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Now is the time to gets some hands on experience working with Windows Server 2012 R2!  There has been so much new stuff announced lately for Windows Server 2012, that I encourage IT Pros to work with the new features before Server 2012 is released for general availability. Some of the things in the new server product are important enough that you will want to implement them as soon as you can. Here is a list of new features you will want to test out -

· What's New for iSCSI Target Server in Windows Server 2012 R2
iSCSI Target Server enables you to network boot multiple computers from a single operating system image that is stored in a centralized location. This improves efficiency, manageability, availability, and security. iSCSI Target Server can boot hundreds of computers by using a single operating system image.

· What's New for SMB in Windows Server 2012 R2
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· What's New for Windows Deployment Services in Windows Server 2012 R2
A Windows Deployment Services (WDS) server running Windows Server 2012 R2 Preview can be managed using the Windows PowerShell cmdlets for WDS. Using Windows PowerShell cmdlets, you can add driver packages, add client images, enable and disable boot and install images, and do many other common WDS tasks. For a full reference, see Windows PowerShell Support for Windows Server.

· What's New in Active Directory in Windows Server 2012 R2
You can leverage new features in Active Directory to enable employees and partners to access protected corporate data from their personal devices and at the same time manage risk and govern the use of corporate resources.

· What's New in BitLocker in Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2
BitLocker now provides support for device encryption on x86-based and x64-based computers with a Trusted Platform Module that supports connected standby. This topic describes the new functionality.

· What's New in DFS Replication in Windows Server 2012 R2
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· What's New in DHCP in Windows Server 2012 R2
Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) in Windows Server 2012 R2 Preview provides new features and capabilities over previous versions. This document describes new deployment, manageability, and capabilities added to the DHCP Server role in Windows Server 2012 R2 Preview.

· What's New in DNS Server in Windows Server 2012 R2
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· What's New in Failover Clustering in Windows Server 2012 R2
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· New and changed functionality in File and Storage Services
File and Storage Services provides a number of new management, scalability, and functionality improvements in Windows Server 2012 R2 Preview.

· What's New in File Server Resource Manager in Windows Server 2012 R2
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· What's New in IPAM in Windows Server 2012 R2
IP Address Management (IPAM) is a feature that was first introduced in Windows Server 2012 that provides highly customizable administrative and monitoring capabilities for the IP address infrastructure on a corporate network. IPAM in Windows Server 2012 R2 Preview includes many enhancements.

· What's New in Remote Access in Windows Server 2012 R2
A number of new Remote Access server and client features are included in Windows Server 2012 R2 Preview and Windows 8.1 Preview.

· New and changed functionality in security and protection in Windows Server 2012 R2
This topic describes the significant changes to security technologies in Windows Server 2012 R2 Preview and Windows Server 2012 and how those changes impact Windows 8.1 Preview.

· What’s New in Windows PowerShell
Windows PowerShell includes several significant features that extend its use, improve its usability, and allow you to control and manage Windows-based environments more easily and comprehensively.

· What's New in Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials
The content in this section describes what's new and changed in Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials Preview. This content focuses on changes that will potentially have the greatest impact on your use of this release.

….and a whole lot more!  You can find an even more comprehensive list of changes here -

What's New in Windows Server 2012 R2

-Cheers!