August 15, 2013 News Thursday: What’s New in R2 Blog Series and more Server and Tools News…

by STB Blogger


What’s New in R2 Blog Series: Hybrid IT

As part of the ongoing series on “What’s New in R2,” Corporate Vice President Brad Anderson’s blog has been highlighting how Windows Server 2012 R2 and System Center 2012 R2 can simplify the challenges associated with configuring and operating a hybrid IT environment. This is important as many customers have reported that they would be using multiple clouds. Anderson calls out some areas that the R2 releases help simplify:

  • Identity Management: Through innovation in Windows Azure Active Directory and Active Directory in Windows Server 2012 R2, customers can seamlessly stretch their identity and access management to the cloud and better manage, govern, and ensure compliance throughout their organization.
  • Networking: New features in the R2 products enable friction-free movement of VMs across on-premises networks to a service provider’s network, or Windows Azure. These new features automate a wide range of manual tasks, allowing IT to focus on scaling, expanding and improving infrastructure, 
  • Disaster Recovery: In Windows Server 2012 R2, Hyper-V Replica introduces some key enhancements around variable replication frequency, support for near-sync, and extended replication. To manage and orchestrate at cloud-scale, Windows Azure Hyper-V Recovery Manager protects important services by coordinating the replication and recovery of on-premise data to a secondary location.

For more information, check out Brad Anderson’s In the Cloud blog. We encourage customers to download the Windows Server 2012 and System Center 2012 R2 preview software and start evaluation today!

Windows Azure Notification Hubs and AlwaysOn Availability Groups Now Generally Available

Windows Azure Notification Hubs, a service that allows mobile app developers to deliver personalized push notifications to customers via Android, iOS and Windows devices, quickly, are now generally available. Traditionally, the process of configuring an application backend was time consuming and expensive. With Notification Hubs, the process time is greatly reduced and much easier for developers.

In addition to Notification Hubs, Microsoft announced full support of the AlwaysOn Availability Groups for Windows Azure Infrastructure Services and support for SQL Server Availability Group Listeners. AlwaysOn has been a popular feature in SQL Server 2012 and Windows Azure for high availability and disaster recovery. Now that AlwaysOn is generally available, Windows Azure customers can create up to four replica databases in one Availability Group, which in the event of a failover on the primary machine means that data will automatically be replicated to the secondary databases – so customers are never without the data they need.

Go to Scott Guthrie’s blog for more information.