Networking is at the core of everything most of us use in the office or at home.  Today billions of connections are made with smartphones, slates, notebook computers and servers.  Network diversity is a necessity to support a Cloud OS vision and all of the customer and partner requirements.

This week Microsoft VP Brad Anderson details the network innovations in, “What’s New in 2012 R2:  Hybrid Networking”.  There are a number of interesting customer and partner scenarios detailed in this post should you’ll get a sense for the different possible network topologies, security, encryption, and management of the configurations.

These capabilities broadly fall under three specific areas we’ll examine today:

  • Cloud connectivity
  • Network virtualization
  • Network infrastructure management

Windows Server 2012 R2 and System Center 2012 R2 provide a set of advanced capabilities for service providers to implement hybrid networking cost-effectively, reliably, and at scale. This includes multitenant S2S connectivity, NAT, and remote access VPN. In conjunction with the Windows Azure Pack, SCVMM, and PowerShell scripting – service providers can easily automate the on-boarding of customers, as well as set up and manage all hybrid networking functions.

And for those of you interested in downloading some of the products and trying them, here are some resources to help you:

  • Windows Server 2012 R2 Preview download
  • System Center 2012 R2 Preview download
  • SQL Server 2014 Community Technology Preview 1 (CTP1) download
  • Windows 8.1 Enterprise Preview download

As always, follow us on Twitter via @MSCloud!  And if you would like to follow Brad Anderson, do that via @InTheCloudMSFT !