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  • Feature Comparison

    Windows Server 2008 R2,

    Windows Server 2012, and

    Windows Server 2012 R2

    Published: March 24th, 2014

  • Feature Comparison: Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012, and Windows Server 2012 R2

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    2

    2

    Contents Introduction .............................................................................. 3

    General Features Overview ................................................... 4

    2014 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. This document is provided "as-is." Information and views expressed in this

    document, including URL and other Internet Web site references, may change without notice. You bear the risk of using it.

  • Feature Comparison: Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012, and Windows Server 2012 R2

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    3

    Introduction This feature comparison guide compares the selected features of Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2,

    Microsoft Windows Server 2012, and Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2. The General Features Overview

    section compares a wider range of features across all three releases. The comparison table in this section

    includes comments in regard to each release, as well as notation about how well each feature is

    supported. The legend for this notation is given in the table below.

    Level of Feature Support

    Feature is supported

    Feature is only partially supported

    Feature is not supported

  • Feature Comparison: Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012, and Windows Server 2012 R2

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    4

    General Features Overview This section compares the major features of Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012, and

    Windows Server 2012 R2.

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    5

    Features Windows Server

    2008 R2

    Windows Server

    2012

    Windows Server

    2012 R2

    Identity and Access

    DirectAccess

    Unified server role that combines three networking servicesDirectAccess, routing,

    and remote accessinto one unified server role with remote access.1

    Single point of configuration and management for remote access server deployment

    with a new unified server role for DirectAccess, and Routing and Remote Access

    service (RRAS).

    Dynamic

    Access Control

    Centralized control and auditing access to file servers with claims-based access and

    File Classification.2

    Ability to restrict access to sensitive files regardless of user actions through file

    security policy at the domain level, which is enforced across virtually all file servers in

    Windows Server 2012 R2 with File Classification, access control policies, and audit

    policies.

    Windows Store

    app network

    isolation

    Ability to set and enforce network boundaries to prevent compromised applications

    from accessing restricted networks. TEST

    Customizable firewall rules for Windows Store apps in addition to firewall rules that

    can be created for programs and services.3

    Windows

    PowerShell

    cmdlets for

    Windows

    Firewall

    Extensive cmdlets for configuring and managing Windows Firewall.

    Fully configurable and manageable Windows Firewall, Internet Protocol security

    (IPsec), and related features with a more powerful and scriptable Windows

    PowerShell.3

    Network

    Access

    Protection

    (NAP)

    A client health policy creation, enforcement, and remediation technology to help

    system administrators establish and automatically enforce health policies, which can

    include software requirements, security update requirements, and other settings .4

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    6

    Features Windows Server

    2008 R2

    Windows Server

    2012

    Windows Server

    2012 R2

    Domain Name

    System

    Security

    Extensions

    (DNSSEC)

    Support for online signing and automated key management as part of the update

    process for DNSSEC support in the authoritative functions of Domain Name System

    (DNS) servers.5

    Extensible

    Authentication

    Protocol (EAP)

    Architectural framework that provides extensibility for the authentication methods

    of commonly-used protected network access technologies, such as Institute of

    Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) 802.1X-based wireless access, IEEE 802.1X-

    based wired access, and Point-to-Point Protocol (PPP) connections such as VPN.6

    802.1X

    Authenticated

    Wired Access

    Updated

    IEEE 802.1X Authenticated Wired Service for IEEE 802.3 Ethernet network clients.

    EAP-Tunneled Transport Layer Security (EAP-TTLS) added to the list of network

    authentication methods included by default.7

    Enable users with non-domain joined computers and devices running Windows 8.1

    and Windows Server 2012 R2 to bring their own devices to their organization and

    enjoy the advantages of password-based credential reuse. This means that users

    need to provide their credentials the first time they connect to their organizations

    network, and then they can connect to the resources they want to without being

    prompted repeatedly for their credentials because the credentials are stored on the

    local computer for reuse.

    For security reasons, when the users computer or device disconnects from the

    network, the stored credentials are discarded.8

    Read-only

    domain

    controller

    (RODC)

    Domain controller that hosts read-only partitions of a database in Active Directory.

    Ability to deploy RODC via Windows PowerShell and to virtual machines.9

    Kerberos

    constrained

    delegation

    across domains

    Administrative permission needed only for the back-end service account.

    Back-end permitted to authorize which front-end service accounts can impersonate

    users against their resources.10

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    7

    Features Windows Server

    2008 R2

    Windows Server

    2012

    Windows Server

    2012 R2

    Flexible

    Authentication

    Secure

    Tunneling

    (FAST)

    Protected channel between domain-joined client and domain controller with FAST.10

    Access controls

    in Active

    Directory

    Lightweight

    Directory

    Services

    (AD LDS)

    Authentication of users requesting access to the directory.

    Use of security descriptors, called access control lists (ACLs), on directory objects to

    determine which objects an authenticated user has access to.11

    Identity

    component

    updates

    Updated

    Updated identity components include:12

    Service Principal Name (SPN) and User Principal Name (UPN) uniqueness

    Winlogon Automatic Restart Sign-On (ARSO)

    Trusted Platform Module (TPM) Key Attestation

    Certification authority (CA) Backup and Restore Windows PowerShell cmdlets

    Command line process auditing

    Credential Protection and Domain Authentication Controls

    Directory Services

    Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS)

    Virtualized

    domain

    controller

    cloning

    Ability to create replicas of virtualized domain controllers through cloning of

    existing ones.

    Virtualization-safe technologies and rapid deployment of virtual domain controllers

    through cloning.13

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    8

    Features Windows Server

    2008 R2

    Windows Server

    2012

    Windows Server

    2012 R2

    Virtualization

    supported

    Virtual domain controllers hosted on hypervisor platforms that expose an identifier

    called VM-Generation ID (hypervisor-agnostic mechanism). The identifier can detect

    and employ necessary safety measures to protect the sanctity of the AD DS

    environment if a virtual machine is rolled back in time by an unsupported

    mechanism (such as the application of a virtual machine snapshot).13

    Active

    Directory

    Domain

    Services claims

    in Active

    Directory

    Federation

    Services (AD

    FS)

    Ability to populate Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML) tokens with user-

    and device-claims taken directly from the Kerberos ticket through AD FS (v2.1).14

    Off-premises

    domain join

    Domain-join computers over the Internet for domains enabled for Direct Access.15

    Fine-grained

    password

    policy

    Simplified management of password-setting objects (PSOs) through Active Directory

    Administrative Center.15

    Database

    mounting tool

    Improved recovery processes with the ability to compare data as it exists in the

    snapshots or backups that are taken at different times, enabling better decision-

    making about what data to restore after data loss .16

    Active

    Directory-

    Based

    Activation

    (AD BA)

    Simplified configuring of the distribution and management of volume software

    licenses, with the Volume Activation Services server role, Key Management Service

    (KMS), and activation based in Active Directory.15

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    Features Windows Server

    2008 R2

    Windows Server

    2012

    Windows Server

    2012 R2

    Windows

    PowerShell

    History Viewer

    Ability to view Windows PowerShell cmdlets as they run.

    Ability to display the equivalent Windows PowerShell cmdlets in the History Viewer

    of Windows PowerShell with Active Directory Administrative Center .15

    Active

    Directory

    Recycle Bin

    Recovery of accidentally deleted objects from backups of AD DS taken by

    Windows Server Backup with Active Directory domains.15 Active Directory object not

    physically removed from the database immediately.

