Targeted legal holds in Google Vault

Vault admins have had the ability to put an entire user account on hold to preserve messages in that account. Next week we will roll out a new feature that will allow admins to also have the option to target specific messages—for example, by date or with certain terms—for indefinite preservation in Vault.

Editions included: 
Google Apps for Business, Education, and Government

For more information:

Reference by :


Google Maps autocomplete in Google Calendar

Users who create events for meetings in public places like cafes and restaurants can now easily and accurately populate the name, street and city of their venue. The “Where” field on the create events screen in Google Calendar will now autocomplete suggestion from Google Maps. The “Map” link in the event will open Google Maps showing the location of the venue.

Editions included:
Google Apps for Business, Education, and Government

Release track:
Rapid release

For more information:


Reference by :

Gmail and Calendar support in Google Takeout

You can now export your emails and calendar events in addition to the other supported products using Google Takeout. Access to Google Takeout can be controlled through the Admin console.

Editions included:
Google Apps for Business, Education, and Government

For more information:


  Reference by :

Scheduled Release: View and save Gmail attachment directly with Drive

You can now view Gmail attachments and save files directly to Google Drive without ever leaving Gmail. The next time you open an email with attachments, you’ll see new previews of the files at the bottom of the email. When you click on one of those previews, a full-screen view of the image or document will appear. You can now also save your attachments directly to Drive simply by clicking the Drive button that appears when you hover over the preview.

Release track:
Scheduled release

Editions included:
Google Apps for Business, Education, and Government

For more information:


  Reference by :

Scheduled Release: Calendar events that update when Google Groups change

Starting today when Google Calendar invitations are sent to members of a Google Group, the attendee list will automatically update as people join or leave the group. When you join a Google Group, you will be added to all of its meetings. And if you leave a group, those meetings will be removed from your calendar. Note that groups stop dynamically changing when the total number of guests in the event crosses 200.

Release track:
Scheduled Release

Editions included:
Google Apps for Business, Education, and Government

For more information:

  Reference by :

Windows Server 2012 R2 capability : Storage

When you optimize your business for the cloud with Windows Server 2012 R2, you take advantage of your existing skillsets and technology investments. You also gain all the Microsoft experience behind building and operating private and public clouds – right in the box.

Delivered as an enterprise-class, the simple and cost-effective server and cloud platform Windows Server 2012 R2 delivers significant value around seven key capabilities:



With the increase in new applications, the explosion of data, and growing end-user expectations for continuous services, there has come a significant increase in storage demands. Windows Server 2012 R2 offers a wide variety of storage features and capabilities to address the storage challenges faced by organizations. Whether you intend to use cost-effective, industry-standard hardware for the bulk of your workloads or Storage Area Networks for the most demanding ones, Windows Server 2012 R2 provides you with a rich set of features that can help you maximize the returns from all of your storage investments.

Microsoft designed Windows Server 2012 R2 with a strong focus on storage capabilities, including improvements in the provisioning, accessing, and managing of storage and the transfer of data across the network that resides on that storage. The end result is a storage solution that delivers the efficiency, performance, resiliency, availability, and versatility you need at every level.


High-performance storage on industry-standard hardware

Windows Server 2012 R2 provides a rich set of storage features that enable you to take advantage of lower-cost industry-standard hardware —rather than investing in purpose-built storage devices—without having to compromise performance or availability.

Storage Spaces, for example, provides sophisticated virtualization enhancements to the storage stack that you can use to pool multiple physical hard disk units together and provide feature-rich, highly resilient, and reliable storage arrays to your workloads. You can use Storage Spaces to create storage pools, which are virtualized administration units that are aggregates of physical disk units. With these storage pools, you can enable storage aggregation, elastic capacity expansion, and delegated administration. You can also create virtual disks with associated attributes that include a desired level of resiliency, thin or fixed provisioning, and automatic or controlled allocation on diverse storage media. These virtual disks can make use of striping, mirroring, and parity across physical disks for improved availability and performance.

Storage tiering, a new feature in Windows Server 2012 R2, relies on low cost, high-capacity spinning disks to store less-frequently used data, while high-speed solid-state disks store more-frequently used data. Storage tiering accomplishes this by building on storage virtualization with Storage Spaces, assigning solid-state drives (SSD) and hard disk drives (HDD) to the same storage pool and using them as different tiers in the same tiered space. Windows Server 2012 R2 recognizes the tiers and optimizes them by moving often-used “hot” data to the SSD tier. By tracking data temperature, Windows Server 2012 R2 can move data at the sub-file level, resulting in only “hot” regions of a file (such as VHD or database) moving to SSDs, with the “cold” regions residing on HDDs.


