What’s New in Windows Server 2012 R2–Lessons Learned Week 2 #WhyWin2012R2

Windows Server 2012 R2 or “Cloud OS” is ready for the datacenter.  In this weeks lessons we have 7 more killer technical focus areas we learned about.



Week 2 Lessons Learned…

1)  The “Replica Replica” in Hyper-V

As many of you know, Microsoft introduced a new, powerful tool for your disaster recover (DR) tool belt called Hyper-V Replica back in Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V and Hyper-V Server 2012. For those of you who are not yet familiar with it, a Hyper-V Replica is an easily created and up-to-date offline copy of a virtual machine. On some other host – either in your local or in some remote datacenter – you have a copy of a virtual machine that can be available in case of disaster. If something bad happens to the production machine, you can failover to the replica virtual machine very quickly. In Windows Server 2012 R2 and Hyper-V Server 2012 R2, we’ve extended this capability. Literally.  Read full story


2)  Fast Migrations (on compression and RDMA)

When you’re doing a Live Migration** of a virtual machine between hyper-v hosts, you want it to go quickly. You may be doing the migration of one or several or dozens of virtual machines all at once, and the performance of the network and the network paths you choose are going to determine how quickly you can get the job done. Yes, sure, in one sense it doesn’t matter how long it takes if the VMs will continue to run and provide service during the migration. But if I’m doing, say, an automated update of all of the hosts in my cluster, and allowing it to drive the live migrations of machines among hosts, the speed with which those migrations complete will ultimately determine how long it takes to complete the updates of all of those hosts. If I’m really maxing out the capabilities of Hyper-V in Server 2012 R2 or Hyper-V Server 2012 R2, that could mean as many as 8,000 virtual machines moving around and among 64 clustered hypervisor nodes. So, speed is still important.

In the past, memory of a running virtual machine was just sent over the wire (TCP/IP) as it was. Nothing special was done to it. But as hardware costs have improved to support larger and larger scale, and as we’re afforded the ability to run more virtual machines with more and more memory, we certainly want to do everything we can to make that transfer of memory and configuration data go as quickly as possible. So to address this and improve things, we’ve added two new technologies to hyper-v in Windows Server 2012 R2 and Hyper-V Server 2012 R2:

  1. Live Migration Compression, and
  2. Live Migration via SMB Direct (RDMA)

Let’s talk about those, shall we?  Read full story


3)  What’s New in Active DirectoryContoso.com's AD

Active Directory.  You know it.  You love it.  You’ve loved it since it made its introduction back in Windows 2000 Server.  Over 90 percent of the world’s business IT relies on Active Directory for local user and machine management, authentication, policy application, and directory services. 

And with every new version of a Windows Server product, we make improvements and add new functionality that either directly impacts Active Directory, or indirectly impacts (read: enables) other new functionality on behalf of your users, applications, and managed resources.  So naturally we couldn’t do a series of “Why Windows Server 2012 R2” articles without discussing it.

If there were an overall theme on top of the updates in Active Directory in Windows Server 2012 R2, I would have to say it’s the new capabilities … Read Full Story


4) Scale-out File Server in Windows Server 2012 R2

In this article, we’ll finish part 2 of our two-part mini-series on “Your Next SAN” with Windows Server 2012 R2. We’ll briefly describe the Scale-Out File Server (SOFS) Architecture along with a discussion of some of the new exciting features that “R2” provides for SOFS. At the end of this article, I’ll include Step-by-Step resources that you can use to build your own Scale-Out File Server lab environment. Read Full Story


5) Workplace Join

Are you dealing with an explosion of devices connecting to your organization? Trying to maintain your organizations compliance and security is critical. Especially with users located all around the world across multiple platforms and devices.

If this sounds like you currently or is soon going to be you then you will want to check out Workplace join. Workplace join allows users to register devices (including IOS) for single sign-on and access to corporate data. Check out todays post to learn more Read Full Story


6) What’s New in R2 – The Executive Interviews

A couple of months ago I had the privilege to interview Brad Anderson.  Brad is a Sr. VP at Microsoft, responsible for the System Center and Windows Server product lines.  So…

“So this guy knows what he’s talking about?”

Exactly.  As a companion to his blog – In the Cloud – we recorded these three interviews around his nine-part “What’s New in R2” blog series.  So for today’s article in our current “Why Windows Server 2012 R2” series, I thought I’d give you another opportunity to hear what Brad has to say.  Here are the videos, and I’ll include the links to his blog series posts below as well.  Enjoy!  Read/Listen/See full Story


7) Get Mobile With Windows Server 2012 R2 Using Work Folders

Work Folders is a feature built into Windows Server 2012 R2 that offers hosted sync shares for user files. The shares being used for Work Folders must be on an NTFS formatted volume.  With Work Folders users can store and access work files on personal computers and devices, often referred to as bring-your-own device (BYOD), in addition to corporate PCs. Users gain a convenient location to store work files, and they can access them from anywhere. Organizations maintain control over corporate data by storing the files on centrally managed file servers, and optionally specifying user device policies such as encryption and lock-screen passwords.

Work Folders can be deployed with existing deployments of Folder Redirection, Offline Files, and home folders. Work Folders stores user files in a folder on the server called a sync share. You can specify a folder that already contains user data, which enables you to adopt Work Folders without migrating servers and … Read Full Story 


This post is part of a series “Windows Server 2012 R2 Launch Blog Series” Index at http://aka.ms/2012r2-01

Share it / Tweet it:

What’s New in Windows Server 2012 R2–Lessons Week 2 #WhyWin2012R2 @ITProGuru http://shar.es/IDeyi