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Should you migrate to Windows Server 2012 R2?

Last updated:December 2013

Editor's note

With the recent release of Windows Server 2012 R2, many IT administrators will be looking to upgrade.  Our numbers back it up.  In the SearchWindowsServer.com Windows Server Purchasing Intentions survey published this fall, 55% of respondents said they would install Windows Server 2012 R2 in 2014.

Some enterprises will move to the new version for a good reason. They may still be running the very old and very popular Windows Server 2003, which will finally stop receiving security updates in mid-2015. Administrators that make the leap from that release to the latest server release will need to install all new hardware.

Microsoft said it will make the migration progress easier, by offering live migration support from Windows Server 2012 to Windows Server 2012 R2. There will be some other new features to attract administrators, ranging from improved storage, PowerShell enhancements with Desired State Configuration, to improved server management with Windows Azure pack.

 

1Storage improvements to Windows Server

One of the immediate benefits of Windows Server 2012 R2 is its improved storage system. Microsoft now offers storage tiering and improved deduplication in its Storage Spaces feature. This section dives deep into what's new, what's changed and what to consider.

2Desired State Configuration and PowerShell 4.0

In Windows Server 2012, Microsoft renewed its focus on PowerShell, introducing a slew of new cmdlets and making it simpler to use from a remoting standpoint. In Windows Server 2012 R2, the company stepped up its game, adding a host of new automation features.

3Virtualization improvements in Windows Server 2012 R2

As more and more Windows administrators begin to consider Hyper-V their go-to virtualization platform, Microsoft is responding by adding more features with every Windows Server release.

Because it's baked into every release, it's a simpler way to get virtualization up and running in the data center. With features like Live Migration compression, which offers faster migration speeds, Windows Server 2012 R2 makes up a compelling offering for virtualization.

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