Upgrade Windows Server 2008 R2 to Windows Server 2012

I have 2 Windows networking questions:

1. I would like some advice on upgrading a Windows Server 2008 R2 to Windows 2012. The machine has an i7 processeur and 16 Gb of RAM. Can I install the full GUI comfortably? (I would prefer this) or is it better to keep it down to the minimal interface, or none at all? Is it really worth it to upgrade? This is for a LAN with perhaps 10 to 12 users only.

2. For each client network interface I have our DSL router as the gateway (of course) but have the domain server as the DNS - I'm obliged to use it as DNS for everyone to connect to the domain (and mapped drives) but it's slow on internet access for the clients. The server's network interface has our ISPs domain servers as DNS (which our ISP reommends). Is there anyway to improve internet speed using the domain server as the DNS?
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Server 2012 will run fine on that spec with the GUI.

You can of course install with GUI and then switch to Core mode once configured, but i would just stick with GUI, will be fine.

Minimum spec here:


As for the DNS. If the server is a single server used as AD and DNS then yes you should use the IP as its main DNS and same for the clients. You could try changing secondary DNS from your ISP to Google ( and see if that helps.

I think it sounds right setup though, so maybe your ISP can just check your internet speed
jdailey59Author Commented:
Getting back to a basic question, is it really worth it to upgrade to 2012? What are the benefits in relation to 2008 R2?
Well, I guess that totally depends on what your need is.

I guess the obvious answer is to extend the life of the supported operating system you are on.

One of the main advantages of 2012  and 2012R2 is the improvement in Hyper-v and the ability to up-spec the server hardware.

I am guessing though if you are just running a small office with a single physical server and small amount of users then this may not be enough to make you upgrade.

If you were looking at implementing virtualization on that site then the upgrade would be advised. However, if all is running ok and you wont need to use the added benefits of server 2012 then apart from prolonging the software support, there may indeed be no need.

I guess though that the smaller footprint of 2012 over 2008 may help the server, and of course you will be up-to-date with Microsoft and so in line with their recommended platform and update levels.

The choice really is yours :)

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jdailey59Author Commented:
Thank you for the input, this was helpful. I will consider the upgrade but I'm kind of thinking of the old adage: "If it works, don't fix it."
In your case, from what I know anyway, I am kinda thinking if it ain't broke don't fix it too.

For new deployments or replacing your server or when 2008 becomes unsupported then sure, roll out the latest server version.

For now if all is well and you are not a big Hyper-v user. Stick where you are and don't cause yourself possible issues.

Hope that helps. Good luck!

You can always get a 2012 evaluation and build another server to play with so when the time comes you are familiar with it.
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Windows Server 2008

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