Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V also updates some existing features:
- Resizing of virtual hard disks: Resizing is now supported while the VM is running -- if you're using VHDX files attached to a SCSI controller.
- Live migrations: Live migrations have had performance improvements for compression and the use of the SMB 3.0 protocol. Cross-version live migrations are also supported, but only from Windows Server 2012 to Windows Server 2012 R2.
- Integration services: This allows an admin to copy files to a VM without using a network connection by using the PowerShell Copy-VMFile cmdlet. (To the developers behind this feature: Thanks!)
- Export: You can now export a VM or VM checkpoint while the machine is running, which prevents unnecessary downtime and is great for duplicating your production environment to create a test environment or to troubleshoot a problem.
- Failover clustering: This now provides for virtual network adapter protection and VM storage protection.
- Hyper-V replicas: This now allows you to configure extended replication so that your replica server can replicate to a third server (which could be to an off-premises or cloud-based data center). If your primary server goes down, your replica is ready to assist. And you have extra protection thanks to extended replica server support: In Windows Server R2 2012, you can control replication frequency (previously fixed at 5 minutes) and can now access recovery points for 24 hours (previously, only 15 hours).
- Linux support: There's now support for VM backup, as well as dynamic memory support for Linux VMs.
- Management: You can manage Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V through your Windows Server 2012 R2 or Windows 8.1 systems. That gives you down-level management support that didn't exist before.
I believe these enhancements are major. They continue to push Microsoft forward and show enterprises that their needs are being taken seriously. Although Microsoft is struggling with its client versions of Windows, its server products are in great shape -- and only getting better.
This story, "Windows Server 2012 R2 kicks Hyper-V up another notch," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Read more of J. Peter Bruzzese's Enterprise Windows blog and follow the latest developments in Windows at InfoWorld.com. For the latest business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.