As many of you might already know, Microsoft released Windows Server 2012 this week.
Some great information can be found here:
- Windows Server 2012 Online Launch Event
- Windows Server 2012 Launch blog post on the official Microsoft Blog
Without any doubt, this is the best Windows Server edition ever released with tons of new features like Hyper-V 3.0 and a much improved server manager. If you want to try it yourself, visit the Windows Server 2012 Trial page and download yourself a free trial copy.
But how does Windows 2012 go with our much beloved UC products Lync Server & Exchange Server?
Please find an overview below
Lync Server 2010
To know which server edition of Windows is supported for use with Lync Server 2010, we take a look at the Server and Tools Operating System Support page in the Lync technet library. This page was not updated for Windows Server 2012 which means that right now it is not supported to install Lync Server 2010 on Windows Server 2012.
At the moment it is not known if Microsoft will release an update for Lync Server 2010 which will enable support for Windows Server 2012. Please keep in mind that Lync Server 2010 was not designed to work on a newer release of Windows Server and it will depend on technical limitations if Microsoft will release such an update.
Current Conclusion: not supported
Lync Server 2013 (Public Preview)
The Lync Server 2013 Public Preview technet library has the same Server and Tools Operating System Support page, which states that Windows Server 2012 is supported.
Lync Client 2010
On the Lync 2010 System Requirements page we find no mention on Windows Server 2012, which means it is currently not officially supported.
Since Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 are build with backwards compatibility in mind, my personal opinion is that Microsoft will add official support it later on. This official support can be added with either a Cumulative Update or just an update to the system requirements page if they found no issues.
Current Conclusion: not yet officially supported
Lync Client 2013 Public Preview
The Lync Client 2013 requirements page states that Windows 8 and Windows 7 are supported; and since Windows Server 2012 is the server edition of Windows 8, we can conclude it is supported.
Conclusion : supported
Exchange Server 2010
Same as with Lync Server 2010, the System Requirements page for Exchange server 2010 was not yet updated and Microsoft did not release a statement regarding Windows Server 2012 support.
Important to know is that some Technet pages already talk about Exchange 2010 SP3, but it is unknown if Windows Server 2012 support is one of its features.
*update* : blog post from msexchange team stating that it currently is not supported but support coming in a future update! (My bet: SP3)
*update2* : Exchange SP3 was announced by the MS Exchange team. It will be available Q1 in 2013 and will support Windows Server 2012.
Current Conclusion: supported with SP3, to be released Q1/2013
Exchange Server 2013 Public Preview
The Exchange Server 2013 Public Preview System Requirements page mentions support for Windows Server 2012.
Windows Server 2012 includes Hyper-V 3.0 with a lot of new exciting features. So what about support for virtualized Lync and Exchange environments?
Understanding Exchange 2010 Virtualization states that only Windows 2008 and Windows 2008 R2 Hyper-V are supported hypervisors for Exchange 2010.
Virtualization Support for Lync Server 2010 states that Microsoft Hyper-V is a supported hypervisor, not defining a specific version. If we look further and check he Server Virtualization in Lync Server 2010 document , we find that only Hyper-V 2.0 (Windows 2008 R2) with a specific hotfix is validated to work. Hyper-V 1.0 (Windows Server 2008) is not supported at all because it does not have specific features required for real-time communication workloads.
Since Hyper-V 3.0 is a much improved version of version 2.0 and includes the same and more features, it is just a matter of time before Microsoft will validate Hyper-V 3.0 as a supported hypervisor platform for Lync/Exchange workloads. At this time, the official documentation does not mention anything about it, so....
Current Conclusion: not yet supported
What does "Not Officially Supported" mean?
Not officially supported means that Microsoft did not validate the product to work in these specific conditions and that Microsoft can not guarantee that the software will work as expected.
If you do use the software in an unsupported scenario and have issues while doing so, you can call Microsoft Support for help but this will be "Best Effort". Microsoft will not take any responsibility what so ever in an unsupported scenario.