In versions of Windows Server prior to Windows Server 2008 R2, installation planning could
be a complex task. You had to decide from the outset what edition of the operating system
to install, whether to install the 32-bit or 64-bit version, and whether you should perform a
Server Core installation or whether you should use the full GUI. All of these decisions affected the server hardware requirements and all of these decisions were irrevocable. To change the edition, the platform, or the interface, you had to reinstall the server from the beginning.
However from Windows Server 2012, which will be the focus of this guide you have far fewer options to choose from and far fewer installation decisions to make.
l Only a 64-bit operating system is available, reflecting the fact that most major applications are now 64-bit and that modern server configurations are typically supported on hardware that requires 64 bits.
l The Server Core installation option and the full GUI installation option remain.
When planning a server deployment, the operating system edition you choose should be based on multiple factors, including the following:
l The roles you intend the servers to perform
l The virtualization strategy you intend to implement
l The licensing strategy you plan to use