Improvements to iSCSI Target Server include support for VHDx (VHD 2.0) virtual hard disks for capacities of up to 64 TB. iSCSI Target Server also now supports SMI-S, enabling end-to-end provisioning using System Center Virtual Machine Manager.
Improvements to the Server Message Block (SMB) protocol include better SMB Direct performance, automatic rebalancing for Cluster Shared Volumes (CSV) on scale-out file servers, shared VHDx files, Hyper-V Live Migration over SMB, SMB bandwidth management, detailed event messages, and more.
Enhancements include storage tiering, SSD write-back caches for storage spaces, parity storage spaces on failover clusters, dual parity storage spaces, and faster rebuilding of storage spaces after disk failures.
Enhancements include support for Cluster Shared Volumes and deduplication of live Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) VMs that reside on a file server connected via SMB.
a new feature that facilitates the BYOD (bring-your-own-device) scenario by enabling users to access work files from their personal computers and devices. Organizations retain centralized control over their data and can specify device policies such as encryption and lock screen password.
Enhancements include increases in scalability, the ability to do database cloning and corruption recovery, a Windows PowerShell module, a new WMI provider, faster replication on high bandwidth connections, and recovery tools for conflicts.
Enhancements include added support for four-node cluster deployments and a wizard for creating a domain controller within a Hyper-V VM that can be used to deploy a turnkey cluster-in-a-box.
Enhancements include an improved Storage Management API enables 10x faster enumerations, added cluster-awareness, and remote management for Storage Spaces new features.
No Windows Server Client Access Licenses (CALs) required benefits users the ability to access the services of the server without a permit. With this, business users will not have to go through the trouble of obtaining authorization of per-user or per-device. With no CALs required, users are able to access data on demand, without the troubles of CALs.
Windows Storage Server 2012 R2 Standard offers an affordable server solution that can be used as the primary infrastructure server in multi-server environments.
You can create user groups and add user accounts to them. User account permissions can be managed through their user group memberships.
Enhancements include improvements to virtual machine availability, Cluster Shared Volumes (CSV), dynamic cluster quorums, cluster node health detection, deployment, updating and monitoring.
Enhancements include shared virtual hard disks, resizing of virtual hard disks while a VM is running, storage quality of service (QoS), improved performance for live migrations, cross-version live migrations, and several more new or improved capabilities.
BranchCache can help you optimize Internet usage, improve performance of networked applications, and reduce traffic on your wide-area network (WAN).
SMB Multichannel enables file servers to use multiple network connections simultaneously. It facilitates aggregation of network bandwidth and network fault tolerance when multiple paths are available between the SMB 3.0 client and the SMB 3.0 server.