Research has shown that approximately 65% to 70% of organizations today have more than one hypervisor deployed. This presents a large opportunity for IT Professionals to increase their technical differentiation and value in the IT marketplace by supporting multiple hypervisors. Using this free eBook and the "Early Experts" study program, IT Professionals can easily extend their professional knowledge and skills to Windows Server 2012 R2 and Hyper-V on a flexible schedule as time permits.

In this article, get started down your path as an "Early Expert" on Windows Server 2012 R2 ...


Windows Server 2012 R2 is the next major release of Windows Server … and it’s almost HERE! As announced on Brad Anderson’s In The Cloud blog, this new R2 release has already been released to manufacturing (RTM) for our OEM partners and will be generally available in just a few short weeks on October 18th.

In this article, I provide a brief introduction to some of the new capabilities that I’m most excited about, along with the steps that you can use to download a new eBook for FREE: Introducing Windows Server 2012 R2 Preview Release.

Get FREE eBook!

What’s New with Windows Server 2012 R2?

LOTS! The new capabilities of Windows Server 2012 R2 provide substantial enhancements when building a Private Cloud foundation across key areas such as Virtualization, Storage, Networking, High Availability and Disaster Recovery.  In particular, some of my favorite new features that “R2” adds include:

  • Virtualization     
    Generation 2 VMs, Super-fast Live VM Migrations, Online VM Storage resizing, Live cloning of running VMs, Online backup of Linux VMs … and MORE!       
     
  • Software-Defined Storage  
    Automated storage tiering, Dynamic storage rebalancing, Storage IO Control, Online VM Deduplication … and MORE!
     
  • Robust High Availability     
    Simplified VM clustering, Protected network monitoring … and MORE!
     
  • Software-Defined Networking     
    Windows Network Virtualization Gateway, Virtual RSS, Dynamic “Flowlet” load-balancing … and MORE!
     
  • Disaster Recovery     
    Site-to-Site replication RPOs down to 30 seconds, Tertiary replication … and MORE!

Whew! But … there’s STILL MORE!

The above list is just a small subset of the exciting new capabilities in Windows Server 2012 R2!

  • Are you using Active Directory?
  • Supporting BYOD devices?
  • Running Web Sites on Windows Server?
  • Do you manage Printers?
  • Integrating with Public Cloud services?

Well, all those areas have been improved as well with new features and capabilities!

How can I quickly learn about these new features?

Great question! Mitch Tulloch and our Windows Server team recently released a new 108-page eBook, Introducing Windows Server 2012 R2 Preview Release. This eBook provides a detailed technical overview of the enhancements noted above so that you can quickly get up-to-speed with these capabilities and Get Ready for R2!

This eBook includes 6 detailed chapters on the following topics:

  • Chapter 1: Cloud OS
  • Chapter 2: Hyper-V
  • Chapter 3: Storage
  • Chapter 4: Clustering
  • Chapter 5: Networking
  • Chapter 6: Other enhancements

Get this 108-page eBook for FREE!

We’re making this new eBook available as a FREE resource for you to quickly learn about the new features in Windows Server 2012 R2 … Just follow the steps below to get it delivered directly to you!

Get this FREE eBook!
Get this eBook for FREE!

Get this FREE eBook!

  1. Download the Windows Server 2012 R2 Evaluation Kit – Be sure to grab the VHD download with Server GUI. ( You’ll need this to build a Study Lab so that you can follow along with the eBook )

  2. Shortly after downloading your Evaluation Kit, you’ll receive an email titled “Windows Server 2012 R2 Preview Evaluation: Start Here

  3. Forward the email received in Step 2 above to EarlyExperts@Microsoft.com.  You'll receive an email in response with your free eBook!

While you’re waiting … Build Your Lab!

While you’re waiting to receive your FREE eBook, get started with building your lab using the evaluation kit you downloaded above.  You can build your lab as a dual-boot environment on your existing PC using the downloaded VHD by following these steps:

Alternatively, if you don’t have access to any PC hardware, you can also build your lab online using our FREE Windows Azure trial program:

We'll begin releasing additional hands-on study materials in the next few weeks as next steps in the "R2" edition of the "Early Experts" program.  In the meantime, when you receive your FREE eBook, be sure to read at least Chapter 1 to get prepared for the upcoming hands-on materials.

  • Read: Chapter 1 - Cloud OS in the FREE eBook that you'll receive.

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-Cheers!