The consensus about Windows Server 2012 is amazingly consistent everywhere I look. I’ve been hearing and experiencing a lot of customer and partner excitement for Windows Server 2012 beta (previously known as Windows Server “8” beta) and System Center 2012 as I’ve been on the road presenting at our “Best of MMS 2012” events in South Africa. In particular, I hear excitement about the various enhancements to Hyper-V for virtualization and private cloud management.  Both customers and partners have relayed some of their experiences to me about the testing they’ve been doing with the beta of Windows Server 2012 and the release of System Center 2012, and their reviews have been great.

I’m also seeing the same sentiments echoed in independent press coverage and reviews of Windows Server 2012 and System Center 2012.  Articles and blogs highlight the compelling advances and new features available to customers.  This is especially true of game changing features like Hyper-V Replica, Shared Nothing Live Migration, Hyper-V Extensible Virtual Switch, and many others.

A lot of the press coverage also carries a common theme – these releases from Microsoft are indeed game changing. Customers now have a real choice for their virtualization and private cloud solutions available: Microsoft delivers the features they need at a cost savings over the offerings available from VMware.

Let me share some of my favorite independent pieces with you:

  • “For the first time in four years, Windows Server and Hyper-V are not only at parity in terms of basic enterprise virtualization functionality with VMware vSphere, but in a number of respects actually exceeds it in terms of features offered and encompasses the functionality of a number of other VMware products that would be considered expensive add-ons, as well as 3rd-party enhancements for VMware that you’d have to go to other vendors and spend big bucks for as well.”

ZDNet Great Debate -  Jason Perlow, ZDNet

One of Windows Server 2012’s secret weapons: Hyper-V Replica – Mary Jo Foley & Aidan Finn, ZDNet All About Microsoft

  • "For the longest time it seemed like VMware vSphere was the only game in town….And now, Microsoft Hyper-V has brought a credible challenge to infrastructure decision makers on where to virtualize their environments."

Five Reasons a Multi-hypervisor World is a Good Thing - Rick Vanover, Direct To Dell Blog

  • "New features in Microsoft's Hyper-V 3.0, such as scalability improvements, Live Migration, Storage Migration, replication, and networking enhancements, are quickly closing the technology gap between Microsoft and VMware vSphere."

Advanced networking finally comes to Windows virtualization with Hyper-V 3.0 - David Marshall, InfoWorld

  • "Microsoft has really gotten its virtualization mojo in gear. Server 8 includes Hyper-V 3, a major advance of the software giant's hypervisor-based platform that, by all accounts, actually leapfrogs the capabilities of the currently dominant
    VMWare-based virtualization solutions. (And does so while offering tremendous cost savings.)"

Windows Server "8" Preview (Unedited, Complete Version) - Paul Thurrott, Windows IT Pro

  • “The impetus to move from VMware was financial, he (Matt Stratton, Director of Technology Operations, Apartments.com) says, and initially he didn't see the potential for adding capabilities. But he says the elasticity that Systems Center supports will help streamline operations down the road. More people sign leases in the summer than the winter so scaling the infrastructure using public cloud resources is attractive financially."

Users find Microsoft System Center 2012 simplifies virtual systems management duties - Tim Greene, Network World

You don’t have to take my word for it that Windows Server 2012 and System Center 2012 deliver game changing benefits and cost savings for customers and partners.  Check out the feedback from your peers and the experts for yourself.  You can also download the trial version of System Center and the beta of Windows Server 2012 and give them a try.

Thanks for reading and your time.

--- Edwin