Since Windows Server 2012, SMB Direct has provided support for remote direct memory access (RDMA) network adapters, enabling storage performance capabilities that rival Fibre Channel. RDMA network adapters provide this performance capability by operating at full speed with very low latency due to the ability to bypass the kernel and perform write and read operations directly to and from memory. This capability is made possible by implementing reliable transport protocols on the adapter hardware that enable zero-copy networking with kernel bypass. As a result, applications (including SMB), can perform data transfers directly from memory, through the adapter, to the network, and then to the memory of the application requesting data from the file share.

Continuous application availability and robust recovery

Windows Server 2012 R2 reduces server downtime and application disruption by letting you store server application data on file shares while obtaining a similar level of reliability, availability, manageability, and high performance typically expected from a high-end storage area network (SAN).

Introduced in Windows Server 2012, Transparent Failover enables you to transparently move SMB file shares between file server cluster nodes, without noticeable interruption of access for end users or servers depending on the storage. This feature proves useful for planned events, such as performing maintenance on a node, or surprise events, such as when a hardware failure causes a server to fail. Transparent Failover occurs regardless of the kind of operation underway when the failure occurred.

One of the main advantages of file storage over block storage is the ease of configuration and the ability to configure folders that can be shared by multiple clients. Windows Server 2012 first introduced the ability to share the same folders from multiple nodes of the same cluster with cluster shared volumes (CSV). New in Windows Server 2012 R2 is the ability to manage SMB sessions per share (not just per file server), increasing flexibility. Workloads from a single client can be distributed across many nodes of a scale-out file server.

The combination of performance improvements and enhancements to availability through features such as transparent failover means you can now use File and Storage Services clusters as network storage for application data, especially workloads such as SQL Server and Hyper-V. In fact, for Windows Server 2012 R2 a file share cluster storage back end becomes the recommended deployment model for Hyper-V deployments.

Comprehensive storage management and backup

Whether you use purpose-built or industry-standard storage solutions, efficient use and management of valuable storage resources is critical. Windows Server 2012 R2 provides great management and backup capabilities that help you better manage your storage capacity for a single server or multiple servers, one class of storage or a variety of storage solutions, for a Windows-only or a heterogeneous environment.

Storage QoS, a new quality of service feature in Windows Server 2012 R2, enables you to restrict disk throughput for overactive or disruptive virtual machines. You can configure Storage QoS dynamically while the virtual machine is running. For maximum bandwidth applications, Storage QoS provides strict policies to throttle IO to a given virtual machine to a maximum IO threshold. For minimum bandwidth applications, Storage QoS provides policies for threshold warnings that alert an IO-starved virtual machine when the bandwidth does not meet the minimum threshold.

Also, to help improve storage management efficiency and offset that cost, Windows Server 2012 R2 comes with a set of storage management application programming interfaces (APIs) and provider interfaces that enables administrators to centrally manage disparate storage resources and solutions, such as SANs and storage arrays, from a centralized “single pane of glass” interface. Manageable resources can include SANs that are Storage Management Initiative Specification (SMI-S) compliant, storage devices with proprietary hardware that have compatible third-party storage management providers, or storage devices that are already allocated through the use of Storage Spaces. This storage management capability enables administrators to configure and manage all of the storage devices throughout their organization or management sphere through an easy-to-use management interface that they are already familiar with: Server Manager in Windows Server. By using ServerManager, administrators can populate server groups with file servers or storage clusters that take advantage of Storage Spaces or reach out to populate manageable devices that have enabled SMI-S agents.

Windows Azure Backup is a separate offering that extends the capabilities of Windows Server Backup and System Center Data Protection Manager to deliver simple and reliable off-site data protection to Windows Azure. Windows Azure Backup is suitable for any workload, such as file servers, SharePoint, SQL, Exchange, and others.

 Reference by:



Windows Server 2012 R2 Capability : Server virtualization

When you optimize your business for the cloud with Windows Server 2012 R2, you take advantage of your existing skillsets and technology investments. You also gain all the Microsoft experience behind building and operating private and public clouds – right in the box.

