Just like Microsoft Server 2008 R2, Microsoft Server 2012 R2 is going to be the stable build we’ll all be deploying for the next 5 years so it’s finally time to start reading all the new literature, labbing up a bunch of VM’s, and scheduling exams. If you already did that last year when 2012 R1 came out, you’re time wasn’t wasted but you’ll REALLY want to scour the “new and changed” features of just about every role in the 2012 catalogue… so much has changed. It’s impressive to see how many core improvements we saw in Server 2012, and then how many more refinements are included in R2. Based on the documentation, I have to say I’m in awe of the quantum leap 2012 and R2 have taken into the multi-tenant hosting arena. It looks like they’ve developed a few strateigies that actually set them apart and have unique appeal for shared-cloud providers. This is the first that I have felt compelled to say that about Hyper-V.
While the new multi-tenancy features are the biggest headline of Server 2012 R2, I wanted to write an article to highlight some of the perhaps less well-known yet extremely significant items from my perspective. These are the ones I’m very excited about at the moment.
- Enhancements to the storage engine including fixes and radical improvements to the DFS replication processes
- Actual Hyper-V virtual switchport access-lists WITH TCP/UDP port filtering AND powershell commands
- REAL logic in Hyper-V NIC-Teaming load-balancing to make sure balanced adapters are actually balanced
I know that Admins generally mostly care about the features that they work with in their environments. However, the potential problems caused by some previous DFS bugs were among the most horrendous caused by OS bugs in recent memory, and the Hyper-V virtual switchport ACL’s now including Layer 4 could quite literally enable a new approach to segmentation for administrators of farms of certain sizes. Thus, these are pretty exciting things for those who manage these roles on a daily basis.