What’s New in 2012 R2: Microsoft IaaS Investments and Innovations

Transform the datacenter

The move to a service provider model is one of the most significant shifts we are seeing in data centers around the world. This is occurring as two key developments are afoot:  First, many organizations are making moves to use Service Provider and public cloud capacity, and Second, there is an internal shift within organizations towards a model wherein they are provide Infrastructure-as-a-Service for their internal business units. This is all headed towards a model where enterprises have detailed reporting on the usage of that infrastructure, if not bill-back for the actual usage.

This week’s post from Microsoft VP Brad Anderson is lengthy.  In fact, we broke the topic into two parts and are posting part one today, followed by another post tomorrow. Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) allows service providers to build out highly available and highly scalable compute capability for customers (tenants).  To get a more detailed understanding of Microsoft’s investments and the vision of where we are headed, see “What’s New in 2012 R2: IaaS Innovations”.  Like last week, Brad starts off the discussion to provide some context, then turns the technical details over Erin Chapple for the deep dive on the following scenarios:

  1. High Performance Storage Fabric for Compute - Building on the strategic shifts introduced in Windows Server 2012, our vision for IaaS cloud storage focusses on disaggregated compute and storage. In this model, scale-out of the Hyper-V compute hosts is achieved with a low-cost storage fabric using SMB3 file-based storage, where virtual machines access VHD files over low-cost, Ethernet-based networks.
  2. Scalable Resilient Storage with Commodity Hardware - In Windows Server 2012 R2, we continue the journey with Spaces delivering high-performance, resilient storage on inexpensive hardware through the power of software. Windows Server 2012 R2 delivers many of the high-end features you expect from expensive storage arrays.
  3. End-to-end Storage Management - Another focus area was to reduce the operational costs associated with deploying and managing a Windows Server 2012 R2 cloud storage infrastructure. SCVMM now provides end-to-end management of the entire IaaS storage infrastructure with a single pane of glass management experience.

When you have a few minutes, take some time to read through the article.  There is a lot of great information to digest and consider.

And for those of you interested in downloading some of the products and trying them, here are some resources to help you:

  • Windows Server 2012 R2 Preview download
  • System Center 2012 R2 Preview download
  • SQL Server 2014 Community Technology Preview 1 (CTP1) download
  • Windows 8.1 Enterprise Preview download

As always, follow us on Twitter via @MSCloud!

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