Server 2012 - Out with the Old, In with the New

I came across this Technet article that details features that are being removed or deprecated as of Windows Server 2012.  Below are a few of my inane and probably ill-informed thoughts:

"AD Federation Services - Support for using Active Directory Lightweight Directory Services (AD LDS) as an authentication store is removed"

I guess this means AD FS can only store authentication information in AD now? I know that some people use it, but I think I wouldn't mind seeing AD LDS go altogether.

"Oclist.exe has been removed. Instead, use Dism.exe."

I'm all for consolidating redundant tools and putting all the various bits of related functionality in one place.

  • "The Cluster Automation Server (MSClus) COM application programming interface (API) has been made an optional component called FailoverCluster-AutomationServer which is not installed by default. Cluster programmatic functionality is now provided by the Failover Cluster API and the Failover Cluster WMI provider.
  • The Cluster.exe command-line interface has been made an optional component called FailoverCluster-CmdInterface which is not installed by default. Cluster command-line functionality is provided by the Failover Cluster PowerShell cmdlets.
  • Support for 32-bit cluster resource DLLs has been deprecated. Use 64-bit versions instead."

I'm also behind the move to a united effort based on Powershell. Knowing that you can use Powershell to manage all the parts of your server, as opposed to a hundred separate CLI executables is a good thing. I also like deprecating 32-bit junk... although that is going to cause some heartburn for some enterprises, as uprooting 15 year-old technology in a big enterprise can often be like pulling teeth. Actually more like getting approval from Congress first before you commence pulling teeth.

"Support for Token Rings has been removed."

Oh no what ever will I do without my token ring network!? Oh wait that's right, 1972 called and they want their network back. Next thing you know they'll be telling me to get rid of Banyan Vines too!

"Versions of Microsoft SQL Server prior to 7.0 are no longer supported. Computers running Windows Server 2012 that connect to computers running SQL Server 6.5 (or earlier) will receive an error message."

This is another interesting one. A lot of very large companies rely on really old SQL servers... I see a lot of painstaking migrations in my near future.

  • "ODBC support for 16- and 32-bit applications and drivers is deprecated. Use 64-bit versions instead.
  • ODBC/OLEDB support for Microsoft Oracle is deprecated. Migrate to drivers and providers supplied by Oracle.
  • Jet Red RDBMS and ODBC drivers are deprecated."

Ouch again! Microsoft seems to really be emphasizing "stop using old shit, k thx."*

(* not an actual Microsoft quote)

"The Subsystem for UNIX-based Applications (SUA) is deprecated. If you use the SUA POSIX subsystem with this release, use Hyper-V to virtualize the server. If you use the tools provided by SUA, switch to Cygwin's POSIX emulation, or use either mingw-w64 (available from or MinGW (available from for doing a native port."

I for one am glad to see this go. Just make a *nix VM if you need to fork() so badly.

  • "The WMI provider for Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) is deprecated because the SNMP service is being deprecated.
  • The WMI provider for the Win32_ServerFeature API is deprecated.
  • The WMI provider for Active Directory is deprecated. Manage Active Directory with PowerShell cmdlets.
  • The WMI command-line tool (Wmic) is deprecated. Use PowerShell cmdlets instead.
  • The namespace for version 1.0 of WMI is deprecated. Prepare to adapt scripts for a revised namespace."

All good stuff. Dropping off the really old vestigial junk, and consolidating everything under the banner of Powershell.

There are a few more bullet points in the original article, but those were the ones I cared most about. I'm a little surprised to see them cutting ties with 32-bit SQL, but I'm glad they're doing it. It's going to cause some work for people (like me) who still use large, distributed SQL systems to start migrating, but we'll all be better off in the long run.

Comments (2) -

I would imagine the kind of people who will deploy Windows Server 2012 are the kind of people who are more interested in keeping their software up to date, so I'm not sure how much of a problem removing support for before SQL Server 7.0 will be...especially since 7.0 was released in 1998! If someone is using such an old release then they're probably also on an old Windows release and don't have any plans to upgrade.

You have a good point, and I think Microsoft has a pretty good track record of maintaining backwards compatibility with older versions for as long as possible.

That said, it's probably common for companies with hundreds or even thousands of servers to have a few legacy systems out there that nobody ever thinks about, even though other parts of their infrastructure might stay up to date.

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