    Active

    Directory

    Domain

    Services

    integration

    Ability to create cluster computer objects in targeted organizational units or by

    default in the same organizational unit as the cluster nodes.17

    Domain and

    Forest

    Functional

    Levels

    New

    Provides two new functional levelsForest Functional Level (FFL) and Domain

    Functional Level (DFL). DFL enables support for protected users, authentication

    policies, and authentication isolation. FFL and DFL levels are set by default on new

    domain and new forest creation but can be lowered using Windows PowerShell .18

    Lightweight

    Directory

    Access Protocol

    (LDAP) query

    optimizer

    changes

    Updated

    The LDAP query optimizer algorithm was reevaluated and further optimized. The

    result is the performance improvement in LDAP search efficiency and LDAP search

    time of complex queries.18

    Active

    Directory

    Replication

    throughput

    improvement

    Updated

    For Active Directory replication, the remote procedure calls (RPC) transmit buffer has

    been increased to a maximum throughput of around 600 Mbps by changing the

    RPC send buffer size from 8 KB to 256 KB. This change allows the TCP window size

    to grow beyond 8 KB, reducing the number of network round trips.18

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    10

    Features Windows Server

    2008 R2

    Windows Server

    2012

    Windows Server

    2012 R2

    Active Directory Lightweight Directory Services (AD LDS)

    Server Core

    installations for

    Active

    Directory

    Lightweight

    Directory

    Services

    Role support for Server Core installations.19

    Backup and

    restore for

    Active

    Directory

    Lightweight

    Directory

    Services

    Ability to back up and restore databases to an existing AD LDS instance.20

    Multiple

    directory

    service

    instances on a

    single server

    Ability to concurrently run multiple instances of AD LDS on a single computer with

    an independently managed schema for each AD LDS instance.21 22

    Active Directory Rights Management Services (AD RMS)

    Active

    Directory

    Rights

    Management

    Services as a

    server role

    Available as a server role with several new features not available in previous

    versions.23

    Persistent

    protection

    Protection of content on the go with AD RMS.

    Ability to specify who can open, modify, print, or manage content.

    Rights stay with contenteven when it is transferred outside the organization.

    Usage policy

    templates

    Ability to create a usage policy template and apply it to content, eliminating the

    need to recreate usage rights settings for comprehensive file protection.

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    Features Windows Server

    2008 R2

    Windows Server

    2012

    Windows Server

    2012 R2

    Software

    development

    kit for Active

    Directory

    Rights

    Management

    Services

    Compatible with rights-enabled applications.

    Self-enrollment

    of the Active

    Directory

    Rights

    Management

    Services cluster

    Enrollment via local computer to help eliminate the need to connect to Microsoft

    Enrollment Service through a server self-enrollment certificate.24

    Integration

    with Active

    Directory

    Federation

    Services (AD

    FS)

    Integration of AD RMS and AD FS to enable the leveraging of existing federated

    relationships for collaboration with external partners .2423

    Windows

    PowerShell for

    deploying

    Active

    Directory

    Rights

    Management

    Services

    Support for more secure and flexible remote server deployment of AD RMS using

    PowerShell.25 26

    Enhancements

    in Active

    Directory

    Rights

    Management

    Services and

    SQL Server

    requirements

    Improved support for remote deployment of AD RMS and Microsoft SQL Server .2725

    AD RMS installer account must have system administration permissions in the SQL

    Server installation.

    SQL Server Browser service must be running to locate available SQL instances.

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    Features Windows Server

    2008 R2

    Windows Server

    2012

    Windows Server

    2012 R2

    Active Directory Federation Services (AD FS)

    Single Sign-On

    (SSO) and

    seamless

    second factor

    authentication

    across

    company

    applications

    New

    With Workplace Join, information workers can join their personal devices with their

    company to access company resources and services.28

    Provides seamless second factor authentication and SSO to workplace resources and

    applications.

    The Device Registration Service (DRS), included with the Active Directory Federation

    Role in Windows Server 2012 R2, provisions a device object in Active Directory and

    sets a certificate on the consumer device to represent device identity.

    Web

    Application

    Proxy

    New

    Provides the reverse proxy functionality for web applications inside the corporate

    network so that users on virtually any device can access them from outside the

    corporate network.

    Pre-authenticates access to web applications using AD FS, and also functions as an

    AD FS proxy.

    Multi-factor

    access control

    New

    Access control in AD FS is implemented with authorization claim rules. Issues permit

    or deny claims that will determine whether or not a user or a group of users will be

    allowed to access resources secured with AD FS.

    Enhances user, device, location, and authentication data using a greater variety of

    authorization claim types or rules.

    Multi-factor

    authentication

    New

    Requires users to provide more than one form of authentication when connecting to

    published applications and services. For example, using one-time passwords or

    smart cards.

    Integration

    with Microsoft

    Office

    SharePoint

    Server

    AD FS can be used to facilitate an out-of-the-box SSO solution for Microsoft

    SharePoint.29

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    Features Windows Server

    2008 R2

    Windows Server

    2012

    Windows Server

    2012 R2

    Integration

    with Active

    Directory

    Rights

    Management

    Services

    AD FS can integrate with AD RMS to support the sharing of rights-protected content

    between organizations, helping eliminate the need for AD RMS to be deployed in

    both organizations.

    Integration

    with Dynamic

    Access Control

    scenarios

    AD FS can be used with user and device claims that are issued using Active Directory

    Domain Services (AD DS) for various DAC scenarios.14

    Ability of AD FS to consume AD DS claims included in Kerberos tickets as a result of

    domain authentication.

    Improved

    installation

    experience

    with Server

    Manager

    Installation of AD FS server role with Server Manager.24

    Automatic listing and installing of virtually all services that AD FS depends on during

    the AD FS server role installation with Server Manager and its configuration wizard

    when AD FS server role is installed.

    Windows

    PowerShell

    cmdlet tools

    New cmdlets for installing the AD FS server role and for initial configuration of the

    federation server and federation server proxy in addition to the management

    capabilities based in PowerShell that are provided in AD FS 2.0.24

    Active Directory Certificate Services (AD CS)

    Certification

    authorities

    (CAs)

    Management of CAs, certificate revocation, and certificate enrollment30; root and

    subordinate CAs; and enterprise and stand-alone CAs.

    Web

    enrollment

    Enrollment mechanism for organizations that need to issue and renew certificates

    for users and computers that are not joined to the domain or not connected directly

    to the network, and for users of non-Microsoft operating systems.31 32

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    Features Windows Server

    2008 R2

    Windows Server

    2012

    Windows Server

    2012 R2

    Microsoft

    Online

    Responder

    Service

    Ability to configure and manage Online Certificate Status Protocol (OCSP) validation

    and revocation checking in networks based on Microsoft Windows.33

    Network

    Device

    Enrollment

    Service (NDES)

    Microsoft implementation of the Simple Certificate Enrollment Protocol (SCEP), a

    communication protocol that makes it possible for the software running on network

    devices such as routers and switches, which cannot otherwise be authenticated on

    the network to enroll for X.509 certificates from a certification authority.34

    Certificate

    Enrollment

    Policy Web

    Service

    AD CS role service for obtaining certificate enrollment policy information for

    humans and computers.35

    Certificate

    Enrollment

    Web Service

    Certificate enrollment with HTTPS protocol for users and computers .35

    Integration

    with Server

    Manager

    Integration of AD CS server role and its role services into Server Manager .36

    Deployment

    and

    management

    capabilities of

    Windows

    PowerShell

    Ability to configure or remove configurations for virtually all AD CS role services with

    the AD CS Deployment PowerShell cmdlets.37

    Active

    Directory

    Certificate

    Services role

    services on

    Server Core

    Ability to install and run virtually all AD CS role services on Server Core installations

    of Windows Server 2012 or the Minimal Server Interface installation options .36

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    15

    Features Windows Server

    2008 R2

    Windows Server

    2012

    Windows Server

    2012 R2

    Automatic

    renewal of

    certificates for

    non-domain

    joined

    computers

    Builds on Certificate Enrollment Web Services by adding the ability to automatically

    renew certificates for computers that are part of untrusted Active Directory Domain

    Services (AD DS) domains or not joined to a domain.36

    Enforcement of

    certificate

    renewal with

    same key

    Increased security with AD CS that requires certificate renewal with the same key,

    enabling the same assurance level of the original key to be maintained throughout

    its life cycle.36

    Support for

    international-

    ized domain

    names (IDNs)

    Support for IDNs that contain characters that cannot be represented in ASCII with

    AD CS.36

    Increased

    security with

    default on

    certification

    authorities role

    service

    Enforcement of enhanced security by CA role service in the requests sent to it.

