Is Windows 2012 still to new to deploy to SMB


We are a small company, 150 (Windows 7) users currently on a Windows 2003 Platform.

First DC Windows 2003 Dc
Second DC Windows 2003 Dc
Data Server Windows 2003
Exchange 2003 Windows 2003
Apps server Windows 2008

We are now looking at replacing all the servers and cant decide if we should go straight to Windows 2012 or use Windows 2008r2.

We are not interested in any form of Virtual Servers.

For a small corporate like us what does everyone else go with, are there any disadvantages to 2012.  We are also in the same boat for Exchange 2010 vs 2013.

Any advice would be great.

Who is Participating?
Lee W, MVPConnect With a Mentor Technology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
I understand you said you don't want to use Virtualization... this is unwise.  Using virtualization you can reduce your hardware costs AND your licensing costs.  2012 costs about $900 per copy these days.  BUT, if you virtualize, you can install TWO copies.

Your cost for 4 copies of 2012 (assuming you're ONLY replacing the 2003 servers) would be about $3600 if you intend to run a physical server in each instance.

However, if you virtualize, you only need to buy 2 new machines instead of 4 (saving AT LEAST $3000 in hardware assuming you get server class machines) and saving another $1800 in licensing costs since each copy can run TWO servers.  (You could even reduce that, but I assume you want two DCs and if so, it's best to have two physical servers.  If you buy 4 licenses of server anyway but still only two machines, you COULD cluster or replicate the servers between each other and reduce your risk of downtime.  

If these concepts are foreign to you, I strongly recommend you bring in a consultant who can discuss the options.  half a day of a consultant's time can still be FAR less expensive than four new machines.
Nick RhodeIT DirectorCommented:
In my opinion new is not always better when it comes to the OS.  I am waiting to upgrade until a Service Pack or R2 comes out.
Gary ColtharpSr. Systems EngineerCommented:
I have migrated a couple of domains from both 2003 and 2008 to 2012. I have encountered no issues other than the normal things you run in to with 3rd party applications. Backup software etc has to be updated to run on more current versions. Printer setups get a little more complex because the new platforms are 64 bit but you would run in to that with 2008 R2 as well.

Exchange migrations can be a little more technical in the "standard" world but there are technet guides that are a mere Google search away.

In short, I would not recommend upgrading to yesterday's technology. 2012 and Exchange 2013 are stable in my opinion.


Making Bulk Changes to Active Directory

Watch this video to see how easy it is to make mass changes to Active Directory from an external text file without using complicated scripts.

roger_patelAuthor Commented:
that's exactly what we have been thinking, just wanted to know what other admins are doing.
Gary ColtharpConnect With a Mentor Sr. Systems EngineerCommented:
Good luck and we are here if you need any help!

I have been migrating clients with 2008r2 and 2012.  Since 2012 standard has the 2 free hyperv machines, we almost exclusively use 2012 for the host os.  The DC can be 2008r2 or 2012 depending on the clients needs. I've only done 1 Exchange 2013, usually I do 2010 on a 2008r2 machine.  I'll also make a 2008 32bit VM for those old apps and printers.

2012 R2 will be out in October some time, so by the time you get approval and get it implemented you will be able to install that instead.
Rob StoneConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Some of the new features in 2012 are great ( If you can see your company using any of them then go with that!  

As the first post mentioned, it's not a bad idea waiting for R2 which isn't far away, but I wouldn't be put off in installing 2012 RTM either.  It's worth having a quick play with 2012 first, especially if you aren't familiar with Windows 8 and the metro menu....not everyone likes it.
Nick RhodeIT DirectorCommented:
As stated above by Stoner79 you could just do a dummy install of server 2012 just to get use to the GUI and how it all works.  It is different and has a little bit of a learning curve just to get use to the features.  There are a lot of really nice guides for setup if you need any help

Setup Guide:

I have just been playing around with 2012 so far in my test environment
roger_patelAuthor Commented:
Thanks All,
Question has a verified solution.

Are you are experiencing a similar issue? Get a personalized answer when you ask a related question.

Have a better answer? Share it in a comment.

All Courses

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.