I had a fascinating phone conversation with Executive Editor Ed Scannell at TechTarget yesterday, who clued me into one very interesting facet of his recent trip to Redmond for a sneak preview of the coming version of Windows Server (which everybody is calling Windows Server 8 these days, even if it will undoubtedly be called Windows Server 2012 by the time it ships). Amidst our discussion of interesting rumors and suppositions–such as, for example, the notion that Windows 8 desktop may precede the release of Windows 8 Server by as much as six month, with perhaps an early release for ARM and a later x86 release to jump on smartphone and tablet opportunities–he revealed to me that Windows 8 will include a facility known as “Cluster Aware Update” which works with an eponymous wizard called the Cluster Aware Update Wizard, or CAUW (I want to pronounce this “cow”, but the word on the street is that this is “not cow”).
Apparently, there was some loose talk about how this tool could make Patch Tuesday updates a thing of the past for server administrators, and also allow Microsoft to push updates on an as-needed basis. “Bully for Microsoft!” Ed and I agreed, but most enterprises aren’t going to pick up and run with Microsoft patches without testing them outside the production environment first, and then only rolling those that pass testing and verification out into production during carefully scheduled update windows for that purpose. I’m not sure how this is supposed to end Patch Tuesday, but Ed has commissioned me to write a 600-700 word article on this impending technology for submission later this month. I look forward to reporting further on this as I learn more. In the meantime, chew on this cool blog from System Center guru Robert Smit (a Server Cluster MVP for Microsoft) which even has screenshots of the CAUW at work: “Windows 8 Cluster Update #CAUW ( Cluster Aware Update Wizard ).” Way cool!