To quickly have preconfigured systems come up we use virtualization (Hyper-V) along with other technologies like Vagrant and Ansible with other configuration and testing scripts like Python and/or Powershell.
I just setup a new Windows 2012 R2 Machine in Hyper-V using a ISO image.
By default, some features aren't enabled to make my testing easier. For example, to be able to ping the machine or RDP into it for GUI related tasks.
To enable Windows to respond to a ping you have to go into Windows Firewall with Advanced Security > Inbound Rules and enable File and Printer Sharing (Echo Request - ICMPv4-In) by right clicking on the rule name.
For remote desktop connections I had to do two things:
1) Type SystemPropertiesRemote and select "Allow remote connections to this computer." I also deselected the "Allow connections only..." beneath it
2) I ran this command: netsh advfirewall firewall set rule group="Remote Desktop" new enable=yes
If for some reason I disabled Allow remote connections again I would have to do the two steps again to get RDP to allow my remote client to connect.