In the past week, we’ve written about the transition from Windows Server 2003 to Windows Server 2008 and 2012, and what IT professionals need to do in order to make the transition seamless before Microsoft cuts off all support on July 14, 2015. Myhosting.com plans to be available to its customers in support as this transition happens as well.

While our last few blog posts have focused on process and the how-to, we haven’t quite yet spent time on what exactly IT professionals will experience once they see the transition. After all, new technology makes us excited like kids on Christmas morning, and if you’re reading this, you probably feel the same way. In this blog post, we’ll look at the top 5 new features in Windows Server 2012 that you can look forward to once you make the transition. We think you should sit down because it’s a pretty exciting list of items.

Gift #1: Office 365 Integration

Office 365 is all the excitement these days for companies who want to do more work from anywhere, anytime, and Windows Server 2012 empowers employees to do just that by allowing for more SharePoint libraries management and Office 365 Distribution Groups management. Getting to the cloud and getting more work done has never been so easy.

Gift #2: Mobile Device Management

If you’ve activated Gift #1 with your Windows Server 2012, you can extend its functionality and manage mobile devices through Exchange Active Sync. This will allow email access from mobile phones, set up passwords, and remote wipe. If BYOD and hiring Millennials for your workforce are something your organization has been looking to implement in the past few years, then now is your chance.

Gift #3: Better Data – Like Health Report and Deduplication

Big data is a big deal, and Windows 2012 Server amplifies the business interests. Windows Server 2012 now makes data a bigger priority with Health Report and deduplication of data. Health Report consolidates information about the Windows Server Essentials network and enables the sharing of such data to specific recipients via email. In the area of data deduplication, Windows Server 2012 now makes sure you can have more of your essential storage space by managing duplicate data, saving you money and resources.

Gift #4: Simplified Choices

Microsoft seems to like creating a variety of versions for its software solutions, and, in the past, Windows Server was no different. For 2012, however, IT professionals get a much simpler set of choices before them: Datacenter, Standard, Essentials, and foundation, which offer their own distinct advantages. No more, no less.

Gift #5: A Focus on Virtualization

Besides data, virtualization is also a hot topic in technology circles these days. In Windows Server 2012 IT professionals are given a beefed up Hyper-V 3.0 which can support 64-bit processors and 1 TB of RAM, 1,024 active virtual machines per host, and 8,000 virtual machines per cluster, which means that nearly every application can be run at scale. The focus on virtualization also means that virtual machines can be moved between servers with only a need for an Ethernet connection. This means lower overall costs and less need for shared storage which can be expensive – everyone wins.

What’s Next?

With these gifts in mind, upgrading from Windows Server 2003 seems like a no-brainer. Our checklist as well as Microsoft’s guided tutorials are a solid place to begin as you consider next generation technology.

Do you have any suggestions, tips, or new favorites coming in the next generation of Windows Server software? We’d love to hear them! Share yours in the comments below.

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