At the heart of the Microsoft Cloud OS vision, Windows Server 2012 R2 brings Microsoft's experience delivering global-scale cloud services into your infrastructure with new features and enhancements in virtualisation, management, storage, networking, virtual desktop infrastructure, access and information protection, the web and application platform, and more.
Microsoft Windows Server 2012 Data Sheet
What's New in Windows Server
With Windows Server 2012 R2 you can scale to run your most important workloads with robust recovery options. You’ll achieve value quickly with a wide range of cost-effective, high-performance storage options and simplified delivery of multi-tenant IT services. You can build, deploy, operate, and monitor applications on premises and in the cloud. Empower users with secure access to corporate resources on the devices they choose.
Improve performance and scale capacity more efficiently to run your largest workloads while enabling robust recovery options to protect against outages.
Simple and cost-effective
Deliver multi-tenant-aware storage and networking multi-tenancy capabilities for storage and networking on low-cost, industry-standard hardware.
With enhanced support for open frameworks, you can build, deploy, and scale applications and websites with more flexibility by unlocking application portability between on-premises environments and public and service provider clouds.
Deploy a virtual desktop infrastructure and lower storage costs significantly using a broad range of storage options and VHD deduplication.
Take advantage of the cost savings of virtualisation, and maximise server hardware investments by consolidating your servers as virtual machines on a single physical host. Hyper-V runs multiple operating systems including Windows, Linux, and others, in parallel, on a single server. Windows Server 2012 R2 extends Hyper-V’s capabilities with additional features and industry-leading scalability for host processors and memory.
Whatever your storage platform, the data it holds is the bedrock of your business. Windows Server 2012 R2 helps you optimise your existing storage investments, such as SANs. It also lets you build scalable, high-performance, highly available storage solutions using industry-standard hardware and Windows Server 2012 R2. Windows Server 2012 R2 helps ensure your storage remains continuously available, so your services can be, continuously available too.
You can manage an entire network as a single server, so you get the reliability and scalability of multiple servers at a lower cost. Automatic rerouting around storage, server, and network failures keeps file services online with minimal noticeable downtime. Together with System Center 2012 R2, Windows Server 2012 R2 can provide an end-to-end software defined networking solution across public, private, and hybrid cloud implementations.
Server management and automation
Following a standards-based management approach, the Windows Management Framework provides a common platform for automation and integration to help you automate your routine tasks with tools like Windows PowerShell. Other improvements help simplify deployment, ensure that the components of your datacentres have the correct configuration, and enable you to take action to manage across multiple servers through a single relevant dashboard in Server Manager.
Web and application platform
Windows Server 2012 R2 builds on the tradition of the Windows Server family as a proven application platform, with thousands of applications already built and deployed and a community of millions of knowledgeable and skilled developers already in place. You can build and deploy applications either on premises or in the cloud—or both at once, with hybrid solutions that work in both environments.
Access and information protection
With Microsoft's Access and Information Protection solutions, you can manage a single identity for each user, across both on-premises and cloud-based (SaaS) applications. You define a user’s level of access to information and applications each user has to information and applications based on who they are, what they are accessing, and from which device—, even applying multi-factor authentication. You can provide secure remote access to your mobile workers using the Windows Server Remote Access (RRAS) capabilities of DirectAccess and VPN (including automatic VPN connections) and enable your users to sync their work files from a corporate server to their devices. Also, you can manage mobile devices to remove corporate data and applications when a device is lost, stolen, or retired from use.
Virtual desktop infrastructure
With Windows Server 2012 R2, it's even easier to deploy and deliver virtual resources across devices. VDI technologies offer easy access to a rich, full-fidelity Windows environment running in the datacentres, from virtually any device. Through Hyper-V and Remote Desktop Services, Microsoft offers three flexible VDI deployment options in a single solution: Pooled Desktops, Personal Desktops, and Remote Desktop Sessions.
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