(The image above represents an example of replication and replicas – the cloning of sheep.  We’ll stay with this theme in our images over the next few posts.)

In the next few blog posts we’ll discuss Hyper-V replica and backup.  In this first post we’ll briefly examine the new features of Windows Server 2012 R2 (WS2012 R2) and specifically the new features of Hyper-V replica.

The new and updated features of WS2012 Hyper-V include the following

  • Shared VHDX is new and enables multiple virtual machines to access the same virtual hard disk (VHDX) file.
  • VHDX resize has been updated;  with this feature you you can now dynamically resize virtual hard disks while the virtual machine is running.
  • VM export has been updated; with this feature you can now dynamically export a virtual machine (or a virtual machine checkpoint) while the virtual machine continues to run.
  • Storage QoS (Quality of Service) is a new feature that allows you to specify minimum and maximum IOPS (I/O Operations Per Second) for each virtual disk in a virtual machine.
  • Live migrations has been updated to enable improved performance and cross-version live migrations.
  • Generation 2 VMs provide secure boot, SCSI virtual hard disk boot, SCSI virtual DVD boot, PXE boot, and UEFI firmware support.  It also supports the following GOS’s: WS2012, WS2012 R2, Windows 8 64-bit, Windows 8.1 64-bit.
  • Direct file copy via Hyper-V integration services.
  • Failover clustering with Hyper-V allows you to protect network adapters and storage.
  • Enhanced session mode allows the redirection of local resources in a VM connection session.
  • Enhanced Linux support enhancement for improved video, dynamic memory, online VHDX resizing, and a Windows Azure online backup capability.
  • Automatic VM activation (AVMA) allows you to install WS2012 R2 VMs without having to manage product keys on a VM-by-VM basis.
  • Hyper-V networking has undergone a major upgrade; there are quite a few virtual networking improvements.
  • Hyper-V replica has a significant number of new features.

In our next post we’ll explore the Hyper-V replica features specifically.