Difference between Server 2012 and Windows Server 2008 – Interview preparation!

Old 13 Comments on Difference between Server 2012 and Windows Server 2008 – Interview preparation! 143393

One of the very important questions which is asked usually in interviews to find out the level of knowledge you have in general, regardless of whether you have worked in all the technologies associated in Server operating systems. From Microsoft Windows Server 2003 to Windows Server 2008 to Windows Server 2012 and now Server 2012 R2, Microsoft and IT world have come a long way. One of the important things to remember is, no matter how big IT world have grown, some of the overview or startup questions for a Server position or Support Engineer’s position remains the same. Every interviewer would like to know how well you know about the new technology, whether you read things even if your organization may not have migrated to the latest Server operating systems.

So how do we answer this question – quite frankly this is a big question and it can be answered in number of ways. The best way to answer these questions is to look for features which are related to your area of expertise. Suppose you have been working in Active Directory team, start from the latest features of upgraded features in Server 2012 and then Server 2012 R2. In this way, you will portray a better idea of what is in store if your organization or the recruiting organization is planning to migrate soon to the new Server operating system.

In general, if you are applying for a support level position this question needs to be answered in a very informative way reflecting the level of knowledge you possess even though you may not have necessarily worked well in both. It is very important to inform the key differences from Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2 to Windows Server 2012 and Server 2012 R2. Some of the differences which can be answered are:

Server 2008 version had both 32 bit and 64 bit releases, however Server 2008 R2 started with migrating to completely 64 bit operating system releases for better performance and scalability, and Server 2012 completely is a 64 bit operating system. That’s where the future is heading in Microsoft Windows Server Operating systems.

IIS 8: Windows Server 2012 features IIS 8 which brings its latest version with features like script pre-compilation, granular process throttling, centralized certificate management, etc.

Power Shell 3.0: Power Shell is going to be the future of Microsoft. With Command line interfaces being less popular over the last decade, Microsoft is building up with newer versions of power shell with more advanced features and that’s where IT Professionals have to keep in mind and keep learning the new cmdlets.

Server Core: Server core was introduced in Windows Server 2008 as a competitor to Linux/Unix operating systems but with limited features. Microsoft is coming up with advanced features and with Server 2012 installation, it gives an option to switch to Server Core and vice-versa after the installation.

Direct Access: Direct Access was considered to be a replacement to VPN and was introduced with Windows Server 2008 but with Server 2012, it is much easier to use.

Hyper-V 3.0: Hyper-V introduces a new version 3.0 which offers an extensible virtual switch and live storage migration which is a step up from Server 2008 R2’s Quick Storage Migration to prevent downtime. It is also capable of migrating virtual machines (VMs) without shared storage.

SMB 3.0: SMB 3.0 provides improved performance of SMB Direct (SMB over RDMA), improved SMB event messages, helps Hyper-V live migration over SMB, and other new features which makes it a robust feature in Server 2012 R2.



Iam a Microsoft Certified IT Professional with certifications in Active Directory, Network Infrastructure and Server 2008. Apart from passion for learning new technologies, I speak German and very much interested in sharing my knowledge, whether it is German or Information Technology.

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  1. syed ghousuddin March 26, 2015 at 12:31 am

    Hi this is syed ghousuddin and i thaks to you because these points is helpfull to me and one thing which i wanted to clarify
    which are the extra features compare to server 2008 in server 2012 and R2 also once again thaks you.

  2. khaleel March 31, 2015 at 12:41 pm

    Hi can u teach me german

  3. krishna April 1, 2015 at 3:15 am

    good and very usful

  4. praveen April 14, 2015 at 1:33 am

    Nice we get the info about the server and different between them…….

  5. Nory April 24, 2015 at 3:43 pm

    im Abdulrahim frome oman .

    server 2012 is beter thin 2008 and smart very very thank

  6. Hope April 29, 2015 at 9:02 am

    amazing points 😀

  7. Sunil May 3, 2015 at 10:35 am

    Thanks For Sharing Information.

    Sunil Kuma

  8. pankaj pal May 7, 2015 at 2:09 am

    help me also to get knowledge in better AD, Server 2008 and much more which i have to gain my knowledge. i am a windows administrator.

  9. nizam May 13, 2015 at 7:45 am

    sir i have a question are there any more differences or they are enough as rodc (read only domain controller)so windows 2008 doesnt support it whereas the 2012 supports

  10. Ram May 13, 2015 at 8:08 am

    Hi Nizam,

    For some reason I did not receive any notifications for the above comments, may be bcos this site is officially closed and new posts are no longer added. Yes Nizam, there are more differences and Server 2012 is definitely better than Server 2008. Usually the server trend from Microsoft is pretty impressive as the new ones are always better than the previous ones unlike the client operating systems where one version is good, the next one is usually screwed up to be followed by a better, stable one. The one thing you have to keep in mind is Server 2008, Server 2008 R2 and Server 2012 are 3 different releases; the last 2 Server 2008 R2 and Server 2012 are only 64 bit variants whereas Server 2008 came with both variants but in an interview, you can try to give the overview and then the basic differences.
    Pankaj, to improve knowledge keep reading articles, newsrooms, blogs apart from your work and its job which you should enjoy and not just for the sake of it. Enjoy learning new things and you will find your own ways of improving yourself.
    Khaleel, sure I do love to teach German. Drop me a line if you are really interested to but mind you language learning comes with passion and energy and if you dont even have slightest of motivations to learn a language, then it is not for you.
    Syed, your question might need a little research from my side. So Im going to skip it for now but will try to answer that at a later time.

  11. raghavendra May 13, 2015 at 11:28 pm

    Hi Author,

    Thanks for sharing information about Windows 2K8 and 2K12. But Can i get in detail. please

  12. Ram May 14, 2015 at 6:16 am

    Hi Raghav,

    I did intend to write a few more of these and also with continuation but I guess we cant write new articles anymore as before. As you can see I intended this to be as interview preparation guide. The research was made from Microsoft and other related websites. I would suggest to go through MSDN or technet Microsoft articles if you want to know these in more detail.

  13. disco duro externo June 16, 2016 at 3:54 pm

    Aw, this was an incredibly good post. Taking a few minutes and actual effort to produce a good
    article… but what can I say… I procrastinate a whole lot and never manage to get anything

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