    Encryption required for packets requesting a certificate.36

    Policy module

    support for the

    Network

    Device

    Enrollment

    Service

    New

    Using a policy module with the Network Device Enrollment Service provides

    enhanced security so that users and devices can request certificates from the

    Internet.38

    Trusted

    Platform

    Module (TPM)

    key attestation

    New

    Allows the CA to verify that the private key is protected by a hardware-based TPM.38

    Windows

    PowerShell for

    Certificate

    Services New

    New Windows PowerShell cmdlets are available for backup and restore.38

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    16

    Features Windows Server

    2008 R2

    Windows Server

    2012

    Windows Server

    2012 R2

    Virtualization and Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI)

    Shared virtual

    hard disk New

    Enables clustering of virtual machines by using shared virtual hard disk (VHDX)

    files.39

    Ability to host on Cluster Shared Volume (CSV) or on Server Message Block (SMB)-

    based Scale-Out File Server file shares.

    Resize virtual

    hard disk

    Updated

    Ability to expand or shrink the size of a virtual hard disk while the virtual machine is

    still running.39

    Ability to perform maintenance on the virtual hard disk without temporarily shutting

    down the virtual machine.

    Only available for VHDX files that are attached to a SCSI controller .

    Storage Quality

    of Service

    New

    Ability to manage storage throughput for virtual hard disks that are accessed by

    virtual machines.39

    Ability to specify the maximum and minimum I/O loads in terms of I/O operations

    per second (IOPS) for each virtual hard disk in a virtual machine.

    Ability to ensure that the storage throughput of one virtual hard disk does not

    impact the performance of another virtual hard disk on the same host.

    Hyper-V Live

    Migration over

    SMB New

    Ability to perform a live migration of virtual machines by using SMB 3.0 as a

    transport. This enables taking advantage of key SMB features, such as SMB Direct

    and SMB Multichannel, by providing high speed migration with low CPU

    utilization.46

    Live Migration

    with

    compression

    Updated

    Ability to first compress the memory content of the virtual machine that is being

    migrated and then copy it to the destination server over a TCP/IP connection. This is

    the default setting in Hyper-V in Windows Server 2012 R2.

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    17

    Features Windows Server

    2008 R2

    Windows Server

    2012

    Windows Server

    2012 R2

    Live Migration

    Remote Direct

    Memory Access

    (RDMA)

    Updated

    Ability to perform faster live migration between Hyper-V hosts by establishing an

    efficient memory-to-memory transfer of data using RDMA.

    Server Message Block Direct (SMB Direct) over RDMA is a technology that, given the

    hardware (NICs) supporting it, can establish an efficient memory-to-memory

    transfer of data.

    In Windows Server 2012, the main advantage of this approach was faster file

    services but in Windows Server 2012 R2, it is used to send live migration data

    between the Hyper-V hosts.

    Cross-version

    live migration

    Updated

    Ability to support migrating Hyper-V virtual machines in Windows Server 2012 to

    Hyper-V in Windows Server 2012 R2.39

    Moving a virtual machine to a down-level server running Hyper-V is not supported.

    Virtual

    machine

    generation

    New

    Ability to determine the virtual hardware and functionality that is presented to the

    virtual machine.

    Two supported virtual machine generations include:39

    Generation 1: Provides the same virtual hardware to the virtual machine as in

    the previous versions of Hyper-V.

    Generation 2: Provides the following new functionality on a virtual machine:

    Secure Boot (enabled by default)

    Boot from a SCSI virtual hard disk

    Boot from a SCSI virtual DVD

    Pre-Boot Execution Environment (PXE) boot by using a standard network

    adapter

    Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) firmware support

    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj134210.aspxhttp://aka.ms/server2012

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    18

    Features Windows Server

    2008 R2

    Windows Server

    2012

    Windows Server

    2012 R2

    Integration

    services Updated

    Ability to copy files to the virtual machine while the virtual machine is running

    without using a network connection.39

    Export

    Updated

    Ability to export a virtual machine or a virtual machine checkpoint while the virtual

    machine is running without any downtime.39

    Failover

    Clustering and

    Hyper-V

    Updated

    Helps protect the virtual network adapter and virtual machine storage.39

    Ability to detect physical storage failures on storage devices that are not managed

    by Windows Failover Clustering (SMB 3.0 file shares).

    Enhanced

    session mode New

    Ability to redirect local resources in a Virtual Machine Connection session.39

    Enhances the interactive session experience by providing a functionality that is

    similar to a remote desktop connection while interacting with a virtual machine.

    Management

    Updated

    Ability to manage Hyper-V in Windows Server 2012 from a computer running

    Windows Server 2012 R2 or Windows 8.1.39

    Linux support

    Updated

    Enables backup support for Linux virtual machine.39

    Enables dynamic memory support for Linux guest operating systems.

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    19

    Features Windows Server

    2008 R2

    Windows Server

    2012

    Windows Server

    2012 R2

    Automatic

    Virtual

    Machine

    Activation

    New

    Ability to install virtual machines on a computer where Windows Server 2012 R2 is

    properly activated without having to manage product keys for each individual virtual

    machine, even in disconnected environments.39

    Ability to bind the virtual machine activation to the licensed virtualization server and

    activate the virtual machine when it starts.

    Enables real-time reporting on usage and historical data on the license state of the

    virtual machine.

    Shared virtual

    hard disk (for

    guest clusters) New

    Ability to use .vhdx files as shared storage in a guest cluster .40

    Virtual

    machine drain

    on shutdown

    New

    Enables a Hyper-V host to automatically live migrate running virtual machines if the

    computer is shut down.40

    Virtual

    machine

    network health

    detection New

    Enables a Hyper-V host to automatically live migrate virtual machines if a network

    disconnection occurs on a protected virtual network.40

    Optimized CSV

    placement

    policies

    Updated

    Ability to distribute CSV ownership evenly across the failover cluster nodes.40

    Increased CSV

    resiliency

    Updated

    Enables multiple Server service instances per cluster node.40

    Enables CSV monitoring of the Server service that provides greater resiliency.

    CSV cache

    allocation Updated

    Ability to increase the amount of RAM that can be allocated as CSV cache.40

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    20

    Features Windows Server

    2008 R2

    Windows Server

    2012

    Windows Server

    2012 R2

    CSV

    diagnosibility Updated

    Ability to view the state of a CSV on a per node basis and the reason for I/O

    redirection.40

    Enables optimizing cluster configuration by easily determining the state of a CSV.

    CSV

    interoperability Updated

    Adds CSV support for the following Windows Server 2012 R2 features:40

    Resilient File System (ReFS)

    Deduplication

    Parity storage spaces

    Tiered storage spaces

    Storage Spaces write-back caching

    Deploy an

    Active

    Directory-

    detached

    cluster

    New

    Ability to deploy a failover cluster with less dependency on Active Directory Domain

    Services.40

    Uses Kerberos authentication for intra-cluster communication.

    Dynamic

    witness New

    Dynamically adjusts the witness vote based on the number of voting nodes in the

    current cluster membership.40

    Quorum user

    interface

    improvements Updated

    Ability to easily view the assigned quorum vote and the current quorum vote for

    each node in Failover Cluster Manager.40

    Force quorum

    resiliency

    New

    Enables automatic recovery in the case of a partitioned failover cluster.40

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    21

    Features Windows Server

    2008 R2

    Windows Server

    2012

    Windows Server

    2012 R2

    Tie breaker for

    50% node split New

    Enables one side of a cluster to continue to run in the case of a cluster split where

    neither side would normally have quorum.40

    Configure the

    Global Update

    Manager mode New

    Helps the cluster to continue to function if there is a delay with one or more

    nodes.40

    Cluster node

    health

    detection

    Updated

    Increases the resiliency to temporary network failures for virtual machines that are

    running on a Hyper-V cluster.40

    Turn off IPsec

    encryption for

    inter-node

    cluster

    communication

    New

    Helps prevent a cluster from being affected by the high latency Group Policy

    updates.40

    Ability to turn off Internet Protocol security (IPsec) encryption for inter-node cluster

    communication such as the cluster heartbeat.

