Windows Server 2012 R2 – What’s in it for the SMB?

Microsoft introduced the next generation of their solutions at TechEd North America 2013 today. It was no surprise that much of the offerins were targeted towards large enterprise and cloud computing, as this is where the company is firmly focussed at the present. You can read the official press release here –

So, what is in it for the traditional small and micro business? Office 365 currently offers a good alternative to running your own email server on premises after  the Small Business Server line up was discontinued. Wave 15 of Office 365 continues this with infrastructure built upon the Server 2013 family of products. However, Microsoft announced a further release of their server operating system named Windows Server 2012 R2. In this new release, there are a number of features that will be really beneficial to the small and micro business.

Windows Server. A host of new features were announced here. Among the main SMB friendly features are performance improvements, support for dynamic memory and dynamic disks in Linux virtual machines, Drag and drop live migrations, enhanced Remote Desktop experience, and better VM debugging and management. Storage Space has been given an overhaul, and this is a good to to re-evaluate this new technology and see how it can be beneficial to the SMB market. Work Folders encrypts and replicates user data between file servers and devices, and allows for remote wipe of corporate data.

Windows Server Essentials. This final legacy of the Small Business Server has now been completely integrated into the Windows Server 2012 R2 product. Whilst it can still be installed as Windows Sever 2012 R2 Essentials, it can now also be installed as a role in Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard and Datacentre.

Hyper-V new Features. A whole host of new changes have been incorporated into Windows Sevrer 2012 R2 Hyper-V. First, there is a new VM standard called generation of virtual machines which run only as VMs. They are UEFI based and can only run Windows 8, Windows 2012 or higher operating systems, and do not support legacy devices. VHDx files can now be resized online. USB passthrough is now implemented. Hyper-V Replica has now been extended to allow a target VM to be replicated on to another target  amd there are now choices for the replication intervals.

You can find out about these new developments as they are announced via the live North America TechEd 2013 streaming and videos here –




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