I was just reading the ComputerWorld article on some upcoming features of Windows Server 2012 R2, and I see some really intriguing improvements:
In Windows Server 2012 R2, the PowerShell command-line scripting language introduces a feature called Desired State Configuration, or DSC. It uses a declarative syntax to define a configuration for a server and then uses PowerShell remoting to apply that desired configuration to a group of servers all at once.
I’ve been waiting to be able to do something like this for years!
The Hyper-V advances are great too, especially since it looks like Live Migrations between 2012 RTM and 2012 R2 will be supported, and that RDP will be available to even non-networked VMs. And, finally, we will be able to resize VHDX drives on the fly! Here’s another link that provides more details about upcoming Hyper-V features (in a dreaded slideshow).
Lastly, for now, are the storage improvements including those related to de-duplication.
Windows Server 2012 R2 continues to build on Microsoft’s recent cloud integration focus, and should offer a unified experience no matter where your servers are (on premise, public cloud, private cloud, etc).
I’m definitely looking forward to this update, and will be checking out the previewearly next week.