Hi, all,

As they dig into Windows Server 2012 R2, the Windows Server MVPs have highlighted many of the key details of the upcoming release; take a look at the links below for details. If you haven’t yet tried it out, you can download evaluations from the evaluation center here. Faced with the Douglas Adams problem (“Windows Server 2012 R2 is big. Really big. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the road to the chemist's, but that's just peanuts to Windows Server 2012 R2!”) and aren’t sure where to begin? Here’s some highlights of R2 to test.

  • Storage tiering allows files to move between hard disk drive (HDDs) and solid-state drive (SSD) tiers within the same volume, and while keeping the file running. Windows tracks data temperature and moves data at the sub-file level; only hot regions of a file (VHD, database, etc.) need to move to SSDs, the cold regions can reside on HDDs. Storage tiers allow for optimizing price/performance of IOPS and for increased IOPS/$.
  • Software-defined networking through Hyper-V network virtualization lets you place any virtual machine on any node regardless of IP address, and allows multiple VMs to have their own IP address. Simplifies onboarding onto service provider clouds for customers who have existing on-premises VMs or physical servers.
  • Changes to live migration provides dramatic time savings through improved compression, RDMA support, and simultaneous live migrations—including cross-version live migration. 
  • Windows Server Work Folders allow users to synchronize files, originating from corporate file servers to their devices anywhere. 

Want to try out roles on a lot of servers at once? Check out these MVP tips on how to use PowerShell to deploy the roles and install prerequisites. And I'd be remisss if I didn't mention Desired State Configuration to set and maintain a server’s configuration.

Finally, be sure to read Powershell MVP Don Jones’ take on the shorter release cycle and the importance of user feedback. Try out Windows Server 2012 R2 by downloading the eval from http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/evalcenter/dn205292.aspx, and please be sure to register your feedback on Connect as Don recommends.

Best,

Christa 

Cluster

Allan Hirt

Robert Smit

Directory Services

Jorge de Almeida Pinto

Roberto di Lello

File System/Storage

Dennis Martin 

Stephen Foskett

Group Policy

Darren Mar-Elia

Hyper-V

Aidan Finn

Carsten Rachfal

Didier Van Hoye

HansVredevoort

Thomas Maurer

PowerShell

Aleksandar Nikolic

Don Jones

Jeff Wouters 

Jeffrey Hicks

Ravikanth C

Shay Levy 

Remote Desktop Services

Freek Berson

Setup, Deployment, and Patching

Mikael Nystrom 

Small Business Server

Amy Babinchak

Philip Elder 

Other

Edward Horley

Helge Klein