September 4, 2012

Microsoft Takes Windows Server 2012 To The Cloud

Peter Suciu for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online

While much of the buzz around Microsoft Windows this year is the upcoming Windows 8 operating system, the potential game changer for desktops, notebooks and of course tablets; it isn´t the only new OS coming out of Redmond, Washington.

There is also Windows RT, which is aimed at the Windows tablet market and notably breaks from the standard Intel-based architecture and is utilizing ARM-based processors instead. There is also the Windows Phone 8 OS, which reportedly will bring the mobiles phone experience even closer to the desktop. With all this on the Microsoft plate it would seem there wouldn´t be room for anything else, but on Tuesday the software giant announced that it is taking its server OS a step forward, with Windows Server 2012, the first version that can be controlled remotely.

The major benefit of bringing the server OS to the cloud is the ability for it to be controlled remotely by data center operators.

“This is perhaps the biggest release of our server products in history, bigger than NT,” said Satya Nadella, president of Microsoft´s Servers and Tools Business. “I was here at Microsoft when we launched Windows NT, which ushered in the era of client/server, and we believe that Windows Server 2012 ushers in the era of the cloud operating system.”

Windows Server 2012, which has already earned the moniker of being the company´s first “cloud OS,” is also the first major overhaul and update since the 2009 version. It reportedly offers a plethora of new features, most of which have been optimized to make it more suitable for large-scale data-center deployments. The Microsoft Hyper-V virtualization can now support up to 64 virtual processors and 1TB of memory for users.

This is a big leap forward over the old limit of just four virtual processors with a mere 64 GB of memory. The Server Message Block (SMB) network communication protocol has also been optimized to handle faster data transfers. Microsoft further has announced, via a series of launch webcasts, that Windows Server 2012 will support 320 logical processors and supports 4 TB of physical memory per server. Virtual disks can also be scaled up to 64 TB each, 32 times what the competition now offers according to Microsoft.

The biggest news out of all this could be that Microsoft´s Windows Server 2012 will take greater advantage of the PowerShell, which was first introduced six years ago. This new OS will be the first version of Server that can be completely controlled through the command line. This will reportedly make it controllable remotely, and provides the Microsoft OS with capabilities and functionality that Unix has been able to long offer.

“Microsoft has delivered on the promise of an operating system that can be completely managed from the command line,” Don Jones, an author of a series of Windows 2012 instructional videos told PC World in an interview. “The technologies are in place to manage 100 servers as easily as you can manage one server.”

For those who like the power of the new OS but like the way it worked, Windows Server 2012 will still provide GUI (Graphical User Interface) for those who want it. The more things change the more they sometimes stay the same.