Delivered as an enterprise-class, the simple and cost-effective server and cloud platform Windows Server 2012 R2 delivers significant value around seven key capabilities:

Windows Server 2012 R2 capabilities

Server Virtualization

Windows Server Hyper-V offers a scalable and feature-rich virtualization platform that helps organizations of all sizes realize considerable cost savings and operational efficiencies. With Windows Server 2012 R2, server virtualization with Hyper-V pulls ahead of the competition by offering industry-leading size and scale that makes it the platform of choice for running your mission critical workloads. Using Windows Server 2012 R2, you can take advantage of new hardware technology, while still utilizing the servers you already have. This functionality enables you to virtualize today and be ready for the future tomorrow.

Whether you are looking to expand virtual machine mobility, increase virtual machine availability, handle multi-tenant environments, gain bigger scale, or gain more flexibility, Windows Server 2012 R2 with Hyper-V gives you the platform and tools you need to increase business agility with confidence. Plus, you can also benefit from workload portability as you extend your on-premises datacenter into a service provider cloud or Windows Azure.

 Enterprise-class scale and performance

Windows Server 2012 R2 offers massive scale to help transform your datacenter into an elastic, always-on cloud. For example, Hyper-V in Windows Server 2012 R2 provides industry-leading virtualization host support for 320 logical processors, 4TB of physical memory, and 1,024 active virtual machines per host. Hyper-V also supports 64-node clusters and 8,000 virtual machines per cluster as well as a 64 TB virtual disk format with the ability for online resize – the ability to grow or shrink a VHDX-formatted virtual disk dynamically while it is running, without downtime.

 Enterprise class scale and performance

Live migration is an important virtual machine mobility feature that has continued to improve since it was introduced with Windows Server 2008 R2. In Windows Server 2012 R2, these performance improvements have been taken to the next level. Live migration compression accelerates live migration transfer speed by compressing the VHD/VHDX file, improving performance by roughly 2x for most workloads. Live migration with remote direct memory access (RDMA), another new feature in Windows Server 2012 R2, delivers the highest performance for live migrations over >10 GB network connections, supporting transfer speeds of up to 56 Gigabytes, by offloading the transfer to hardware and harnessing the power of RDMA technologies.

 Virtualized Microsoft workloads, such as Exchange, SQL, and SharePoint, run best on a Hyper-V infrastructure. For example, independent third-party testing by The Enterprise Strategy Group, Inc. (ESG Lab) showed that an Exchange Server 2013 infrastructure deployed within twelve Hyper-V virtual machines running on a single physical server supported the I/O requirements of up to 48,000 simulated users. The average database read-response times ranged between 5.02 and 15.31 milliseconds, well below the Microsoft recommended limit of 20 milliseconds. In another ESG Lab test case, an existing SQL Server 2012 online transaction processing (OLTP) workload, virtual processor (vCPU)-limited by the maximum allowed configuration of four vCPUs imposed by Windows Server 2008, increased performance by six times by taking advantage of 64 vCPUs in Windows Server 2012. The average transaction response times also improved five times, from four vCPUs to 64 vCPUs.

Windows Server 2012 R2 also introduces generation 2 virtual machines to Hyper-V. These virtual machines provide Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI )firmware support, Pre-Boot Execution Environment (PXE) boot, secure boot, and boot from a Small Computer System Interface (SCSI) virtual hard disk VHD. Some older virtual hardware such as Integrated Drive Electronics (IDE) controllers has been removed. This change can help contribute to faster boot times and more flexible configurations. However, Windows Server 2012 R2 only supports more recent operating systems and does not support conversion between generation 1 and generation 2.

These enterprise-class features help ensure that your virtualization infrastructure can support the configuration of large, high-performance virtual machines for sustaining Microsoft or other, mission-critical workloads that you might need to significantly scale.

 Virtual machine mobility

Windows Server 2012 R2 enables you to manage virtual machines independently of their underlying physical infrastructure. In addition, Windows Server 2012 R2 also enables you to handle changes in resource demand as they occur and gives you the ability to rebalance running virtual machines either through the servers on which the virtual machines reside or the storage resources used by the virtual machines.

Introduced with Windows Server 2012 as an industry-first capability, shared-nothing live migration enables you to move a virtual machine, live without downtime, from one physical system to another, even if the systems are in different clusters or not connected to the same shared storage. This capability means you can live-migrate a virtual machine from one cluster to a different cluster without setting up complex storage mappings. Such functionality can prove beneficial in many different situations, such as in a branch office where you may be storing the virtual machines on a local disk, and you want to move a virtual machine from one node to another. This feature also can prove useful when you have two independent clusters and you want to move a virtual machine, live, between them, without having to expose their shared storage to one another. Windows Server 2012 R2 also introduces cross-version live migration that enables you to move virtual machines from a server or cluster running Windows Server 2012 to a server or cluster running Windows Server 2012 R2 with no downtime. In multi-tenant environments of service providers, tenants are frequently asking for application-level, high availability for their workloads. To address this need, Windows Server 2012 R2 provides complete flexibility with multiple options for guest clustering, without making you sacrifice agility and density in your environment. In addition to Fibre Channel, iSCSI, and server message block (SMB) protocol support, Windows Server 2012 R2 now also offers shared VHDX files. Shared VHDX files can be stored either on a scale-out file server cluster or on cluster-shared volumes (CSV) on block storage. Shared VHDX clustering also preserves dynamic memory, live migration, and storage live migration for a virtual machine that is part of the guest cluster.

