2003/2008/2012

Discussion in 'Windows Server Forums' started by Henry Wong, Sep 13, 2013.

  1. Henry Wong

    Henry Wong Well-Known Member

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    I am looking at making a little cluster of servers for class and as a practice area for working with servers. Even though it is not for production I want it to be able to work as if it where. This question is about what you as individuals have to say, not really a right or wrong or concrete answer needed. 2003 is a really good OS. Stable and dependable.2008 from the little I have been able to use it, the same applies. I have a few older servers that are only 32 Bit systems that I am going to be using in the set up and want to get a feel for your opinion and what you think would be best. Would using 2012 be beneficial or will it be too much of a pain? Would the interaction of the two 2003 machines cause more issues than it is worth dealing with, or do you think it would be a more realistic feel for how things will work in the real world? Do you think I should stick with 2003 and 2008 or do you think I should to with 2003 and 2012 or even have a mix of 2003 and 2008 and 2012?
     
  2. Mike

    Mike Windows Forum Admin
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    There were major security changes between 2003 and 2008 that could create some mild difficulties with clustering. If this is for demonstration purposes, you may want to use all three versions. However, a real world scenario can even involve a Windows NT server combined with XP client systems, due to lazy management. If you really want to show the full spectrum, you could use Windows Server 2003, 2008, and 2012. The obvious pick for the most stable environment with the current Windows 7/Windows 8 set-ups and AD/group policy compatibility with Windows 7 and Windows 8 would be Server 2008 R2 and Server 2012. It really depends on what the role of your servers will be. If its a simple domain controller and you want to demonstrate basic group policy and Active Directory policies, you can do this with as old a version as Windows Server 2003, but some security policy changes will need to be made to connect them to later versions of Windows.

    You will find that managing Windows 7 and above systems becomes somewhat of a headache with anything less than Server 2008, so this is a consideration you will want to take into account. If you have the images for each Server version, you can test them in a virtual machine to truly see where the differences have taken effect, but primarily, it would be quite costly and silly to run Windows Server 2003 in a production environment (I know you're not doing so) with Windows 7 or higher in a domain controller setting. From a commercial perspective, it is cost prohibitive due to the licensing modes, and while it can work for basic file serving purposes, there is little compatibility for anything more.
     
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  3. Henry Wong

    Henry Wong Well-Known Member

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    Awesome Mike, that really helped a lot. The set up I was thinking is something like this:

    Server 2008 Enterprise R2 - DHCP/DNS/DC
    Server 2008 Datacenter R2 - SQL 2008/Applications
    Server 2012 Datacenter - SQL 2012/Webserver
    Server 2003 Datacenter - Storage and File Server/Print Server
    Server 2003 Datacenter - Storage and File Server/Print Server

    Thinking about it you did bring up the Idea of having an NT Server, I do have a copy of NT 4.0 Server and Workstation, that I can put on an old Pentium Pro we have laying around the server room. That would give me some hypothetical practice, just in case. What do you think of that set up, sound good, or am I off my rocker?
     
  4. Mike

    Mike Windows Forum Admin
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    People who still this set up simply do not know what they are doing and I would not recommend it at all. NT4 will work just fine with Windows XP, with dozens of service calls a year for support! I would not recommend stepping that far back in the past for demonstration purposes.
     
  5. Henry Wong

    Henry Wong Well-Known Member

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    *nod nod* I will scrap the NT 4.0 idea then. I am pretty excited to get the rest of it started up and get to working with it :-D
     

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