Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Windows Server Core

Server Core is an exciting new installation option available in Windows Server 2008 that enables branch offices, data centers, and other networking environments to greatly reduce the total cost of ownership (TCO) involved with deploying and managing Windows servers. The Server Core option is a new minimal installation option available that excludes large parts of the graphical user interface(GUI).
A Server Core installation includes only a limited number of server roles compared with a Full installation of Windows Server 2008. It also supports only a limited subset of the features available on a Full installation of Windows Server 2008. 
Benefits of Server Core
  • Greater stability: Because a Server Core installation has fewer running processes and services than a Full installation, the overall stability of Server Core is greater. 
  • Simplified management: Because there are fewer things to manage on a Server Core installation, it's easier to configure and support a Server Core installation than a Full one—once you get the hang of it.
  • Reduced maintenance:Because Server Core has fewer binaries than a Full installation, there's less to maintain. For example, fewer hot fixes and security updates need to be applied to a Server Core installation. 
  • Reduced memory and disk requirements: A Server Core installation on x86 architecture, with no roles or optional components installed and running at idle, has a memory footprint of about 180 megabytes (MB), compared to about 310 MB for a similarly equipped Full installation of the same edition. Disk space needs differ even more—a base Server Core installation needs only about 1.6 gigabytes (GB) of disk space compared to 7.6 GB for an equivalent Full installation.
  • Reduced attack surface: Because Server Core has fewer system services running on it than a Full installation does, there's less attack surface (that is, fewer possible vectors for malicious attacks on the server). This means that a Server Core installation is more secure than a similarly configured Full installation.
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Features of SQL Server 2012

This latest release of the SQL Server presents new features and improvements that increase the power and efficiency of architects, developers, and administrators who design, develop, and maintain data storage systems.
  • Availability Enhancements
AlwaysOn SQL Server Failover Cluster Instances
AlwaysOn Failover Cluster Instances leverages Windows Server Failover Clustering(WSFC) functionality to provide local high availability through redundancy at the server-instance level - a failover cluster instance(FCI).

AlwaysOn Availability Groups
With AlwaysOn, users will be able to fail over multiple databases in groups instead of individually. Also, secondary copies will be readable, and can be used for database backups.
  • Manageability Enhancements
Manageability of the SQL Server 2012 Database Engine is improved by enhancement to tools and monitoring features listed below:
    SQL Server Management Studio
    Startup Option
    Contained Databases
    Data-tier Applications
    Windows PowerShell
    BCP Utility
    Database Engine Tuning Advisor
  • Programmability Enhancements
Sequence is a user defined object that generates a sequence of a number.

Ad-Hoc Query Paging
The Order By option in the SQL SELECT statement has been enhanced in SQL Server 2012. Using a combination of OFFSET and FETCH along with ORDER BY gives you control of paging through a result set. Using this technique can really help performance by bring back only the results you want to show to your users when they are needed.

Full Text Search
The Full Text Search in SQL Server 2012 has been enhanced by allowing you to search and index data stored in extended properties or metadata.
  • Scalability and Performance Enhancements
Scalability and performance enhancements in the Database Engine includes:
    Columnstore Indexes
    Online Index Create, Rebuild, and Drop
    Partition Support Increased
    FILESTREAM Filegroups Can Contain Multiple Files
  • Security Enhancements
Security enhancements in the SQL Server Database Engine include provisioning during setup, new SEARCH PROPERTY LIST permissions, new user-defined server roles, and new ways of managing server and database roles.
  • Resource Governor Enhancements
The enhancements to the Resource Governor enable you to more effectively govern performance in multi-tenancy environments like private cloud. The enhancements include support for 64 resource pools, greater CPU usage control, and resource pool affinity for partitioning of physical resources and predictable resource allocation.