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31 Days of our Favorite Things: The Windows Server 2012 Blog Post Series (Part 1 of 31)

Windows Server 2012

Happy October!  And Happy Monday! 


Ah.. Somebody hasn’t had enough coffee yet.  Well… trust me.  It is a great day.  It’s the first day of a new blog post series that me and my central region IT Pro Technology Evangelist buddies are facilitating.


IT Pro Evangelists Matt Hester, Brian Lewis, Keith Mayer, and I. 

“and me.”

Yeah, you too.  We are dedicating October to a series of 31 daily blog posts that will discuss and/or demonstrate our top favorite features and functionalities in Windows Server 2012.  And today is day #1.  So, for today, I’m going to briefly answer the question: “Why Windows Server 2012?” by sharing some overview thoughts, and leave you with some useful resources.

Insert Innovation Here!The Cloud Platform

Windows Server 2012 was built with “the cloud” in mind.  Now before you completely tune out just because someone from Microsoft yet again said the words “the cloud”, hear me out.  When I say “cloud”, I mean a dynamic, elastic, scalable, secured, self-service, flexible datacenter.  So call it what you want, but that’s basically what I mean when I say “cloud”.  Microsoft created Windows Server 2012 to be the foundation of your clouds by improving or including new features and functionality that address the needs of a dynamic datacenter.  How big do you want to create virtual machines?  How easy should it be to move or migrate resources around?  These are the questions that Windows Server 2012 tackles head on

Cost Savings and Increased Efficiencies

How many servers does each IT Professional manage in your organization?  On average, it’s probably something like 40-50 servers at most, if we take into account all organizations and their varied sizes.   Server 2012 includes new tooling that makes it easier to fully configure and manage many more servers and a wider range of resources all from one console, so you can be more efficient with your time.  And new options for providing and managing storage – even storage using cheap disks – that provide new flexibility for allocating and managing capacity while being able to add to the back-end capacity by simply adding more cheap disks into the pools (technology we call “Storage Spaces“) means that the next time you’re thinking about adding capacity to your expensive SAN solution, you can also consider maybe moving some of the less-critical stored files or data to a much cheaper, yet fully reliable solution supported by the server operating system.  These are just a couple of examples of how we make you more efficient, and save your organization some money.

Support for a Modern Workstyle

Does your company own every device that your users use to connect to your infrastructure and the applications and data you support to allow them to get their jobs done?  If you answered “yes”, then you are in the minority.  And even then you’re probably still being asked again and again, “How can I use my new iPad to connect to my stuff?”  (Or some variation on that theme.)  So you’re looking for ways to securely grant people access to the data or applications they need, maintaining data security and integrity, even while they’re using their devices of choice.  Windows Server 2012 introduces or improves upon many of the technologies that can support this “Consumerization of IT” so that, for example, your users with Internet-connected tablets can easily use a remote desktop session (whether session based or VDI) to do their work.  Or perhaps for your company owned and managed, domain-joined machines, you want to provide a secured, always-on “DirectAccess” connection back to the corporate network.  No special VPN connection process required.  These are things that Windows Server 2012 can support for you.

So that’s a quick summary of “Why Windows Server 2012”.  In the coming days (30 to be exact), we’re each going to drill down into the details of the new features; each on our own blogs.  Additionally, even on the days that I’m not the main author of the topic, I’ll still create a post with a summary and link to the main author’s post.  We sincerely hope that you enjoy and can make good use out of what we share with you! 

As promised, here are some important resources relating to Windows Server 2012…

Windows Server 2012 Download Center – https://aka.ms/Server2012

Hyper-V Server 2012 Downolad – https://aka.ms/HVServer2012

Windows Server Team Blog – http://blogs.technet.com/b/windowsserver/

Windows Server Launch – http://www.windows-server-launch.com/Home

Richard Fichera of Forrester Research: Microsoft Announces Windows Server 2012 – http://blogs.forrester.com/richard_fichera/12-09-05-microsoft_announces_windows_server_2012

Windows Server Jump-Start Recordings  – http://blogs.technet.com/b/kevinremde/archive/2012/06/29/windows-server-2012-jump-start-recordings-released.aspx

Windows Server 2012 Virtual Labs – https://aka.ms/Server2012VLabs

Microsoft Cloud Home Page – http://www.microsoft.com/cloud

Private Cloud Home Page – http://www.microsoft.com/privatecloud

Hyper-V Overview – http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh831531

What’s New in Hyper-V – http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh831410

Hyper-V getting Started Guide – http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc732470(WS.10).aspx

Step-by-Step Guide to Getting Started with Hyper-V (download) – http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=BCAA9707-0228-4860-B088-DD261CA0C80D&displaylang=en

Hyper-V Support for Scaling Up and Scaling Out Overview – http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh831389.aspx

SMB 3.0 Overview – http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh831795.aspx

Hyper-V Replica Overview – http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj134172.aspx

Hyper-V Replica – Prerequisites for certificate based deployments – http://blogs.technet.com/b/virtualization/archive/2012/03/13/hyper-v-replica-certificate-requirements.aspx

Live Migration Shared Nothing Video – http://www.aidanfinn.com/?p=12287

High-Performance, Continuously Available File Share Storage for Server Applications Technical Preview – http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh831399.aspx

Understanding and Troubleshooting Storage Spaces – http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=29002

Windows Virtualization Home – http://www.microsoft.com/virtualization

Hyper-V Cloud Deployment Guides – http://www.microsoft.com/virtualization/en/us/private-cloud-get-started.aspx

Microsoft Hyper-V Virtual Machine Converter RC – http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh967435.aspx

Windows Server 2012 Licensing Datasheet (.PDF download) – http://download.microsoft.com/download/0/4/B/04BD0EB1-42FE-488B-919F-3981EF9B2101/WS2012_Licensing-Pricing_Datasheet.pdf