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Rob Waggoner

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Last week at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference in Toronto, we released our timeline for Windows Server 2012.  The official announcement is here; the plan is to have Windows Server 2012 available through multiple channels in September.  What I want to focus on today is what Windows Server 2012 will do for our SMB partners and their customers.

What will Windows Server 2012 do for you and your customers? Windows Server 2012 delivers value in the following four key ways:

  1. Beyond Virtualization: Scale and secure workloads, cost-effectively build a private cloud, and securely connect to cloud services.

  2. Power of Many Servers, Simplicity of One: Efficiently manage IT infrastructure while maximizing uptime and minimizing failures and downtime.

  3. Every App, Any Cloud: Build on an open and scalable web platform that supports cross-premises applications.

  4. Modern Workstyle, Enabled: Support a mobile and flexible workstyle.

Let me introduce Windows Server 2012 by showing you the four editions of Windows Server 2012.  They are detailed here, but I’ve included the graphic from the URL below, I think this graphic does a good job.

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Windows Server 2012 offers four Editions.  The Windows Server Enterprise Edition has been retired, but we’ve added the full capabilities of Datacenter Edition to Windows Server Standard Edition.   The only difference from a functionality perspective between Standard and Datacenter is the Virtualization rights.
 
Don’t worry, if you purchased Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise Edition with Software Assurance, and your Software Assurance is current , the SA path will take care of you.  Check out this FAQ for all of the details. 
Question 20 addresses Enterprise Edition.

Here are a few items that stand out to me and will impact the way I work with Windows Server 2012.

  1. Windows Server 2012 gives you the ability to have SAN like capabilities natively in Windows Server 2012.
  2. Hyper-V Replica allows me replicate a virtual machine from one host to the other which provides a low cost redundancy solution.  The replication can even occur over a WAN, even to different domains!
  3. Easy built in management when I’m just managing a few servers.  System Center is for managing many servers, but our smaller customers will most likely get the management tools they need built right into Windows Server 2012.
  4. Shared Nothing Live Migration – Now I can Live Migrate a VM from one host to another host.  The hosts no longer have to be part of a cluster.  Heck, they don’t even have to be in the same domain!

While I’m talking about Windows Server 2012, let me also mention that with Windows Server 2012, we will see the end of the Small Business Server solutions.  It is never easy to retire a solution, but our goal has been to provide solutions that meet the needs of our customers.  As we look ahead, our customers are moving to the cloud and our Windows Server 2012 editions are focused on delivering an on-premise solution and / or a cloud based solution for our customers.  If you have Software Assurance on your SBS Server, we have a Software Assurance migration path for you. Check out the FAQ, questions 33-37 address SBS.

Do you want to see more details around Windows Server 2012?  Check out the Microsoft GEARUP toolkit.  The URL to the Windows Server 2012 content is here.  Or the main URL to the GEARUP Portal is here.

We also have learning plans for Windows Server 2012 with more of them coming.  Here’s a screen shot of what we have available, you can access these from this link.

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Until next time,

 

Rob