Windows Server 2012 brings a huge number of new features to the table in the area of scalability. The laundry list of things such as number of processors, maximum memory and more looks like this:
- Logical Processors – 640
- RAM – 4 TB
- Failover Cluster Nodes – 64
- Number of Hyper-V instances – unlimited in DataCenter edition
NIC teaming is a feature that has been present in older versions of the OS but has been updated in Windows Server 2012 to provide even more functionality. Previously this feature required identical NICs in order to properly bond together. Windows Server 2012 removes this requirement and adds the ability to use any available network path to increase overall throughput.
One of the new concepts here is something called a scale-out file server. You start with an initial hardware configuration in a cluster arrangement and simply add more nodes and storage to increase capacity.
Users see one set of resources attached to the cluster and don’t have to worry about connecting to specific systems or shares. The cluster provides the resources and handles any and all failures without loss of service.
The DataCenter edition of Windows Server 2012 supports an unlimited number of Hyper-V instances with the only real restriction being hardware-related. For performance reasons you wouldn’t want to allow more virtual machines than your server is capable of handling. Windows Server 2012 supports only two Hyper-V instances, although you can cascade licenses to add more if necessary.