First introduced in Windows Server 2012, Hyper-V Replica provides a storage- and workload-agnostic solution that replicates efficiently, periodically, and asynchronously over IP-based networks, typically to a remote site. Hyper-V Replica also enables an administrator to easily test the replica virtual machine without disrupting the ongoing replication. If a disaster occurs at the primary site, administrators can quickly restore their business operations by bringing up the replicated virtual machine at the replica site. New in Windows Server 2012 R2, Hyper-V Replica enables configurable, replication frequencies down to 30 seconds or up to 15 minutes. Furthermore, Hyper-V Replica now supports multiple nodes, meaning tertiary replica sites for example, such as in the case of a service provider who wants to replicate a customer’s workload to another datacenter.

Another innovation around Windows Server 2012 R2 is Windows Azure Hyper-V Recovery Manager. Hyper-V Recovery Manager combines Windows Azure, System Center Virtual Machine Manager, and Hyper-V Replica to deliver planned and cost-effective business continuity of workloads. With Windows Azure Hyper-V Recovery Manager, you can protect services by automating the replication of the virtual machines that composes them at a secondary location. Hyper-V Recovery Manager also provides continuous health monitoring of the primary site and coordinates the orderly recovery of services in the event of a site outage.

 First-class citizen support for Linux as a guest

Many enterprise IT departments and service providers today run a mix of hypervisors, operating systems, and applications in their datacenter. Oftentimes, migrating from one platform to another is not possible or even feasible from a technical standpoint due to the size and scope involved. Designed to integrate well with heterogeneous IT environments, Windows Server 2012 R2 supports a cross-platform cloud infrastructure by adding comprehensive functional support for Linux guests running on top of Hyper-V.

Dynamic Memory, a Hyper-V feature first introduced in Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1, automatically reallocates memory between virtual Cloud optimize your business with Windows Server 2012 R2 9


machines running on a Hyper-V host. This results in a more efficient allocation of virtual machine memory while dramatically increasing virtual machine consolidation ratios. In Windows Server 2012 R2, Hyper-V now offers full dynamic memory support for Linux guests including:

Ÿ Minimum memory setting — ability to set a minimum value for the memory assigned to a virtual machine lower than the startup memory setting.

Ÿ Hyper-V smart paging — paging used to enable a virtual machine to reboot while the Hyper-V host is under extreme memory pressure.

Ÿ Memory ballooning — reclaiming unused memory from a virtual machine for another virtual machine with memory needs.

Ÿ Runtime configuration — adjusting the minimum memory and maximum memory configuration setting on the fly, without requiring a reboot, while the virtual machine continues to run.

 Also, previously, if you wanted to take advantage of Linux Integration Services (LIS) for your Hyper-V environment, you had to go to the Microsoft Download Center, download the correct LIS package for your Linux distribution, and then manually install it on your Hyper-V servers. With Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V hosts, key Linux vendors have included LIS for Hyper-V in their standard distributions, eliminating the manual step required to take advantage of the latest LIS capabilities.

Reference by:

Exchange Top Features

  • Increase user productivity and keep your organization safe, while maintaining the control you need.

Remain in control

Exchange lets you tailor your solution based on your unique needs and ensures that your communications are always available, while you remain in control, on your own terms—online, on-premises, or a hybrid of the two.

 Office 365 Exchange Admin

Move to the cloud on your terms. Exchange provides you with flexible options for moving to the cloud, whether that’s onboarding to the cloud overnight or managing a hybrid deployment with mailboxes that are both on-premises and online. Limit user disruption when mailboxes are smoothly moved across environments, and let users share calendars and schedule meetings, regardless of the environment their mailbox is in. Try out upcoming enhancements in the cloud with support for upgrade previews.

