As the re-imagined Windows Server OS hits its next milestone on the road to release, we take a look at the new features and tools for the highly dynamic, available, and cost-effective server platform for the private cloud.
The Windows Server 2012 Release Candidate is now available for evaluation. It builds on feedback from nearly 300,000 users who downloaded the beta release, so it’s a great time to explore the new features and capabilities. If you download the evaluation, be sure to also get the Windows Server 2012 Release Candidate Evaluation Guide designed to help you understand the design goals, feature set, and implementation.
The Windows Server 2012 RC launch shares the spotlight with the next Windows client OS. The Windows 8 Release Preview is also available for download and includes Internet Explorer 10, new Windows 8 apps for Hotmail, SkyDrive, and Messenger (and many more) – plus hundreds of new apps in the Windows Store. Read more on the Building Windows 8 blog.
In March, we covered the beta release of what was then called Windows Server “8”, so now with the Windows Server 2012 RC we can really dive into the great improvements that make it the best scalable, dynamic, and multitenant-aware infrastructure optimized for the cloud. There are literally hundreds of new features in the re-imagined server operating system and we’ll focus on some of key new capabilities for IT professionals in this TechNet feature.
Let’s start out one level up, with some of the new capabilities enabled by Windows Server 2012. To date, Microsoft has identified four key scenarios for IT:
And we expect the range of guidance will grow quickly as we address more scenarios and get feedback from our customers. We’ll keep you up-to-date here on TechNet.
For a quick rundown of new of new features, the TechNet Library has been updated with What’s New in Windows Server 2012.
New in Hyper-V for Windows Server 2012 is HVR (Hyper-V Replica) which allows you to replicate virtual machines between storage systems, clusters, and data centers to provide business continuity and disaster recovery. You can read all about Hyper-V in the Server Roles and Technologies in Windows Server 2012, and ZDNet recently touted Hyper-V Replica as “one of Windows Server 2012’s secret weapons.” Find out why.
Along with Windows Server 2012, PowerShell 3.0 adds a ton of new features and should be part of your DevOps toolbox since you can now automate almost every aspect of the server. Check out the Windows Server team’s two-part series on Windows Server 2012, PowerShell 3.0 and DevOps.
Also note how Remote Desktop Services (RDS) in Windows Server 2012 is reliable across a much wider range of conditions. RDS is the workload in Windows Server that enables users to connect to virtual desktops, session-based desktops and RemoteApp programs, providing “work anywhere from any device” functionality while ensuring that your organization’s control and compliance needs are met.
Windows Server 2012 also has a new Dynamic Access Control feature set for information governance, which introduces new technologies for centrally controlling access and auditing access to information. See the demo video.
After downloading the release candidate, it’s probably a good idea to begin with some guided learning, and we have a couple options. To start with an overview, the Microsoft Virtual Academy has updated its Windows Server “8” course with the new Windows Server 2012: First Look, adding four new modules designed to take you beyond virtualization, enable modern work styles, discover the power of many servers and build symmetrical and hybrid application for the cloud.
To really roll up your sleeves and dig in to the new server operating system, TechEd North America 2012 in Orlando will offer plenty of in-depth sessions. If you are ready to start learning Windows Server in-depth but can’t make it to TechEd this year, the Windows Server 2012 Community Roadshow might be just the ticket. It’s a great opportunity to learn about core infrastructure improvements in Windows Server 2012 from independent technical experts—our MVPs. Find a location near you and get registered.
As we head down the road toward RTM, stay tuned to the Windows Server 2012 TechCenter for the latest resources and community discussions to help you explore, plan and deliver the cloud-ready platform.
Thanks for reading,
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