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Appeared on: Wednesday, June 26, 2013
Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2 Preview Available for Download

Microsoft at TechEd Europe 2013 announced availability of the System Center 2012 R2 and Windows Server 2012 R2 previews. You can download these products right now from the evaluation center.

Windows Server 2012 R2 and System Center 2012 R2 provide new advancements to help IT organizations build and deliver private and hybrid cloud infrastructure for their businesses. Some of the highlights include:

- Enabling hybrid cloud - Windows Server Hyper-V and System Center enable virtual machine portability across customer, service provider and Windows Azure clouds, while a new System Center Management Pack for Windows Azure enhances cross-cloud management of virtual machine and storage resources. Windows Azure Backup and Hyper-V Recovery Manager provide offsite backup and disaster recovery options.
- Windows Azure Pack provides Windows Azure technology that enterprises and services providers can run on their Windows Server infrastructure for multi-tenant web and virtual machine cloud services.
- Built-in software-defined networking - Site-to-Site VPN Gateway helps customers bridge physical and virtual networks and extend them from their datacenter to service provider datacenters.
- Features such as Storage Spaces Tiering, VHDX resizing and de-duplication for virtual desktop infrastructure provide high performance for critical on-premises workloads (like SQL and Hyper-V) using lower-cost, industry-standard hardware.
- Windows Server Work Folders, Web App Proxy, improvements to Active Directory Federation Services and other technologies will help companies give their employees consistent access to company resources on the device of their choice.


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