    Cluster

    dashboard

    New

    Provides a convenient way to check the health of all managed failover clusters in

    Failover Cluster Manager.40

    Shared-nothing

    live migration

    Ability to migrate virtual machines among Hyper-V hosts on different clusters or

    servers with no storage sharing using Ethernet connection onlywith virtually no

    downtime.41

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    22

    Features Windows Server

    2008 R2

    Windows Server

    2012

    Windows Server

    2012 R2

    Live storage

    migration

    Ability to move virtual hard disks that are attached to a running virtual machine42.

    Ability to transfer virtual hard disks to a new location for upgrading or migrating

    storage, performing back-end storage maintenance, or redistributing the storage

    load.

    Ability to add storage to either a stand-alone computer or to a Hyper-V cluster, and

    then move virtual machines to the new storage while the virtual machines continue

    to run.

    A new wizard in Hyper-V Manager or new Hyper-V cmdlets for Windows PowerShell

    can be used to perform this task.

    Live Snapshot

    Merging

    Ability to merge snapshots back into the virtual machine while it continues to run

    Hyper-V Live Merge.42

    Non-Uniform

    Memory Access

    (NUMA)

    support

    NUMA support inside virtual machines.42

    Ability to project NUMA topology onto virtual machines, guest operating systems,

    and applications that can make intelligent NUMA decisions .

    Dynamic

    Memory Run-

    time

    Configuration

    Ability to make configuration changes to dynamic memory (increasing maximum

    memory or decreasing minimum memory) when a virtual machine is running.43

    Reduces downtime and increases agility to respond to requirement changes.

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    Features Windows Server

    2008 R2

    Windows Server

    2012

    Windows Server

    2012 R2

    VHDX

    Support for VHDX file format with Hyper-V.42

    VHDX support for up to 64 terabytes of storage.

    Protection from corruption due to power failures by logging updates to the VHDX

    metadata structures.

    Prevention of performance degradation on large-sector physical disks through

    optimizing structure alignment.

    Hyper-V

    Resource

    Metering

    Tracks and reports amount of data transferred per IP address or virtual machine.42

    Allows customers to create cost-effective and usage-based billing solutions.

    Virtual Fibre

    Channel

    Fibre Channel ports within the guest operating system.42

    Ability to connect to Fibre Channel directly from within virtual machines .

    Hyper-V

    Replica

    Updated

    Ability to replicate virtual machines among storage systems, clusters, and

    datacenters between two sites to provide business continuity and failure recovery.

    Ability to configure extended replication in Windows Server 2012 R2. In this case,

    the Replica server forwards information about the changes that occur on the

    primary virtual machines to a third server (the extended Replica server) . The

    frequency of replication, which previously was a fixed value, is now configurable for

    30 seconds, 5 minutes, and 15 minutes.

    Access to recovery points in Windows Server 2012 R2 has changed from 15 hours to

    24 hours.44

    Simultaneous

    live migrations

    Ability to migrate several virtual machines with support for simultaneous live

    migrations at the same time.42

    Live migrations not limited to a cluster.

    Virtual machines can be migrated across cluster boundaries and between stand-

    alone servers that are not part of a cluster.

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    Features Windows Server

    2008 R2

    Windows Server

    2012

    Windows Server

    2012 R2

    Hyper-V host

    and workload

    support

    Ability to configure up to 320 logical processors on hardware, 4 terabytes of physical

    memory, 64 virtual processors, and up to 1 terabyte of memory on a virtual

    machine.42

    Support for up to 64 nodes and 8,000 virtual machines in a cluster.

    Dynamic

    memory,

    startup

    memory, and

    minimum

    memory

    Hyper-V can reclaim the unused memory from virtual machines with a minimum

    memory value lower than their startup value.42

    Hyper-V Smart

    Paging

    Bridges the gap between the minimum and startup memory if a virtual machine is

    configured with a lower minimum memory than its startup memory (Hyper-V needs

    additional memory to restart it.).42

    Quality of

    Service (QoS)

    minimum

    bandwidth

    Hyper-V uses minimum bandwidth to assign specific bandwidth for each type of

    traffic and to ensure fair sharing during congestion.42

    Incremental

    backup

    Hyper-V supports incremental backup (backing up only the differences) of virtual

    hard disks while the virtual machine is running.

    Windows Server 2008 R2 provides support for full backups only.42

    Clustering

    New support for guest clustering via Fibre Channel, new live migration

    enhancements, massive scale, encrypted cluster volumes, CSV 2.0 CSV, Hyper-V

    application monitoring, virtual machine failover prioritization, inbox live migration

    queuing, affinity (and anti-affinity) virtual machine rules, and File Server transparent

    failover.42

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    Features Windows Server

    2008 R2

    Windows Server

    2012

    Windows Server

    2012 R2

    Application

    monitoring

    Ability to monitor health of key services provided by virtual machines .

    Higher availability for workloads not supporting clustering with automatic correction

    (like restarting a virtual machine or moving it to a different server). 42

    Storage

    Work Folders New

    Provides a consistent way for users to access their work files from their PCs and

    devices.

    Ability to maintain control over corporate data by storing files on centrally managed

    file servers, and optionally specifying user device policies such as encryption and

    lock-screen passwords.

    Ability to deploy Work Folders with the existing deployments of Folder Redirection,

    Offline Files, and home folders. Work Folders stores user files in a folder on the

    server called a sync share.45

    Automatic

    rebalancing of

    Scale-Out File

    Server clients

    New

    Improves scalability and manageability for Scale-Out File Servers. Server message

    block (SMB) client connections are tracked per file share (instead of per server), and

    clients are then redirected to the cluster node with the best access to the volume

    used by the file share. This improves efficiency by reducing redirection traffic

    between file server nodes. Clients are redirected following an initial connection and

    when cluster storage is reconfigured.46

    Improved

    performance of

    SMB Direct

    (SMB over

    RDMA)

    Updated

    Improves performance for small I/O workloads by increasing efficiency when hosting

    workloads with small I/Os, such as an online transaction processing (OLTP) database

    in a virtual machine. These improvements are evident when using higher speed

    network interfaces, such as 40 Gbps Ethernet and 56 Gbps InfiniBand.46

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    Features Windows Server

    2008 R2

    Windows Server

    2012

    Windows Server

    2012 R2

    Improved SMB

    event messages Updated

    SMB events now contain more detailed and helpful information. This makes

    troubleshooting easier and reduces the need to capture network traces or enable

    more detailed diagnostic event logging. By default, the most relevant event

    channels are turned on, so as to instantly capture all of the essential information. In

    addition, some events now include details on configuration and troubleshooting

    solutions.46

    Improved SMB

    bandwidth

    management New

    Ability to configure SMB bandwidth limits to control different SMB traffic types.

    There are three SMB traffic types: default, live migration, and virtual machine.46

    Support for

    multiple SMB

    instances on a

    Scale-Out File

    Server

    New

    Provides an additional instance on each cluster node in Scale-Out File Servers

    specifically for Clustered Shared Volume (CSV) traffic. A default instance can handle

    incoming traffic from SMB clients that are accessing regular file shares, while

    another instance only handles inter-node CSV traffic. This feature improves the

    scalability and reliability of the traffic between CSV nodes.46

    Storage Spaces

    Ability to leverage commodity storage into virtual storage pools, which can then be

    provisioned as Storage Spaces.

    Virtualized drives that can be formatted and accessed just like a physical drive,

    which can also be dynamically resized with the addition of more physical drives to

    the storage pool.47

    New features in Storage Spaces include storage tiers, write-back cache, parity space

    support for failover clusters, dual parity, and the ability to automatically rebuild

    storage spaces from storage pool free space.

