What’s New in Windows Server 2012 R2 – Hyper-V

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During the last TechEd North America, Microsoft wraps off what will be the new Windows Server 2012 R2. The upgrade brings an impressive number of features as well as improvements to existing capabilities in Windows Server 2012.

Here are some of the new and improved features related to Hyper-V:

New Generation of Virtual Machines – Generation 2 of virtual machines

  • Legacy free
  • UEFI based
    • Many emulated devices removed
    • Boots from virtual SCSI or synthetic network adapters
    • Enables UEFI secure boot standard
  • Supported guest operating systems:
    • 64-bit versions of Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012
    • 64-bit versions of Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2


Enhanced VM Interaction – Remote Desktop over VMBus

  • Full remote desktop capabilities
    • Shared clipboard
    • Audio redirection
    • Enhanced login
    • and more….
  • Enabled even when the network is down
  • Integrated into Hyper-V Management experience

Automatic Activation

  • Zero touch activation of virtual machines
  • Virtual machines automatically activated according to the hosting environment
  • Reduces configuration for hosters / enterprises

Zero-downtime upgrade

  • Live migrate virtual machines from
    Windows Server 2012 to Windows Server 2012 R2
  • Includes shared nothing live migration

Faster Live Migration

  • Compression
    • Over 2x improvement in live migration time
    • No hardware changes are required
    • Enabled by default
  • SMB Direct
    • Utilizes existing and new high-end networks
    • Enables super high-speed live migrations
    • Supports SMB Multichannel to leverage multiple interfaces


Online VHDX resize

  • Increase and decrease the size of virtual hard disks – while the virtual machine is running

Live virtual machine export / clone

While the virtual machine is running…

  • Export a complete copy – including memory state
  • Export any snapshot of a virtual machine

Continuing Linux Guest Support

  • Full dynamic memory
  • Online backup
  • Online VHDX resize
  • New video driver

Storage QoS

  • Enables constant SLA delivery
  • Dynamically configurable while the virtual machine is running
  • Can restrict disk throughput for overactive / disruptive virtual machines

Guest clustering with shared virtual disks

  • Guest Clustering
    • Guest Clustering with commodity storage
    • Sharing VHDX files provides shared storage for Hyper-V Failover Clustering
    • Maintains separation between infrastructure and tenants
  • Virtual SAS
    • VM presented a shared virtual SAS disk
    • Appears as shared SAS disk to VM

Hyper-V Replica

  • Extended replication
  • Finer grained control of replication
  • And more…


Marcos Nogueira
Twitter: @mdnoga

Written by Marcos Nogueira

With more than 17 years’ experience in Datacenter Architectures, Marcos Nogueira is currently working as a Chief Technology Officer at NogaIT Consulting. He is an expert in Private and Hybrid Cloud, with a focus on Virtualization, System Center and Microsoft Azure. He has worked in several industries, including Aerospace, Transportation, Energy, Manufacturing, Financial Services, Government, Health Care, Telecoms, IT Services, and Gas & Oil in different countries and continents.

Marcos is an MVP in Hyper-V and he has +12 years as Microsoft Certified, with more than 80+ certifications (MCT, MCSE, and MCITP, among others). Marcos is also certified in VMware, CompTIA and ITIL v3. He assisted Microsoft in the development of workshops and special events on Private Cloud, System Center, Windows Server, Hyper-V and as a speaker at several Microsoft TechEd and communities events around the world.