5 Reasons to Learn Server 2012R2

There are times when it is okay to let a software version or edition go by without updating. It might not be worth it to pay a lot of money for licenses each time someone wants to “add some features” or “fix some problems they shouldn’t have.” (Notice the slight sarcasm in the “”s there are).
Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2 offers more than just bug fixes. It also has slightly better features. I believe you will be very pleased with the improved functionality and performance if you upgrade. Here are five reasons Windows Server 2012 R2 is a good choice for MCSA and MCSE certifications.
1. Hyper-V. No longer are VMware gurus able to look down on the new Microsoft virtualization platform. Although there are many reasons to choose VMware (it’s a great product), Hyper-V comes free with your Windows 2012 R2 server. This is one less cost. The features have improved dramatically in 2012 and 2012 R2. R2 allows you share Microsoft’s VHDX virtual disk format files to store clustered guest operating systems. To make it work in previous versions, you had required to expose the storage to Guest OS. It now directly identifies it. There’s also a virtual network adaptor, storage protection for Failover clustering, Hyper-V replica update updates, and my favourite: Exporting/cloning VMware’s and resizing VHDX files as needed! 2. BYOD features. Yes, I understand that employees bring their own technology to work and can access corporate resources such as email, files, and other information. It can be complicated. However, R2’s feature set allows admins to grant access securely without having to hand over the keys to the kingdom. 3. Work folders. Dropbox is the perfect tool for your business network. It’s not working right now with Windows 8.1 but Windows 7 and Android clients should be available soon. Work folders are copies of files on the server and client. They perform sync operations when the client connects. 4. Storage upgrades. Storage Tiers allow you to move data between SSDs and slower drives to improve access. Write Back Cache allows you to set aside some physical storage on an SSD to aid I/O on write intensive operations… SQL Databases anyone? Data Deduplication allows you to run virtual machines. Booyah!!! Booyah!
5. Desired State Configurations. Maintaining servers in large environments is a major problem for IT administrators. These baselines can be maintained using a variety of tools, either third-party hacks or tools that are in-house. Server 2012 R2 now allows you to programmatically create a baseline of servers that have defined roles and features. You can then use PowerShell 4.0 cmdlets to make sure that any server you don’t match is updated automatically if it doesn’t. It’s so sweet!
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