    Storage tiers

    New

    Automatically moves frequently accessed data to faster (solid-state drive) storage

    and infrequently accessed data to slower (hard disk) storage.48

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    Features Windows Server

    2008 R2

    Windows Server

    2012

    Windows Server

    2012 R2

    Write-back

    cache New

    Buffers small random writes to solid-state drives, reducing the latency of writes.48

    Parity space

    support for

    failover

    clusters

    New

    Ability to create parity spaces on failover clusters.48

    Dual parity

    New

    Stores two copies of the parity information on a parity space, which helps protect

    against two simultaneous physical disk failures and optimizes storage efficiency.48

    Automatically

    rebuild storage

    spaces from

    storage pool

    free space

    New

    Decreases the time to rebuild a storage space after a physical disk failure by using

    the spare capacity in the pool instead of a single hot spare.48

    Resilient File

    System (ReFS)

    Updated

    Maximizes data availability and online operations despite errors that would

    historically cause data loss or downtime.

    In Windows Server 2012 R2, ReFS49 automatically corrects the corruption on parity

    spaces. When corruption of ReFS metadata occurs, subfolders and their associated

    files are automatically recovered. ReFS is now available to use on Windows 8.1. ReFS

    includes a new registry entry, RefsDisableLastAccessUpdate, which is the equivalent

    of the previous NtfsDisableLastAccessUpdate registry entry. New storage cmdlets,

    Get-FileIntegr ity and Set-FileIntegrity, are available to manage integrity and disk

    scrubbing policies.

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    Features Windows Server

    2008 R2

    Windows Server

    2012

    Windows Server

    2012 R2

    Data

    deduplication Updated

    Involves finding and removing duplication within data without compromising its

    fidelity or integrity. The goal is to store more data in less space by segmenting files

    into small variable-sized chunks (32128 KB), identifying duplicate chunks, and

    maintaining a single copy of each chunk.

    In Windows Server 2012 R2, data deduplication can be installed on a scale-out file

    share and used to optimize live virtual hard disks for Virtual Desktop Infrastructure

    (VDI) workloads.50

    Use the new Expand-DedupFile cmdlet in Windows PowerShell to expand optimized

    files on a specified path on the original path if needed for compatibility with

    applications, performance, or other requirements.

    Distributed File

    System (DFS)

    Replication Updated

    A role service in the File and Storage Services role that enables efficient replication

    of folders (including those referred to by a DFS namespace path) across multiple

    servers and sites.

    Uses a compression algorithm known as remote differential compression (RDC).

    RDC detects changes to the data in a file and enables DFS Replication to replicate

    only the changed file blocks instead of the entire file.

    DFS includes many new functionalities:51

    DFS Replication using Windows PowerShell module and methods based on

    Windows Management Infrastructure (WMI)

    Database cloning for initial sync

    Rebuilding of corrupt databases

    Disabling of cross-file RDC between servers

    File staging tuning and preserved file restoration

    DFS Replication also includes updated functionalities such as unexpected shutdown

    database recovery improvements, and membership disabling.

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    Features Windows Server

    2008 R2

    Windows Server

    2012

    Windows Server

    2012 R2

    iSCSI virtual

    disk

    enhancements

    New

    Includes a redesigned data persistence layer that is based on a new version of the

    virtual hard disk format called VHDX (VHD 2.0).52

    Provides data corruption protection during power failures and optimizes structural

    alignments of dynamic and differencing disks to prevent performance degradation

    on new, large-sector physical disks.

    iSCSI

    manageability

    enhancements

    Updated

    Uses the SMI-S provider in Windows Server 2012 R2 with System Center Virtual

    Machine Manager (VMM) to manage iSCSI Target Server in a hosted or private

    cloud.52

    The new Windows PowerShell cmdlets for iSCSI Target Server enable the exporting

    and importing of configuration files, and provide the ability to disable remote

    management when iSCSI Target Server is deployed in a dedicated Windows-based

    appliance scenario (for example, Windows Storage Server).

    iSCSI improved

    optimization to

    allow disk-level

    caching Updated

    Ability to set the disk cache bypass flag on a hosting disk I/O, through Force Unit

    Access (FUA), only when the issuing initiator explicitly requests it. This change can

    potentially improve performance.52

    iSCSI scalability

    limits

    Updated

    Increases the maximum number of sessions per target server to 544, and increases

    the maximum number of logical units per target server to 256.52

    iSCSI local

    mount

    functionality

    Updated

    Deprecates the local mount functionality for snapshots. As a workaround, it enables

    use of the local iSCSI initiator on the target server computer (this is also called the

    loopback initiator) to access the exported snapshots .52

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    Features Windows Server

    2008 R2

    Windows Server

    2012

    Windows Server

    2012 R2

    Other File

    System

    improvements:

    thin

    provisioning,

    trim, and

    Chkdsk

    Thin Provisioning: Offers just-in-time allocations (also known as thin provisioning).

    Identification of thinly provisioned virtual disks.53

    Trim: Ability to reclaim storage that is no longer needed (also known as trim).

    Chkdsk: Ability to run in seconds to fix corrupted data. No offline time when used

    with CSV. Disk scanning process separated from repair process. Online scanning

    with volumes and offline repairs.54

    Clustered Share

    Volume

    Updated

    Storage system for scale-out file servers, which can provide optimized availability

    and scalable file-based (such as SMB) server application storage.

    In Windows Server 2012 R2, a disk or storage space for a CSV volume must be a

    basic disk that is partitioned with NTFS or ReFS. Offers distributed CSV ownership,

    increased resiliency through availability of the Server service, greater flexibility in the

    amount of physical memory that you can allocate to CSV cache, better

    diagnosibility, and enhanced interoperability that includes support for ReFS and

    deduplication.55

    SMB Direct

    (RDMA) and

    SMB

    Multichannel

    Load balanced failover connections to remote file servers that not only fail over

    when connections are lost, but also evaluate the condition of available connections

    to route traffic away from congested links.

    Support for network adapters that have Remote Direct Memory Access (RDMA) and

    can function at full speed with low latency, while using very little CPU.56

    Offloaded Data

    Transfer (ODX)

    Used with offload-capable SAN storage hardware to enable a storage device to

    perform a file copy operation without the main processor of the host actually

    reading the content from one storage place and writing it to another.57

    SMB for

    workloads

    Ability of remote file server shares to be used as storage for workloads such as

    Hyper-V and SQL Server 2012.56

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    Features Windows Server

    2008 R2

    Windows Server

    2012

    Windows Server

    2012 R2

    Network File

    System (NFS)

    support

    File-sharing solution for enterprises with a mixed Windows and UNIX environment.

    Ability to reliably store and run VMware ESX virtual infrastructures with file system

    support on Windows Server 2012, while using the advanced high availability of

    Windows.58

    Management

    (Server

    Manager and

    PowerShell)

    Single point of access to management snap-ins for virtually all the installed roles.

    Snap-in for managing Storage Spaces along with storage that can be managed

    through PowerShell.

    Web and App Plat

    Internet Information Services (IIS) enhancements

    Multitenant

    high-density

    websites

    Hosting-friendly web server platform with FTP Logon Attempt Restriction and

    improved site density, centralized SSL certificate support, and server name

    indication.

    Increased Internet Information Services (IIS) scalability with SSL scalability,

    centralized SSL certificate support, and NUMA-aware scalability.

    Server Name

    Indicator (SNI)

    Binding a more secure site required a unique network endpoint using an IP address

    and a port in the previous versions of Windows Server, which often meant having a

    dedicated IP address for each secure site because site owners wanted their secure

    sites to be running on a standard SSL port.

    Support for increased density of secure sites for greater scalability of sites.

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    Features Windows Server

    2008 R2

    Windows Server

    2012

    Windows Server

    2012 R2

    Centralized SSL

    certificate

    management

    Central storage of SSL certificates on a file share to simplify certificate management

    and lower the total cost of ownership.

    Rapid addition of servers to the web farm to help eliminate the need to individually

    configure SSL.

    NUMA-aware

    scalability

    Ability to scale up web servers beyond 32 processors and use next-generation

    hardware.

    IIS CPU

    Throttling

    Ability to set maximum CPU consumption for individual IIS 8.0 application pools,

    helping every application get ample processor time.

    Ability to create sandbox for each tenant and ensure that no single tenant consumes

    virtually all of a web servers processing power .

    FTP Service

    FTP publishing on a web server.

