The Windows Server “8” Beta was released publicly last week, and it’s now available for IT professionals around NZ to download, to evaluate, and to provide feedback. We’re already seeing a lot of excitement over the release’s new features. This Windows Server release is quite possibly the most significant release of Windows Server ever; our cloud optimised server operating system.
Download Windows Server "8" Beta. The necessary files can be downloaded from TechNet. Need more information? See the product details page. Register to access technical product resources - such as forums, solution accelerators, white papers and webcasts - at the Windows Server "8" Beta Resources Page. Discover what’s new in Windows Server "8" Overview and Executive Summary (PDF). This Product and Evaluation Guide (PDF) will walk you through your evaluation step by step.
Here are a few examples of new capabilities that you’ll want to explore:
- With the new Hyper-V we are taking virtualisation above and beyond to provide a multi-tenant platform for cloud computing. For example, with Hyper-V Network Virtualisation you can create virtual networks so different business units, or even multiple customers, can seamlessly share network infrastructure. You will be able to move virtual machines and servers around without losing their network assignments.
- Hyper-V in Windows Server “8” will lead the virtualisation industry with massive scalability: 32 virtual CPUs per VM, 1 TB of memory per VM, 64 TB per VHDX, 160 logical processors per host, 1024 VMs per host, 64 nodes per cluster, and 4000 VMs per cluster
- Hyper-V Replica. Today, replication is complex to configure and often requires expensive proprietary hardware. Hyper-V Replica is asynchronous, application consistent, virtual machine replication built-in to Windows Server 8. With Hyper-V Replica, you can replicate a virtual machine from one location to another with Hyper-V and a network connection. Hyper-V Replica works with any server vendor, any network vendor and any storage vendor. In addition, we will provide unlimited replication in the box. All of those features are even available in the no-charge (free!) bare metal Hyper-V Server “8” too.
- In Windows Server “8” we are delivering high availability and disaster recovery through software technology on much more cost effective hardware. For example, with File Server Transparent Failover you can now more easily perform hardware or software maintenance of nodes in a File Server cluster by moving file shares between nodes with little interruption to server applications that are storing data on those file shares.
- We’re also delivering a tremendous amount of new capabilities for multi-machine management and automation. You will want to explore the dramatic new improvements to Server Manager, as well as the new Windows PowerShell. With 2,300 commandlets provided out of the box, Windows PowerShell allows you to automate everything you can do manually with the user interface. And, with technologies like Intellisense, we’ve made it very easy for you to master all of that power.
- Additionally, Windows Server “8” provides a powerful server application platform that enables you to develop and host the most demanding of application workloads. For example, with .NET Framework 4.5 you can take advantage of new asynch language and library support to build server and web applications that scale far beyond what other platforms provide. Our new IIS 8 web server provides better security isolation and resource sand-boxing between applications, native support for web sockets, and the ability to host significantly more sites on a server.
There are many, many more exciting features over and above this. Look out for more information in upcoming TechNet Flash editorials, my blog. Over the next month or so too we will be at Windows User Groups in Christchurch, Wellington and Auckland doing Windows Server “8” demos and presentations. Around the middle of this year we will be doing a roadshow TechDays tour around New Zealand to show off both Windows Server “8 and the Windows 8 client Operating System. Stay tuned for more info!
Windows Server “8” First Look Course Released
We are pleased to announce that the Windows Server “8” First Look course is now available on the Microsoft Virtual Academy. This first look is a single module course covering the product. There are many new features and updates and in this short course we can only cover these at a high level, the deeper dive into the product will come in a few months. Check out the Windows Server “8” First Look course today.
Windows 8 Consumer Preview
Also available right now is the Windows 8 Consumer Preview, now available for download! You should also read some of the great posts on the Building Windows 8 blog that give you some more information: Welcome to the Windows 8 Consumer Preview and Running the Consumer Preview - System Recommendations
Until next time!