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Top 10 Changes You’ll See in Windows Server 2012

Microsoft | Posted on July 15, 2012 by Andrea Malloni

Windows Server 2012 is set to launch in September, and Microsoft is stepping up its virtualization game by launching its aggressive Switch to Hyper-V campaign.

With this campaign announcement, Microsoft is leveraging its portfolio strength of enterprise software to facilitate agile cloud deployments. At the 2012 Microsoft World Partner Conference, Satya Nadella, President of Microsoft’s Server and Tools Business had three compelling stats to share with the audience:

  1. 73% of companies currently are using or are planning to use private clouds.
  2. Every five years, corporate data grows by 10X the amount.
  3. Microsoft Server 2012 is a “no-brainer” for cloud storage and can copy 10GB of data in 10 seconds.

Top 10 changes you’ll see in Windows Server 2012 include:

  1. The new licensing and packaging makes it easier to manage workloads in highly virtualized public and private cloud environments. As one example, resource metering is a standard feature of Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V, that when combined with new performance counters, exposes a wealth of information from which chargeback and showback models can be built. This advanced functionality is something that requires additional licenses from VMWare (vSphere 5.0, vCenter Chargeback Manager are required).
  2. There are now only two editions: Standard and Datacenter (there is also Windows Server 2012 Essentials which replaces Small Business Server Essentials and Small Business Server).
  3. Both editions are licensed by physical processor. A single license will cover up to two physical processors.
  4. There is feature parity between Windows Server 2012 Standard and Datacenter editions. Your decision on which version will be based solely on your virtualization strategy as virtualization rights become the only differentiator between editions.
  5. Standard Edition licenses you for two virtual machines, Datacenter Edition for an unlimited number of virtual machines.
  6. Windows Server 2012 is now part of a consistent licensing model (Windows Server 2012, System Center 2012 and Core Infrastructure Server will all be licensed the same way) and offers common features that allow the reduction of editions. This also makes it easier to compare the cost of alternatives – like purchasing individual products, or looking at an Enterprise Core Infrastructure enrollment. It also simplifies managing licenses going forward.
  7. If you currently own Datacenter Edition with Software Assurance, your current Datacenter edition includes 1 processor. The new Windows Server 2012 Datacenter edition includes 2 processors. For every two current Datacenter licenses with SA you receive 1 Windows Server 2012 licence.
  8. Enterprise edition is being retired but the price to purchase the rights to 4 instances of Windows Server 2012 is less than that of Windows Server 2008 Enterprise edition today.
  9. Web Server is no longer available in 2012 edition either. Microsoft has responded to customer feedback that asked for an edition that did not restrict usage to running web workloads.
  10. If you are running a highly virtualized environment, management may also be a need for you. You should consider purchasing System Center 2012 with Windows Server 2012 together in the Core Infrastructure Suite, which is available inside or outside of an Enrollment for Core Infrastructure (ECI) agreement.

If you have general questions, please ask them below in the comments section. Our team is standing by to answer. Alternatively, our Softchoice Professional Assessment and Services teams are ready to help. Send your specific questions here.

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