    FTP Logon

    Attempt

    Restrictions

    Protection against brute force attacks with automatic detection of attacks in-

    progress and blocking of future requests from the same address .

    Ability to modify the number of times FTP will allow users to attempt unsuccessfully

    to log in within a specified time period before denying access to the IP address.

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    Features Windows Server

    2008 R2

    Windows Server

    2012

    Windows Server

    2012 R2

    Application

    initialization

    Ability to proactively start ASP.NET applications with IIS 8.0.

    Applications available virtually all of the time.

    Initialization of ASP.NET applications before users need it.

    Returns static pages to users instead of making users wait on a blank browser page.

    Dynamic IP

    restrictions

    Dynamic filters to automatically block potentially harmful IP addresses with IIS 8.0.

    WebSocket

    Protocol

    Encrypted, real-time, bidirectional communications between client and server .

    ASP.NET

    Support (2.0,

    3.0, 3.5, and

    4.5)

    Multiple ASP.NET applications with different .NET Framework versions to run

    simultaneously with Windows Server 2012 R2 with IIS 8.0.

    ASP.NET 3.5

    and 4.5

    Application

    Management

    Graphical and command-line management tools to manage both ASP.NET 3.5 and

    ASP.NET 4.5 applications with IIS 8.0 in Windows Server 2012 R2.

    Multiple

    language

    support

    Support for programming languages, such as .NET, PHP, Node.js, and Python.

    Enhanced support for PHP and MySQL through IIS extensions .

    ASP.NET 4.5 integration and support for latest HTML5 standards .

    Hybrid applications platform (on-premises and cloud)

    Cross-premises

    application

    platform

    Integration of applications between on-premises environments and the cloud

    (including Windows Azure).

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    Features Windows Server

    2008 R2

    Windows Server

    2012

    Windows Server

    2012 R2

    Application

    and

    programming

    symmetry

    Shared development model with Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows Azure.

    Common

    development

    platform and

    tools

    Common development environment for .NET developers to build cloud and on-

    premises applications.

    Application-

    layer

    connectivity

    and messaging

    Access to on-premises applications through a cloud-based application.

    Networking

    Windows

    Server Gateway

    New

    A virtual machine-based software router that allows cloud service providers (CSPs)

    and enterprises to enable datacenter and cloud network traffic routing between

    virtual and physical networks, including the Internet.59

    Routes network traffic between the physical network and virtual machine network

    resources, regardless of where the resources are located.

    Virtual

    Receive-side

    scaling

    New

    Enables network adapter to distribute its network processing load across multiple

    virtual processors in multicore virtual machines.60

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    Features Windows Server

    2008 R2

    Windows Server

    2012

    Windows Server

    2012 R2

    Multitenant

    site-to-site

    VPN gateway

    New

    Enables hosters to deploy multitenant site-to-site gateways to provide cross-

    premises connectivity from networks at tenant sites to virtual networks dedicated

    per tenant in the hosters network.61

    A single gateway instance is capable of serving multiple tenants with overlapping IP

    address spaces, maximizing efficiency for the hoster as compared to deploying a

    separate gateway instance per tenant.

    Multitenant

    Remote Access

    VPN Gateway New

    Enables hosters to allow transparent VPN access to virtual machines replicated in

    the cloud even after a failure when the entire site of the tenant goes down.61

    Border

    Gateway

    Protocol (BGP)

    New

    Enables dynamic distribution and learning of routes by site-to-site (S2S) interfaces

    of Routing and Remote Access (RRAS).61

    Role-based

    access control New

    Ability to customize the types of operations and access permissions for users and

    groups of users on specific objects.62

    Virtual address

    space

    management New

    IP Address Management (IPAM) streamlines the management of physical and virtual

    IP address space in System Center Virtual Machine Manager .62

    Enhanced

    Dynamic Host

    Configuration

    Protocol

    (DHCP) server

    management

    Updated

    DHCP server management with IPAM is greatly enhanced in Windows Server 2012

    R2, including multiple new operations for DHCP scope and DHCP servers, and views

    for the following objects:62 DHCP failover, DHCP policies, DHCP superscopes, DHCP

    filters, and DHCP reservations.

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    Features Windows Server

    2008 R2

    Windows Server

    2012

    Windows Server

    2012 R2

    External

    database

    support

    New

    In addition to Windows Internal Database (WID), IPAM also optionally supports the

    use of a Microsoft SQL database that enables additional scalability, disaster

    recovery, and reporting scenarios.62

    Upgrade and

    migration

    support New

    If IPAM is installed on Windows Server 2012, then data can be maintained and

    migrated when one needs to upgrade to Windows Server 2012 R2.62

    Enhanced

    Windows

    PowerShell

    support for

    IPAM

    Updated

    Windows PowerShell support for IPAM is greatly enhanced to provide extensibility,

    integration, and automation support.62

    Hyper-V Virtual

    Switch

    Extended Port

    Access Control

    Lists (ACLs) Updated

    Allows enterprises and CSPs to configure the Hyper-V Virtual Switch Extended Port

    ACLs to provide firewall protection and enforce security policies for the tenant

    virtual machines in their datacenters.63

    ACLs now include the socket port number.

    Ability to configure stateful rules that are unidirectional and provide a timeout

    parameter.

    Dynamic Load

    Balancing of

    Network

    Traffic

    New

    Ability to continuously and automatically move traffic streams from network adapter

    to network adapter within the NIC team to share the traffic load as equitably as

    possible.63

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    Features Windows Server

    2008 R2

    Windows Server

    2012

    Windows Server

    2012 R2

    Hyper-V

    Network

    Virtualization

    (HNV) coexists

    with third-

    party

    forwarding

    extensions for

    the Hyper-V

    Virtual Switch New

    Ability to forward packets for either the virtual machine customer address space or

    the physical address space because switch extensions now coexist seamlessly with

    Network Virtualization, which uses Network Virtualization Generic Routing

    Encapsulation (NVGRE).

    Ability to perform hybrid forwarding where the network traffic, which is NVGRE

    encapsulated, is forwarded by the HNV module within the switch, while all non-

    NVGRE network traffic is forwarded by the third-party forwarding extensions that

    the user has installed.63

    Traffic

    bottlenecks to

    virtual

    machines are

    reduced with

    vRSS

    New

    Virtual RSS (vRSS) is supported on the virtual machine network path that allows

    virtual machines to sustain a greater networking traffic load by distributing the

    processing across multiple cores on the host and multiple cores on the virtual

    machine.63

    Network

    tracing is

    streamlined

    and provides

    more detail

    Updated

    Network traces contains switch and port configuration information that tracks

    packets through the Hyper-V Virtual Switch, and any forwarding extensions the user

    has installed are easier to use and read.63

    Inbox HNV

    Gateway

    New

    A multitenant gateway that performs site-to-site (VPN), NAT, and forwarding

    functions.64

    System Center 2012 R2 Virtual Machine Manager can be used to fully manage the

    HNV gateway.

    Supports guest clustering for high availability.

    Includes BGP for dynamic routes update.

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    Features Windows Server

    2008 R2

    Windows Server

    2012

    Windows Server

    2012 R2

    HNV

    interoperability

    with Hyper-V

    Virtual Switch

    Extensions

    Updated

    The HNV module was moved inside the virtual switch so that extensions can see

    both the provider (physical address) and virtual (customer address) IP address

    spaces.64

    Implements hybrid forwarding.

    HNV VM

    Network

    Diagnostics

    Updated

    Enhanced ping.exe (ping p) to allow pinging to and from provider addresses .64

    Two new Windows PowerShell cmdlets (Test-VMNetworkAdapter and Select-

    NetVirtualizationNextHop) that enable diagnostics of HNV policy and the Customer

    Address space.

    Added the ability for Message Analyzer to decode NVGRE packets.

    HNV

    Architecture Updated

    Improved interoperability with switch extensions.64

    The HNV filter moved from being an NDIS lightweight filter (LWF) to being part of

    the Hyper-V virtual switch.

    Dynamic IP

    Address

    Learning

    New

    Enables high availability scenarios for both virtual machines on a virtual machine

    network and the HNV gateway.64

    Ability to run DHCP, DNS, and Active Directory in virtual machine networks.

