Windows 2012 R2 Preview Now Available

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June 25th, 2013 at 09:48
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Effective immediately, we are offering Windows 2012 R2 Preview Edition.  Microsoft released Windows 2012 R2 Preview today, June 25, 2013.  Our customers will be able to enjoy a free evaluation of Windows 2012 R2 Preview Data Center edition through January 15, 2014.   Be one of the first to test out the new features of Windows 2012 R2, including storage tiering, improved Hyper-V virtual machine live migration and more.

Order here today:

Hyper-V Features include:

  • Enhanced Hyper-V Replica:  Windows 2012 limits Hyper-V replicates to a single site.  In Windows 2012 R2, you can add a second replicate site, allowing for a single in-house replicate and a second replica to be hosted offsite.  You can also now configure replication to happen at 30 second, 5 minute or 15 minute intervals.
  • Faster Live Migration – Hyper-V migration between nodes can now either use compression or RDMA to increase migration speeds.  Compression will double your throughput, and RDMA will decrease migration times up to 10X, but need 10Gbps NICs that support RDMA.
  • Online VHDX resizing – It’s now possible to online resize VHDX drives while the system is running.  You can both increase and decrease the size of the drive.
  • Storage QoS – Hyper-V now supports limiting IOPs that individual VMs can consume.  Prevent a single, greedy VM from stealing all the IOPs available on your server.
  • Better Linux Support – Hyper-V on Windows 2012 R2 includes support for dynamic memory on Linux guests, as well as the ability to use Windows Backup to backup Linux guests.
  • Shared VHDX – You can now create virtualized clusters within Windows HyperV 2012 R2 that use a shared VHDX, instead of iSCSI of Fibre Channel connectivity.  This vastly simplifies creating a virtualized cluster.

Other Features:

  • Start Button – Not exactly the Start Menu we are all used to, but a step in the right direction.
  • Storage Tiering – Create resilient, tiered storage using a combination of SSD, SAS and SATA JBODs.
  • Storage Deduplication – Dedup will be extended to running VMs.

Are some of these features too good to be true?  Perhaps.  We will have to do some testing, particular of the storage features to see how they actually work.