk-assessment application is designed to provide information and recommendations about best practices for security within an IT infrastructure.

Microsoft Security Compliance Manager (version 3.0.60)
This Solution Accelerator provides centralized security baseline management features, a baseline portfolio, customization capabilities, and security baseline export flexibility.


Use solution guides to solve business problems

Our Solution Guides walk you through complex problems with diagrams and recommended steps.