Microsoft Cloud Authors: Kevin Benedict, Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan, Lori MacVittie, Elizabeth White

Related Topics: Microsoft Cloud, Microservices Expo, Containers Expo Blog, Silverlight, Agile Computing, @CloudExpo

Microsoft Cloud: Blog Post

Windows Server 2012 R2 Is Here, What Is It and Where Is Here?

Where are all the Free Windows Server 2012 R2 Resources

Windows Server 2012 R2 entered a new Milestone on Friday Oct 18, 2013. It was released for General Availability (GA) which means anyone and everyone can now get there hands on it.  It can be purchased, used in production and is fully supported.  However there was no massive launch campaign around this monumental milestone for what is now the latest and greatest operating system Microsoft has to offer.  Is the new product worthy of an upgrade? How can the new product help me in my business?  Where do I get it?  How to install it?  What should I be looking at when I kick the tires?  Where are the improvements?  Are the improvements minor, major, must have?  In this article I will answer all of these questions and more.

Windows Server 2012 R2 is a major upgrade where they focused on four key elements.

  • Mobility - Great user experience from anywhere!
  • Apps - Modern, agile apps for new scenarios
  • Big data - Easy access to any data, any size, anywhere; Powerful analytics in familiar tools
  • Cloud - On-demand scale, real-time performance Infrastructure designed to withstand failure; Resources managed at the datacenter scale.

We all know we're seeing a new breed of applications being built what has new needs.  New apps must reach cloud-scale. They need to be accessible 24/7 from anywhere and they need to be deployable on-premises, in the cloud and in hybrid environments.

Across all these areas - from infra, to data, to apps and devices; you need to transform IT to deliver technology to the business services that enable business value. You need to deliver a consistent and GREAT user experience from anywhere - no matter the device. On the app front - you need to enable modern, agile apps - to extend app functionality to address new app and social patterns - and get the app dev backlog addressed. On the data front - it's about big data, small data, all data.  You must make it easier for everyone to access and perform analytics on any data, any size, from anywhere - and on data wherever it lives, so the many, not the few, can uncover insights. Transform your infrastructure from managing server by server to datacenter scale - and deliver with that: on-demand scale and real-time performance; Infra that's designed to withstand failure - not just recover from it after the fact; resources managed at datacenter scale; Microsoft's solution to enabling this is the Cloud OS - Microsoft's vision of the unified platform built for modern business.

I would say Microsoft tried to take all the great features they developed for themselves to run their cloud infrastructure, (you know Windows Azure, XBox Live, Hotmail, Live.com, MSDN, TechNet, Microsoft.com, Office 365, Dynamics CRM Online, Bing, etc.) and make these massive scale capabilities available to all of us by putting them in the Windows Server 2012 R2 product which we can all run in our datacenters.  The changes in Windows Server 2012 R2 are on order of magnitude on par with the size and scope of the Windows Server 2008 and 2012 product releases.  This is not a typical R2 feature set!

Where do we find resources on "The Cloud OS" - Windows Server 2012 R2?  Where do we get the rest of your questions answered? ...

  1. Start Here: Windows Server 2012 R2 Launch Blog Series - http://aka.ms/2012r2-01 - A new detailed post about Windows Server 2012 R2 every day from now until Thanksgiving.
  2. Upcoming Online and in person events: http://www.meetup.com/neitpro/#calendar
  3. Get Started with Windows Server 2012 R2 with Free Cloud Servers from Microsoft! Don't Have hardware? Build Your Lab in the Cloud with Windows Azure Virtual Machines running Windows Server 2012 R2. Try Windows Azure for free with no cost or obligations. FREE Trial http://aka.ms/azRocks Includes Step-By-Step instructions on how to setup
  4. Get Started Now with Windows Server 2012 R2... with these FREE options!
    Build Your Lab! Download Windows Server 2012 R2 http://aka.ms/GetWin2012R2, and Hyper-V Server 2012 R2 http://aka.ms/hyper-v2012r2 Step-By-Step download & Installation guides http://aka.ms/eelab
  5. Free Poster - Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V Component Architecture http://itproguru.com/expert/2013/10/free-poster-windows-server-2012-r2-hyper-v-component-architecture/
  6. Windows Server 2012 R2 with this FREE eBook! - http://itproguru.com/expert/2013/10/get-started-as-an-early-expert-on-windows-server-2012-r2-with-this-free-ebook/
  7. Free Online Training Microsoft Virtual Academy - http://aka.ms/GuruMVA
  8. What's New In R2 on TechNet http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn250019.aspx
  9. Corporate Vice President Brad Anderson's In the Cloud blog - http://blogs.technet.com/b/in_the_cloud/
  10. Licensing Information can be found here

More Stories By Dan Stolts

Dan Stolts (The "ITProGuru") is a technology expert who is a master of systems management and security with over 25 years experience. He is proficient in many Microsoft products especially in the server area (Windows Server, System Center, Exchange, SharePoint, Virtualization, Etc) and holds many certifications including MCT, MCITP, MCSE, TS, etc.

Dan is currently specializing in System Management and Security and is also very passionate about virtualization and cloud technologies. Dan is and has been a very active member of the community. He is president of Boston User Groups, Founder of Virtualization Group Boston, Founder of North East Leaders and serves on many IT Community group boards. He is in the process of writing his first book on building technology communities. He is a believer in social networking and can be reached on twitter @ITProGuru. He has participated in many non-technology community groups such as: Boy Scouts, Rotary Club, Lions Club, local Chambers of Commerce and is a mentor for the local high schools. Dan is an enthusiastic advocate of technology and is passionate about helping others. Dan's lifelong passion has been and continues to be to help and teach others!

Current Affiliations: •IT Pro Evangelist (Public Speaker / Community Audience Lead) - Microsoft Corporation (blogs.TechNet.com/DanStolts) •President Bay State Integrated Technology, Inc. (www.BayStateTechnology.com) •Tiger Cub Scout Den Leader Lakeville Pack 14, Den 5 http://www.lakevillepack14.com •President Boston User Groups (www.bostonusergroups.org) •Founder / President North East IT Community Leaders Group http://NELeaders.com •Founder/Chairman Virtualization Group Boston http://www.virtg.com •Microsoft Certified Trainer •Soon to be Author :)

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