Windows 2012 FAQ

4. Roles and Features

Updated: 18 Dec 2022

a) List of Roles Windows 2012 and 2012 R2 supports

Role Description Step by Step Guides
Active Directory Certificate Services Create a Certificate authority to manage certificates for users and computers Certificate Services
Active Directory Domain Services Create a Domain Controller for a domain to manage users, groups, computers for an organisation Domain Services
Active Directory Federation Services Create a simple federation and single sign on service to access web sites and applications Federation Services
Active Directory Lightweight Directory Service Create an LDAP database to store application specific attributes and values LDS
Active Directory Rights Management Service Create a secure rights management datastore to authorize users to certain information RMS
Application Server Manage and host business applications esp. those using .NET Application Server
DHCP Server Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol - Provide IP addresses to local subnets DHCP
DNS Server Domain Name Service - Provide name resolution for TCP/IP networks DNS
Fax Server Provide facsimile services on this computer over a telephone network Fax Server
File and Storage Services Manage and store documents and files on this server File and Storage
File and iSCSI Services

Manage file servers and storage using File server, Branchcache, Data deduplication, DFS namespace and replication, File Server Resource Manager,
VSS Agent Service,iSCSI and Server for NFS.

iSCSI Services
Storage Services Storage management functionality Storage
Hyper-V Server Virtualisation Hyper-V
Network Policy and Access Service Provide NPA, R&RA, HRA and HCAP services to protect and maintain your network NPS and Access Services
Print and Document Services Provide central printing and remote scanning services Printing
Remote Services Seamless connectibity and Always on or manager experience with DirectAccess, Routing, Remote, Access, Web App Proxy. Remote Access
Remote Desktop Services Provide remote login facilities to applications RDS
Volume Activation Services Key Management service for Windows and Office application activation Activation
Web Server (IIS) Web server including ASP, ASP.Net CGI Web Server
Windows Deployment Services Deploy windows to clients Deployment Services
Windows Server Essentials Experience New for 2012 R2 - PC Backups and Remote Web Services. Essentials
Windows Server Update Services Deploy regular security and bug fixes to clients Update Services

b) List of Features in Windows 2012

Feature Description
.NET Framework 3.5 Features Microsoft .NET Framework, XPS Viewer and WCF Activation
.NET Framework 4.5 Features Microsoft .NET Framework
Background Intelligent Transfer Service Recieve files from clients using BITS
Bitlocker Drive Encryption Encrypt entire drives for data protection
Bitlocker Network Unlock Use a network based key protector for auto unlock system drives in a domain.
Branch Cache Configure a hosted cache or branch cache content server for HTTP or BITS.
Client for NFS Enable access to files on Unix based NFS file systems.
Data Center Bridging Provide standards for hardware based bandwidth and transport reliability.
Direct Play New for 2012 R2 - Direct play features
Enhanced Storage For access to additional functions for Enhanced Storage devices.
Failover Clustering Provide high availability for servers. See link.
Group Policy Management Enable GPMC tool for group policy management
IIS Hostable Web Core New for 2012 R2 - Cut down web server.
Ink and Handwriting Services Ink support and handwriting recognition (2008 R2)
Internet Printing Client Enable IPP printing via the web
IP Address Management Server Provide central framework for managing IP such as DHCP and DNS.
iSNS Server service Provide Internet Storage Name Server for discovering iSCSI SANs.
LPR Port Monitor Enable Line Printer Remote port monitoring used by Unix devices
Management oData IIS Extension Provide Powershell cmdlets through ODATA based web service under IIS.
Media Foundation Windows Media foundation, Media SDK and DirectShow for media files.
Message Queuing Enable message queuing between computers, http, DCOM and remotely.
Multipath I/O Provide muliple support paths to devices using a Device Specific Module.
Network Load Balancing Provide IP load balancing across 2 or more computers for services such as IIS
Peer Name Resolution Protocol Provide name resolution for applications across computers
Quality Windows Audio Visual Experience Provides QoS for streaming audio and video files over network
RAS Connection Manager Admin Kit Tool to create profiles for remote services and networks.
Remote Assistance Enable remote assistance tools to allow other users help to resolve problems
Remote Differential Compression Computes and transmits differences between objects over the network
Remote Server Administration Tools Enables tools to manage Domain, DNS, DHCP and other roles and features
Removable Storage Manager Enables management of remote storage devices such as tape devices, disks for backups
RPC over HTTP Protocol Enables Remote Procedure Calls over HTTP for access to Exchange using Outlook over internet
Simple TCP/IP Services Provides some simple TCP/IP services e.g. Char Gen, Daytime, Discard, Echo, Quote of the Day
SMB 1.0/CIFS File Sharing Support New for 2012 R2 - Support for SMB 1.0, CIFS and Computer Browsing
SMTP Server Simple Mail Transport Protocol server for delivering email for another application
SNMP Services Simple Network Management Protocol for providing system information over network
Storage Manager for SANs Provide facility to create and manage LUNs for Fibre Channel and iSCSI storage
Subsystem for Unix based Applications Allow to compile and run unix programs on Windows
Telnet client Command line telnet tool to remote systems
Telenet Server Provide telnet server for clients to access
TFTP Client Trivial File Transfer Protocol client to access TFTP servers
User Interfaces and Infrastructure Provides user experience and infrastructure options including Desktop Experience.
Windows Biometric Framework Allows fingerprint devices to be used to logon to Windows.
Windows Feedback Forwarder Provide feedback to Microsoft after setting group policy on an OU See CEIP.
Windows Identity Foundation 3.5 Provides a set of .NET Framwork clased for claims based identity in .NET apps.
Windows Internal Database Relational data store used by UDDI, AD RMS, Windows Update service etc
Windows Powershell Install Powershell command line and scripting tool
Windows Process Activation System Generalises the IIS process model for WCF applications
Windows Search Service Provides fast file searches on a server.
Windows Server Backup Install new Windows Backup tool. See link
Windows Server Migration Tools Tools to allow migration of roles, settings, files, shares from earlier versions of Windows to 2012.
Windows Standards-Based Storage Management Ability to discover and manager storeage devices using the SMI-S standard.
Windows System Resource Manager Tool to control how CPU and memory is used
Windows TIFF Filter Perform OCR on TIFF 6.0 compliant files for indexing and searching (2008 R2)
WinRM IIS Extension Allow management requests via WinRM from clients (2008 R2)
WINS Server Windows Internet Naming Service for Netbios names
Wireless LAN Service Configures and starts the WLAN service
WoW64 Support Allows Wow64 to support 32 bit applications on Server Core installations.
XPS Viewer Install XPS Viewer application to view XPS files (2008 R2)


Other Windows Features