The headline features such as Hyper-V tend to hog most of the limelight, but Windows Server 2012 R2 has some less obvious but equally useful features under the bonnet. Here are five to keep an eye out for.
1. Authorisation of individual devices using Active Directory
Bring-1your-own-device (BYOD) management is straightforward in Windows Server 2012 R2: you can join individual devices to the corporate network, and opt to manage them as well. The approach is highly secure; you can even opt to complete a phone call to a specified internal number before authorisation is completed.
2. Multi-tenant VPN support
Have complex VPN needs? Not a drama with R2, which allows you to bridge between your own systems, external infrastructure providers and the Windows Azure cloud serivce.
3. Compression of virtual machines while they migrate
Live migration of virtual machines is one of Hyper-V's more impressive features, and R2 takes it a step further: you can compress an image during the migration process, utilising any spare processing power.
4. Bandwidth management for live migrations
At the other end of the scale, if you're staging a live migration in a very busy environment, you can set a fixed level of bandwidth for the migration to use
5. Complete control using PowerShell
The whole of Windows Server 2012 R2 can be managed and automated using PowerShell. While it's a complex and powerful language, learning PowerShell is surprisingly easy thanks to its IntelliSense built-in help features.
You don't have to take our word on these features -- install the free trial version for yourself and check them out. Trying out Windows Server 2012 R2 also gives you the opportunity to enter our competition to win an Xbox One.