September 20, 2012 News Thursday: Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter, Improvements to Windows Azure Websites and more Server and Tools News…

by STB Blogger

Migrate from VMware to Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V with Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter

For organizations looking to migrate virtual machines hosted on VMware vSphere to the Hyper-V host in Windows Server 2012, the Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter (MVMC) and a beta release of the VMware console plugin are now available to download. MVMC is one resource available as a part of the Switch to Hyper-V program announced at this year’s Worldwide Partner Conference. The program includes guidance, training and software tools that help partners grow their existing virtualization and private cloud practices by migrating customers’ VMware virtualization infrastructure to a Microsoft private cloud solution. For more information on MVMC, visit the Virtualization blog.

New improvements added to Windows Azure Web Sites

Improvements to Windows Azure Web Sites were announced Monday. Changes included the introduction of a low-cost shared mode scaling option, support for custom domains, continuous deployment support using both CodePlex and GitHub, as well as FastCGI extensibility. These features are available to use immediately, and additional improvements will be added next month.

Read Scott Guthrie’s blog post for all the details.

Windows Azure SQL Database updated

Earlier this week, service updates to Windows Azure SQL Database deployed. The updates provided added functionality in several areas including, SQL Server support for Linked Server and Distributed Queries against Windows Azure SQL Database, DBCC SHOW_STATISTICS support, recursive triggers support, and the ability to configure Windows Azure SQL Database firewall rules at the database level.

Check out the Windows Azure blog post for more information.

SQL Server 2012 SP1 CTP4 now available

Today Microsoft is releasing SQL Server 2012 SP1 CTP4. Based on customer feedback, the CTP includes additional improvements to the self-service BI capabilities in Office and SharePoint 2013 featured in SP1, including an AlwaysOn migration solution for those working with Windows Server clusters and a selective XML Index that improves query performance.

For more information, or if you’re running SQL Server 2012 and would like to test, check out the blog post.

SQL Server 2012 customer Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center awarded top spot in InformationWeek’s Top 500

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) has been recognized for IT excellence by earning the #1 spot in InformationWeek’s Top 500 list. InformationWeek attributed their top ranking this year to the organization’s IT-based innovation–including a new, self-service medical informatics platform called Clinical Query, which utilizes SQL Server 2012’s PowerPivot and SQL Server Analysis Services Tabular features. Clinical Query combines a search engine with a database of patient records, providing hospital employees with the means to hone hypotheses about disease development.

For more information about BIDMC’s IT innovation, check out their profile in InformationWeek.

PwC to provide tax services portfolio powered by Microsoft

PwC has announced plans to collaborate with Microsoft to develop and deploy a portfolio of tax services designed and branded by PwC, and powered by Microsoft. By offering PwC’s clients the option to deploy Microsoft-based services on premises and in the cloud, Microsoft enables these clients to drive efficiencies in their businesses.

Read the full press release for more information on the benefits of this relationship for PwC’s client base.

TechNet Radio introduces IT Camps On-Demand: Windows Server 2012

Throughout the month of September, TechNet’s US IT Pro Evangelists are holding in-person IT Camps throughout the US, offering free hands on experience with Windows Server 2012. For those unable to attend the events in person, the IT Camp experience is available online through the IT Camp On-Demand Series.

Visit the TechNet Radio site to view presentations on Virtualization and Storage in Windows Server 2012 and check back throughout the month for additional videos on Networking and Management capabilities.

Contribute to the new Server and Tools Customer Reviews page!

This month, we launched a new Customer Reviews page to enable Microsoft customers to share their experience with STB products and provide a platform for customers to discuss these experiences with their peers. Check out the page to see what our customers have to say and learn how you can contribute. We love hearing from our customers and appreciate the valuable feedback!