    HNV and

    Windows NIC

    Teaming

    Updated

    Integrates HNV and Windows NIC Teaming to allow multiple network adapters to be

    placed into a team for the purposes of bandwidth aggregation and/or traffic failover

    to maintain connectivity in the event of a network component failure.64

    NVGRE

    Encapsulated

    Task Offload Updated

    Ability to offload tasks to a network adapter that has the appropriate task offload

    capabilities.64

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    Features Windows Server

    2008 R2

    Windows Server

    2012

    Windows Server

    2012 R2

    Enhanced zone

    level statistics Updated

    Zone level statistics are available for different resource record types, zone transfers,

    and dynamic updates.65

    Enhanced

    DNSSEC

    support Updated

    DNSSSEC key management and support for signed file-backed zones is improved.65

    Enhanced

    Windows

    PowerShell

    support for

    DNS

    Updated

    New Windows PowerShell parameters are available for DNS Server .65

    DNS

    registration

    enhancements New

    Ability to use DHCP policies to configure conditions based on the fully qualified

    domain name (FQDN) of DHCP clients, and to register workgroup computers using a

    guest DNS suffix.66

    DNS PTR

    registration

    options New

    Enables DNS registration of address (A) and pointer (PTR) records, or just enables

    registration of A records.66

    Windows

    PowerShell for

    DHCP server

    Updated

    New Windows PowerShell cmdlets are available to perform tasks such as creating

    DHCP security groups, setting DNS credentials, managing superscopes, and

    managing multicast scopes.66

    DHCP server

    failover

    New

    Ability to deploy two DHCP servers for the high availability of DHCP services to

    clients, including replicating lease information between them.

    DHCP servers can be deployed in a non-clustered failover configuration that

    includes multi-subnet support.67

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    Features Windows Server

    2008 R2

    Windows Server

    2012

    Windows Server

    2012 R2

    Dynamic

    Virtual

    Machine Queue

    (VMQ)

    Enables a hosts network adapter to pass Direct Memory Access (DMA) packets

    directly into individual virtual machine memory stacks.

    VMQ assigned to each virtual machine device buffer to avoid needless packet copies

    and route lookups in the virtual switch.68

    Quality of

    Service (QoS)

    QoS for Hyper-V and other enhancements.

    Hyper-V uses the minimum bandwidth to assign specific bandwidth for each type of

    traffic and to help ensure fair sharing during congestion.

    Support for hardware compatible with Data Center Bridging (DCB), which makes it

    possible to use a single ultra-high bandwidth NIC, and provides QoS and isolation

    services to support multitenant workloads expected on private cloud deployments .69

    BranchCache

    Improved performance, availability, and scalability.

    New features include:

    Support for offices of nearly any size

    Single Group Policy object (GPO) object for nearly all offices

    Automatic configuration of client computers through Group Policy

    Integration with Windows file server

    Use of highly optimized file chunking system for intelligent splitting of files so

    that users can download only the changed part of the content

    Cache encryption

    Cache preloading

    PowerShell support

    New Group Policies70

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    Features Windows Server

    2008 R2

    Windows Server

    2012

    Windows Server

    2012 R2

    Internet

    Protocol

    version 6 (IPv6)

    Improved management of IPv6 addresses, better connectivity to Internet using IPv6

    addresses, and NAT64/DNS64 protocol translation for DirectAccess clients .71

    Low latency

    workload

    technologies

    New capabilities and features for managing latency, such as NIC Teaming.72

    Network Load

    Balancing

    Distributes traffic across several servers by using the TCP/IP networking protocol.

    Additional features for failover clustering in comparison to Windows Server 2008 R2,

    including support for scale-out file servers, CAU, virtual machine application

    monitoring, and iSCSI Software Target integration.73

    Multitenant

    security and

    isolation

    Fully isolated network layer of the datacenter with server virtualization through

    programmatically managed and extensible capabilities that help users connect

    virtual machines to physical networks with policy enforcement for enhanced security

    and isolation.74

    Private virtual

    local area

    network

    (PVLAN)

    Ability to isolate virtual machines from each otherfor example, virtual machines

    cannot contact other virtual machines over the networkwhile still maintaining

    external network connectivity for nearly all virtual machines.

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    Features Windows Server

    2008 R2

    Windows Server

    2012

    Windows Server

    2012 R2

    Management and Automation

    Graphic User

    Interface as

    Server Role

    Ability to deploy the GUI as a role in Windows Server 2012 using PowerShell 3.0.

    Enables servers to easily remove the full GUI and more to either Server Core or

    Minimal Installation Shell (PowerShell, Server Manager, and MMC support).

    Servers can move among Server Core, Minimal Installation Shell, and full GUI using

    PowerShell commands when required.

    Server

    Manager

    Single point of access to manage snap-ins for virtually all installed roles.

    Ability to manage a server's identity and system information, display server status,

    identify problems with server role configuration, and manage virtually all roles

    installed on the server.

    Multi-server

    management

    Management of multiple servers via roles, services, or customized management

    groups.

    Single view for administrators to view events, roles, services, and other important

    information for virtually all managed servers.75

    Role and

    feature

    deployment to

    remote servers

    and offline

    hard disks

    The Server Manager console and Windows PowerShell cmdlets for Server Manager

    allow the installation of roles and features to local or remote servers, or offline

    virtual hard disks.

    Ability to install multiple roles and features on a single remote server or offline VHD

    in a single Add Roles and Features Wizard or Windows PowerShell session.

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    Features Windows Server

    2008 R2

    Windows Server

    2012

    Windows Server

    2012 R2

    Integrated

    console

    Integrated console for IT departments to manage multiple server platforms

    whether physical or virtualmore effectively, helping lower IT operational costs

    (such as file storage management, Remote Desktop Services, and IP address

    management).

    Windows

    PowerShell 4.0 New

    Windows PowerShell 4.0 includes several significant features that extend its use,

    improve its usability, and enable easier and more comprehensive control and

    management of Windows-based environments.

    Windows PowerShell Desired State Configuration (DSC) enables the deployment and

    management of configuration data for software services and the environment in

    which these services run.

    Windows PowerShell 4.0 features include:

    Backward-compatible

    Includes simplified, consistent syntax across all cmdlets

    Simplified scripting through Windows PowerShell ISE

    Comprehensive management with more than 3000 cmdlets in over 100

    modules

    Windows

    PowerShell

    Disconnected

    Sessions

    Ability to create a session on a remote computer, start a command or job,

    disconnect from the session, shut down a computer, and then reconnect to the

    session from a different computer later to check job status or get results.76

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    Features Windows Server

    2008 R2

    Windows Server

    2012

    Windows Server

    2012 R2

    Windows

    PowerShell

    Workflow

    Updated

    Support has been added for a new PipelineVariable common parameter in the

    context of iterative pipelines.76

    Parameter binding has been significantly enhanced to work outside of tab

    completion scenarios, such as with commands that do not exist in the current

    runspace.

    Support for custom container activities has been added to Windows PowerShell

    Workflow.

    After a crash, Windows PowerShell Workflow automatically reconnects to managed

    nodes.

    Ability to throttle Foreach -Parallel activity statements by using the ThrottleLimit

    property.

    The ErrorAction common parameter has a new valid value, Suspend, which is

    exclusively for workflows.

    A workflow endpoint now automatically closes if there are no active sessions, no in-

    progress jobs, and no pending jobs.

    Windows

    PowerShell

    Web Access Updated

    Ability to disconnect from and reconnect to existing sessions in the web-based

    Windows PowerShell Web Access console.76

    Default parameters can be displayed on the sign-in page.

    Ability to remotely manage authorization rules for Windows PowerShell Web Access .

    Ability to have multiple Windows PowerShell Web Access sessions in a single

    browser session by using a new browser tab for each session.

    Windows

    PowerShell

    Web Services

    (Management

    OData IIS

    Extension)

    Updated

    Easily exposes Windows PowerShell cmdlets through an OData-based web service

    that is running in Web Server (IIS).76

    Ability to define the API version in an endpoint, as well as enforce the usage of a

    specific API version.