Decrease the amount of time spent on management, while maintaining control. Manage powerful capabilities, including Data Loss Prevention (DLP) and site mailboxes, from the Exchange Administration Center —a single, easy-to-use, web-based administration interface. Role-based access control empowers your helpdesk and specialist users to perform specific tasks without requiring full administrative permissions. This streamlined and intuitive experience helps you manage Exchange efficiently, delegate tasks, and focus on driving your business forward.

Keep important data in one place with Exchange archiving, large mailboxes, and retention policies. Empower your users with a large mailbox to allow them the flexibility to retain email in their primary mailbox or move items to an In-Place Archive. With flexible and powerful retention policies, you can take control of your storage and compliance demands while keeping your users productive.

Do more, on any device

Exchange lets your users be more productive by helping them manage increasing volumes of communications across multiple devices and work together more effectively as teams.


Give your users an intuitive, touch-enabled inbox experience. Get more done from anywhere with a clean, uncluttered inbox that focuses on the relevant and important information.

Allow your users to work better together on teams and projects. Site mailboxes* let users collaborate on projects, get up to speed quickly on teams they join, and share information easily. Co-authoring, document storage, and versioning are provided by SharePoint, while messaging is handled by Exchange, for a complete user experience, including document access.

Customize Exchange by integrating web-based apps for Outlook and Outlook Web App. Help your users spend less time switching between apps and make their communications experience more powerful with an extension model that allows you to provide easy plug-in access to web-based apps within both Outlook and Outlook Web App. With single sign-on to multiple apps, you can reduce complexity for users and give them secure, authorized access for each approved application.

Keep your organization safe

Use Exchange to protect business communication and sensitive information in order to meet internal and regulatory compliance.


Eliminate email threats before they reach your network. Exchange actively protects your communications with built-in defenses against viruses, spam, and phishing attacks.

Protect your sensitive data and inform users of internal compliance policies. Prevent users from mistakenly sending sensitive information to unauthorized people. Data Loss Prevention (DLP) features identify, monitor, and protect sensitive data through deep content analysis, and PolicyTips in Outlook inform users about policy violations before sensitive data is sent. Built-in DLP policies are based on regulatory standards such as PII and PCI, plus Exchange can support other policies important to your business.

Let your compliance officers run In-Place eDiscovery across Exchange, SharePoint, and Lync from a single interface. Ensure internal and regulatory compliance by using the new eDiscovery Center* to identify, hold, and analyze your organization’s data from Exchange, SharePoint, and Lync. The data always remains in-place, so you never have to manage a separate store of data.

Below is the part number and details from Microsoft Paper license




ExchgeOnlnPlan1Open ShrdSvr SNGL SubsVL OLP NL Annual Qlfd


Reference by:




Enterprise support and controls for the new Hangouts

Summary of Changes

  • Finding the people you need to communicate with is easier. Users can now search within the GAL right from the friend list in Hangouts and see contacts that are more relevant to them.
  • Hangouts is now supported by the Google Apps support team, just like Talk or any other core service.
  • Administrators have new controls over how chats are used within their domain:
  • Sharing: Allow users to chat outside the domain
  • Invitation Auto-Accept: Set invitations to automatically accept between users in your domain
  • Voice and Video: Allow users to make voice and video calls from Hangouts, including voice calls to phone numbers
  • History: Set conversation history to default on or off

Things to Note

  • Regardless of the setting in the admin console, users can turn history on or off for any hangout.
  • If external sharing is allowed, users will not see a warning when they begin a Hangout with users outside of their domain.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Q: Does this change how Hangouts works with Vault?
    No, this release does not affect how Hangouts works with Vault. Hangouts and Vault is subject to the Google Apps Enterprise Amendment: Hangouts & Vault.Q: Is Google Voice required for making voice calls to phone numbers?
    Yes, Google Voice is required to place voice calls.Q: Can I change these at an Organization Unit level?
    Yes, these settings are in ‘enabled group settings’ for each OU in your domain.Q: Does this change anything my users see within hangouts?
    A: No, Hangouts will look and feel the same, but users might notice that finding relevant contacts is easier.

Reference by :

Admin controls and global address list support for Hangouts

Admins now have the ability to customize which Hangouts features are available to which employees. They choose to limit Hangouts chat messages to being internal-only, set chat history to off by default and decide whether users within the domain can contact each other without sending or accepting formal invitations first. Video and audio chat can also be turned off across the organization.

Hangouts also supports auto-complete through the global address list. You can start by typing the name of anybody in your organization and auto-complete will help you find who you’re looking for.

Editions included:
Google Apps for Business, Education, and Government

For more information:

Reference by :