I’m viewing WS2012 R2 as a storage release by Microsoft (WS2012 was a Hyper-V/cloud release). There’s a lot happening in the storage side of WS2012 R2, and Microsoft has published a bunch of posts to keep you informed.
- Deploying Data Deduplication for VDI storage in Windows Server 2012 R2: This post informs you about the benefits of enabling the built-in de-duplication for VDI.
- Extending Data Deduplication to new workloads in Windows Server 2012 R2: Here they dig into using the built-in de-duplication for VDI. Note that the support statement is clear: it is (a) just for VDI workloads and (b) the Hyper-V and storage workloads must be on different physical servers (de-duplication will incur a resource cost). Other scenarios mixing the built-in de-duplication and Hyper-V are not supported – yes, it’s that simple.
- iSCSI Target Server in Windows Server 2012 R2: The big change is that it now uses VHDX instead of VHD (can’t create but can import). VHDX is dynamic but can be overridden using PowerShell.
- What’s new for SMI-S in Windows Server 2012 R2: The SMI-S provider for the iSCSI target is built into WS2012 R2, where it’s an add-on for WS2012.