Another week of the roadshow done and dusted, and more questions and answers to bring you…
If I start with Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials can I then buy another server with Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard and join it to the domain?
Yes you can, but there are two important things to take into account. The first is that you will now need to start purchasing CALs for the users and/or devices. The second is that you will still have to work within the confines of the Essentials restrictions when it comes to the maximum number of users.
If I have a customer with two Hyper-V servers that don't want a shared storage solution to speed up Live Migrations what other options are there?
The two main subsystems that initially need to be considered here are the network and disk infrastructure. A 10GbE NIC is obviously going to be faster than a 1GbE NIC, and you can look at the previous post about NIC teaming and SMB multichannel to see the different bandwidth aggregation options you have. You would then need to have a high performance disk subsystem in each of the servers that can keep up with the preferably isolated migration network as well as not impact the running VM workloads. The final hardware component to be considered are the server's CPUs. Migration network traffic compression can also impact system performance and responsiveness if not planned for, but if you are using higher speed connections you won't need to use compression.
I haven't had much exposure yet to Hyper-V, what's the easiest way to be able to get more hands on experience with it?
One of the easiest ways, especially if you don't have another machine to run it on, you can enable Hyper-V on Windows 8 Pro and higher versions. While you won't be able to test Live Migrations and Hyper-V Replica capabilities, you still get to test many of the other features.
If I am working with hosting provider who provisions SharePoint, Lync and Exchange for me, can I integrate those into the Essentials Dashboard the same way that Office 365 can be integrated?
If the hosting provider is able to provide their own dashboard app for Essentials, they can enable many of the same types of features, but the app that they build and the services they publish will determine what the exact capabilities will be.