In June, Microsoft launched a public preview version of Windows Server 2012 R2, the next major release of its server operating system, based largely on Windows 8.1. However, some people might be curious about what's included in the R2 build before they decide to download the preview version.
Thankfully, Microsoft has this covered in a new blog post that attempts to summarize what's new and improved in Windows Server 2012 R2. One of the improvements deals with hard drive storage performance. Microsoft says:
The storage tiering feature of Storage Spaces in Windows Server 2012 R2 automatically tiers data across hard disks and solid state drives based on usage to dramatically increase storage performance and cost efficiency.
Other new features include a new in-box gateway to allow for connections to both physical servers as well as virtual networks on the Internet, along with cross-version live migration which Microsoft says will allow for virtual machines that use Windows Server 2012 to upgrade to the R2 with no downtime.
Microsoft recently announced the four different versions for Windows Server 2012 R2, which includes the Datacenter SKU. Microsoft has elected to raise the price of the Datacenter SKU to $6,155, which is much higher than the version for Windows Server 2012. the prices for the three other SKUs remain the same.