In less than an hour Windows Server 2012 will be officially launched to the world! You can follow the event live here: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/server-cloud/new.aspx starting 8:00 US Pacific Time and 17:00 Central European Time. If you live in the Asia/Australia region, you’ll have a very late night.
The launch of a brand new server operating system is not a small thing. For the first time we can say a properly designed, extremely complete and fully standards based cloud operating system will see the light. And it is Microsoft that can boast being its creator. Also for the first time, Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V will be able to go head-to-head with VMware. It was overly clear that VMware has had to change gear to keep up with the multitude of new and spectacular functionality in the operating system.
The result of competition is always better quality and better price. VMware would never have changed its vTax without Microsoft attempting to overtake the money machine from Palo Alto. If you look at a number of the new features in vSphere 5.1 you cannot but conclude that VMware has been trying hard to keep up with Microsoft’s Windows Server 2012. One such last minute addition to vSphere 5.1 is an equivalent of what Microsoft calls Shared Nothing Live Migration, allowing any running virtual machine to migrate between two machines with just an Ethernet connection. This can be between standalone Hyper-V hosts, from standalone to cluster, from cluster to standalone or even between clusters. A VM is no longer confined to a machine or cluster. Well, now VMware boasts it has a similar functionality.
Hyper-V Replica is still considered the killer feature that will attract many small, medium but also large companies to seriously begin with Business Continuity/Disaster Recovery projects. And man! Is Hyper-V Replica a super functionality to have in the basic operating system.
In the past I have also been critical of Hyper-V in Windows Server 2008 R2. Back in January 2011, I wrote this blog:
The final paragraph read:
Where will we go with Microsoft Virtualization?
Last year during MVP Summit 2010, I met the people of the Hyper-V and Cluster product teams. I know they are working really hard to make Hyper-V a better product and tune clustering into that rock solid product we all need. Because they don’t make the hardware, they also strongly depend on the efforts of OEMs. During that time they could not say much about the future of Windows but they listened and had tons of questions about our experiences in the field as well as requests for the next version. In a few weeks I will meet them again and hope to hear and see what they have come up with. I am really looking forward to the progress I expect them to have made. After all, the 3rd generation of Hyper-V and its virtualization management software will have to live up to its expectations because Microsoft will not get a second chance
That was almost 17 months ago! As an MVP you have the opportunity to help shape the new products that mean so much to you. Back in 2010 I handed in a very long list with requested features, both for Hyper-V, System Center Virtual Machine Manager and Data Protection Manager. I can now finally see what the product teams have done with all the feedback from their customers. Windows Server 2012 is a very high quality and well designed new operating system. I already enjoy its flexibility and ease every single day. I am looking forward to implementing it with the majority of our customers. Features that really make me smile: Hyper-V Replica, SMB 3.0, Scale-Out File Servers, Cluster Shared Volumes 2.0, PowerShell 3.0, Concurrent Live Migration, Concurrent Live Storage Migration, Offloaded Data Exchange (ODX), Extensible Switch, Network Virtualization, Converged Fabric, the new VDI capabilities, the new server virtualization capabilities with Hyper-V.
Windows Server 2012 with its suberb third generation hypervisor and the strength of a rock-solid and secure cloud operating system more than lives up to my expectations.
Thanks product teams, thanks developers, thanks fellow MVP’s for such a great result.
Windows Server 2012 is exploding out of the gates! (no pun intended)