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Nice to Know–What’s new in Windows Server 2012 R2

Posted by Mikael Nystrom on June 7, 2013

During TechEd NA 2013 a lot of information regarding the next generation of Windows Server 2012 R2 was reviled, for my self, it was things that I have wanted to tell you all for some time, but I was not allowed, but finally its allowed and that is nice. Microsoft continue the work they started in Windows Server 2012 so the main focus is still pretty much the same as with Windows Server 2012 and that is Hyper-V, Storage, Network. The long term goal is to have a consistent platform and a user experience that will be the same for the private cloud, the public cloud and the partner cloud. But there is much more too it when you start looking under the hood, most of it is really smart designed and has the potential to be real nice when customers realize that it could mean in true cloud computing if build correctly. There is more, bit for now this is what we can talk about. I STRONGLY recommend that you read this document ASAP, you never know when you when the first Windows Server 2012 R2 server will show up near you. :-)

This is just “some” of the new things

  • Shared VHDX – Means you can build cluster inside Hyper-V with out ISCSI/FC
  • Live Migration Compression – Up to 50% faster.
  • Live Migration over SMB Direct (RDMA) – Cant even remember how many % fast it was, just crazy
  • Storage Quality of Service (QoS) – Limit storage IOPS per virtual machine (Really cool)
  • Live Virtual Machine Cloning / Exporting – Finally!!
  • Linux Guest OS support enhancements – Now live backup, dynamic memory works on Linux VMs.
  • Hyper-V Replica 2.0 – You can now replicate to second machine, and that can then replicate one ore time, you can set the time for replica(30 sec, 5 minutes or 15 minutes).
  • Windows Azure Compatibility
  • Online resizing of VHDX – Expand/Shrink VHDX files while the VM is running.
  • Automatic Guest Activation – VMs automatically get activated if the Hyper-V hosts is an activated Datacenter edition.
  • VM Connect using RDP or enhanced VM interaction – This uses RDP over the VMBus, in other words, EVERYTHING works, even connecting trough a RDGW
  • Generation 2 virtual machines – Gen2 VMs has NO legacy devices and are based on UEFI. Supported guest OS is Windows 8/ Server and up
  • Zero-downtime upgrade (Cross version live Migration) –
  • Hyper-V Recovery Manager – Hyper-V replica orchestration using Azure to manage recover between two or more sites
  • DataDeduplication – DataDeduplication of VDI Virtual Machines
  • Two-tier storage in Storage Spaces – Take a bunch of SAS disk, a few SSD disk, create a storage space, share and suddenly you have 125.000 IOPS instead of 7.000, now that is impressive!
  • Multi-tenant VPN gateway – With this GW we can now connect the Hyper-V isolated networks with the real world, YES!!!!
  • Resource metering – Improved
  • NIC Teaming – Improved
  • Azure for Windows – This was the “old” hosting portal, but now that portal will be used by both Hosters and Enterprises, trust me it is so nice

and I have not started with the rest of it, things like AD, RDS, VDI, DNS, DHCP, IPAM, but trust me, that has also changed and been approved!

/mike

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