At the heart of the Microsoft Cloud OS vision, Windows Server 2012 R2 brings Microsoft’s experience delivering global-scale cloud services into your infrastructure. Windows Server 2012 R2 offers exciting new features and enhancements across virtualization, storage, networking, virtual desktop infrastructure, access and information protection, and more.

Benefits



Enterprise-class


New and enhanced features allow you to take advantage of even better performance and more efficient capacity utilization in your datacenter, helping you increase the agility of your business. Windows Server 2012 R2 offers a proven, enterprise-class virtualization and cloud platform that can scale to continuously run your largest workloads while enabling robust recovery options to protect against service outages.

Simple and cost-effective

Windows Server 2012 R2 also gives you resilient, multi-tenant-aware storage and networking capabilities for a wide range of workloads. It delivers these capabilities at a fraction of the cost of other solutions, through the use of low-cost, industry-standard hardware. With automation of a broad set of management tasks built-in, Windows Server 2012 R2 simplifies the deployment of major workloads and increases operational efficiencies.

Application focused

Windows Server 2012 R2 helps you build, deploy and scale applications and web sites quickly, and with more flexibility than ever before. In concert with Windows Azure VM and System Center 2012 R2, it unlocks improved application portability between on-premises environments and public and service provider clouds, increasing flexibility and elasticity of your IT services. Windows Server 2012 R2 provides a scalable, highly available platform for mission-critical applications and offers enhanced support for open standards, open source applications and various development languages.

User-centric

Windows Server 2012 R2 makes it easier to deploy a virtual desktop infrastructure, and can lower storage costs significantly by supporting a broad range of storage options and VHD de-duplication. Virtual Desktop Infrastructure in Windows Server 2012 R2 makes it possible for users to access IT from virtually anywhere, providing them a rich Windows experience while ensuring enhanced data security and compliance.

Windows Server 2012 R2 enables you to provide access to corporate resources and helps protect critical business information. With Windows Server 2012 R2, you can manage identities across your datacenter and federated into the cloud, provide flexible remote access to applications and resources, and define the resources and level of access users have to information based on who they are, what they are accessing, and what device they are using.

Description from: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/server-cloud/windows-server/windows-server-2012-r2.aspx



Documentation

Operating System Specific

- Remote Server Administration Tools (RSAT) for Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012, and Windows Server 2012 R2 (dsforum2wiki)

- Storage Spaces Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

By Roles

Role Article 
Active Directory Certificate Services  Creating a certificate template that includes the Microsoft Platform Crypto Provider on a CA with no TPM
Active Directory Domain Services  LDAPs(636) and MSFT-GC-SSL(3269) Service
  Windows 2012 R2: Active Directory Best Practices (with SharePoint tips) 
  Windows 2012 R2: Active Directory Installation 
  Windows 2012 R2: How to install and prepare for Active Directory 
Active Directory Federation Services   
Active Directory Lightweight Directory Services (AD LDS)   
Active Directory Rights Management Services   
Application Server   
Failover Clustering 
File and Storage Services
Group Policy  
Hyper-V   Hyper-V: Avoid enabling storage Quality of Service when using a differencing virtual hard disk when the parent and child virtual hard disks are on different volumes
  Hyper-V: Configure at least the required amount of memory for a virtual machine running Windows Server 2012 R2 and enabled for Dynamic Memory  
  Hyper-V: Update List for Windows Server 2012 R2  
  Hyper-V: Windows Server 2012 R2 should be configured with at least the minimum amount of memory  
  Hyper-V: Windows Server 2012 R2 should be configured with the recommended amount of memory   
Networking  
Network Load Balancing   
Network Policy and Access Services 
Print and Document Services   
Remote Desktop Services   
Security and Protection 
Telemetry   
Volume Activation   
Web Server (IIS)  
Windows Deployment Services   
Windows Server Backup Feature   
Windows Server Essentials Experience  
Windows Server Update Services 
Windows System Resource Manager   

How-To

Windows 2012 R2: How to install and prepare for Active Directory

Troubleshooting

BPA using PowerShell Windows Server 2012 - Server Manager Troubleshooting Guide, Part I: Overview        

MISC

SharePoint 2013: support for Windows Server 2012 R2