Server 2012 vs 2008r2

I am looking to manage 50+ off site computers, functioning as servers for multiple endpoints.  It has recently become apparent that the data transferring to these computers is being attacked, forcing me to create a more secure network at these sites.  A change will be made to a Microsoft Windows Server, but which one will best suit my needs.

Server 2012 Essentials appears to have made great progress with Active Directory and IPAM, making me take a closer look at it.  I do have endpoints that are x86 and have had issues with them using Windows 7 64 bit on my server, as a key program I use does not play well going from x64 to an endpoint running x86.  This is a key concern, along with the fact that I am familiar with using Remote Services on my office server that is running Server 2008.

Speaking of which, the information from my 50 off site computers come into the Windows 2008 Server, server.  Will I have to update to 2012 on that server as well?

The big question is such.  Being that I am familiar, and comfortable, with Server 2008.  Are the improvements made to Server 2012 Essentials great enough to look at it as a partner with Server 2008, or a replacement; if needed?  As always, budget is an issue, but safety and being able to regulate and secure the off site devices is priority 1!
Deleted by Netminder, points refunded:  1/5/2014 12:53:33 PM
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RODRIGOMORCALAsked:
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Nagendra Pratap SinghDesktop Applications SpecialistCommented:
2012 has a better version of Hyper-V but it has lots of bugs and is cumbersome to use.
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RODRIGOMORCALAuthor Commented:
I've requested that this question be deleted for the following reason:

inactive
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Nagendra Pratap SinghDesktop Applications SpecialistCommented:
I answered it!
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RODRIGOMORCALAuthor Commented:
Is not an answer !
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HostOneCommented:
Speaking as someone who liked 2008R2 a lot, yes 2012 (especially R2) is worth it. Here's why:

1. Native NIC teaming (for *outbound traffic* anyway - inbound still requires you to make changes to your switch). This means for a file server, Hyper-V server, etc, where traffic is largely outbound, it's damn easy to set up NIC teaming. You can also team non similar network types, for redundancy, such as WIFI and LAN, with a few clicks. I love this feature.

2. Storage Spaces: Significant improvements in the way you manage storage are included in 2012 and this allows you to, for example, allocate 100TB of space across several disks (even though you only have say 40TB of actual storage right now), even if the disks are of different types - heterogeneous disks. So you could use SSD, SATA and SAS and create a single pool that appears as one disk. R2 will even tier the storage for you. This allows you to add more disks when you need them in the future, without having to rebuild the volume (so you can add the other 60GB later).

3. Hyper-V 3: This *alone* is reason to get off 2008. It's SO MUCH BETTER I can hardly see them as the same product. Hyper-V 2 was garbage (this was the version on 2008). Performance was awful and it was so limited it was nothing more than a testing environment. In Hyper-V 3, it's so good that we literally moved our VM hosting business to Hyper-V instead of VMWare and XenServer. Performance is much, much better and it includes shared-nothing-replication, which is just awesome. This means that with two Hyper-V 2012 servers (*even the free version*), you can replicate in near to real time from server A to B, without downtime. So if Server A fails, you fail-over to server B and just keep working. Moving your servers to VM under this environment give you real redundancy and security and it works well over slow links, so you can do offsite replication (please note this is replication, not a backup). You can do this using SSL, so it can be nice and secure.

4. SMB v3. Much better, more flexible and faster than older versions of SMB. You can have redundant file servers now.

5. Remote Management of servers. SOOO MUCH better in 2012. You can control all your servers from a single interface, not having to RDP to each one. All event viewers together, all storage pools together, Hyper-V, etc.

6. Security of remote access is a lot tighter.

7. You don't have to update any other servers, *however* for live migration of Hyper-V and shared nothing replication, you will have to use SSL instead of kerberos or CredSP because otherwise the components you want will be missing from active directory. So it's still easily doable but it's mildly more complicated.

Please download a trial and give it a *real* go. Get over the Metro interface - you're not on a server to enjoy the view. I can tell you that understanding what's really under the hood in 2012 when you move from 2008 is like moving from NT4 to 2000. It's a *huge* step in the right direction.

***I don't work for Microsoft or affiliates and I have no interest in their sales.
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RODRIGOMORCALAuthor Commented:
I've requested that this question be closed as follows:

Accepted answer: 0 points for RODRIGOMORCAL's comment #a39754892

for the following reason:

Detailed, concise.
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