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    Features Windows Server

    2008 R2

    Windows Server

    2012

    Windows Server

    2012 R2

    Windows

    PowerShell

    Integrated

    Scripting

    Environment

    (ISE) Updated

    Supports both Windows PowerShell Workflow debugging and remote script

    debugging.76

    IntelliSense support has been added for Windows PowerShell Desired State

    Configuration providers and configurations.

    Windows

    PowerShell

    Script Sharing

    Access to a community-generated library of PowerShell code snippets called

    Integrated Script Snippets within PowerShell ISE for IT pros with PowerShell 3.0.

    Windows

    PowerShell

    Scheduled Jobs

    Enables administrators to schedule run jobs via Windows Task Scheduler.

    Windows

    PowerShell

    Syntax

    Simplification

    Simplified, consistent syntax across virtually all cmdlets with PowerShell 3.0.

    Support for intuitive command structure more closely modeled on natural language.

    Windows

    PowerShell

    cmdlet

    discovery and

    module auto

    loading

    Get-Command cmdlet gets nearly all cmdlets and functions from virtually all

    modules installed on a computer, even if the module is not imported into the

    current session.

    Cmdlets ready for immediate use to help eliminate the need to import modules.

    Windows PowerShell modules are imported automatically when any cmdlet in the

    module is used; no longer need to search for the module and import it to use its

    cmdlets.

    Device

    Management

    and Installation

    (DMI)

    Central management and configuration of hardware and device driver

    configurations for computers on networks.

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    Features Windows Server

    2008 R2

    Windows Server

    2012

    Windows Server

    2012 R2

    Initial

    Configuration

    Tasks

    Helps administrators to configure a server and shorten the amount of time between

    operating system installation and deployment of the server in an enterprise .

    Best Practices

    Analyzer (BPA)

    for Server Role

    Core set of guidance to configure roles and features for Windows Server, including

    configuration, management, and security.

    BPA now fully integrated into Server Manager.77

    Group Policy

    Ability to specify managed configurations for users and computers through Group

    Policy settings and Group Policy preferences.78

    Remote Group

    Policy Update

    Ability to schedule remote Group Policy updates (gpupdate.exe) for one or many

    computers.

    Windows Azure

    Online Backup

    (cloud-based

    backup service)

    Offsite protection against data loss from failure with a cloud-based backup solution,

    which allows files and folders to be backed up and recovered from the cloud .79

    Group Policy

    Infrastructure

    Status

    Ability to display the status of Active Directory and SYSVOL replication as it relates

    to Group Policy.

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    Features Windows Server

    2008 R2

    Windows Server

    2012

    Windows Server

    2012 R2

    Server Roles

    Active

    Directory

    Certificate

    Services (AD

    CS)

    Updated

    Provides customizable services for issuing and managing public key infrastructure

    (PKI) certificates used in software security systems that employ public key

    technologies. New functionalities in AD CS for Windows Server 2012 R2 include the

    following:

    Policy Module support for the Network Device Enrollment Service :

    Provides enhanced security to users and devices for requesting certificates

    from the Internet.

    TPM key attestation: Enables the certification authority (CA) to verify that the

    private key is protected by a hardware-based TPM.

    Windows PowerShell for Certificate Services: New Windows PowerShell

    cmdlets are available for backup and restore.

    Active

    Directory

    Domain

    Services (AD

    DS)

    Enhancements in Windows Server 2012 include:

    Virtualized domain controller cloning

    Virtualization-safe technology

    AD DS integration with Server Manager

    Relative ID (RID) improvements

    Deferred index creation

    Off-premises domain join

    Recycle Bin UI

    DAC

    AD DS claims in Active Directory Federation Services (AD FS)

    History Viewer in PowerShell

    Fine-grained password policy UI

    AD Replication and Topology Windows PowerShell cmdlets

    Active Directory-Based Activation (AD BA)

    Kerberos enhancements

    Group Managed Service Accounts (gMSA)80

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    Features Windows Server

    2008 R2

    Windows Server

    2012

    Windows Server

    2012 R2

    Active

    Directory

    Federation

    Services

    Updated

    Enables users to access resources on their personal devices from virtually anywhere

    using Workplace Join.

    Enhanced access control risk management tools include flexible controls and

    policies, AD FS Extranet Lockout, and access revocation. Simplified deployment

    experience.

    Enhanced sign-in with AD FS experience. Enable developers to build modern

    applications.

    Other improvements include reduction of SSO cookie size with dynamic group SID

    hydration, access to claims that are encoded within user certificates when using

    certificate authentication, easier troubleshooting, and password expiry notification.

    Active

    Directory

    Lightweight

    Directory

    Service (AD

    LDS)

    Inclusion of AD LDS as a new server role.

    Integration of AD LDS with AD DS.81

    Active

    Directory

    Rights

    Management

    Services (AD

    RMS)

    Simple delegation and strong cryptography (also made in Windows Server 2008 R2

    through recent updates).

    Changed requirements for installation and deployment:

    System administrator account permissions instead of local administrator

    accounts in SQL Server installation

    SQL Server Browser service must be running

    Firewall exceptions for port numbers used by AD RMS

    Remote deployment

    Use of Server Manager and Windows PowerShell to deploy AD RMS25

    Application

    Server

    Updated to support .Net Framework 4.5.82

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    Features Windows Server

    2008 R2

    Windows Server

    2012

    Windows Server

    2012 R2

    DHCP Server

    Updated

    New enhancements in DHCP include DNS registration enhancements, DNS PTR

    registration options, and Windows PowerShell for DHCP Server.

    DNS Server Updated

    New enhancements in Domain Name System Server include enhanced zone-level

    statistics, enhanced DNSSEC support, and enhanced windows PowerShell support.

    Fax Server Updated

    Print and fax service logging now includes user name and computer name logging

    in addition to IP address logging.

    File and

    Storage

    Services Updated

    The File and Storage Services server role in Windows Server 2012 R2 includes the

    following new and updated features:

    Work Folders: Provides a consistent way for users to access their work files

    from their personal computers and devices.

    Server Message Block: Enhancements include automatic rebalancing of

    Scale-Out File Server clients, improved performance of SMB Direct, and

    improved SMB event messages.

    Storage Spaces: Enhancements include SSD and HDD storage tiers, an SSD-

    based write-back cache, parity space support for failover clusters, dual parity

    support, and greatly decreased storage space rebuild times.

    DFS Replication: Enhancements include database cloning for large

    performance gains during initial sync, a Windows PowerShell module for DFS

    Replication, a new DFS Replication WMI provider, faster replication on high

    bandwidth connections, conflict and preexisting data recovery, and support for

    rebuilding corrupt databases without unexpected data loss.

    iSCSI Target Server: Updates include virtual disk enhancements,

    manageability enhancements in a hosted or private cloud, and improved

    optimization to allow disk-level caching.

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    Features Windows Server

    2008 R2

    Windows Server

    2012

    Windows Server

    2012 R2

    Hyper-V

    Updated

    The Hyper-V role enables you to create and manage a virtualized computing

    environment by using virtualization technology that is built into Windows Server

    2012 R2.

    New and updated features include:

    Shared virtual hard disk

    Resize virtual hard disk

    Storage Quality of Service

    Live migrations

    Virtual machine generation

    Integration services

    Export

    Failover Clustering and Hyper-V

    Enhanced session mode

    Hyper-V Replica

    Linux support

    Management

    Automatic Virtual Machine Activation

    Hyper-V Networking

    Network Policy

    and Access

    Services

    Includes Print and Document Services role; Type 4 drivers; Branch Office Direct

    Printing; Print Management Windows PowerShell module; WSD Secure printing; and

    High Availability Printing.

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    Features Windows Server

    2008 R2

    Windows Server

    2012

    Windows Server

    2012 R2

    Print and

    Document

    Services

    Updated

    Enables centralization of print server and network printer management tasks. Ability

    to receive scanned documents from network scanners and route the documents to a

    shared network resource, Windows