In our new feature, we’ll round up the most popular content of the previous month and share it with you.
For September, our most popular pieces had to do with (surprise!) the Sept. 4 general release of Windows Server 2012.
Here are last month’s most popular pieces.
Windows Server 2012: questions answered
In this FAQ, we answer the most pressing questions you have about the newest version of Windows Server, including new features, what versions are available and deciding when to upgrade. See also our review of Windows Server 2012.
Taking a look at Microsoft Online Backup Service
Our expert breaks down the integrated cloud backup service in Windows Server 2012 with the advantages and disadvantages you need to consider before adopting it.
What’s changed with DCPromo?
In this tip, you’ll get a look into what’s changed since DCPromo’s first appearance in Windows Server 2000, including Install From Media, mass DC deployments and manual DC demotion.
System Center 2012 SP1 lets IT manage Windows Server 2012… eventually
This news story looks at the timing of the System Center 2012 SP1 beta release and how it has some IT pros frustrated.
Sorting out issues with remote PowerShell commands
When PowerShell commands start giving you a headache because they don’t run remotely like you want them to, this tip helps you figure out what’s causing the problem and how to fix it.
What content of ours helped you in September? Let us know in the comments on this post, or on Twitter @SearchWinServ.
We’ve heard it from plenty of IT pros in the last year: they like what they see in Windows Server 2012, but they’re just not ready to jump ship. If they needed another reason to stay within the confines of Windows Server 2008, today they got one more.
Microsoft extended the support end-date two years to Jan. 13, 2015 Mary Jo Foley reported this week. Until then, the product will continue to receive its regular Patch Tuesday fixes and other, non-security fixes.
From there, Windows Server 2008 will go into extended support, which ends Jan. 14, 2020, according to the product lifecycle page on Microsoft’s website. Windows Server 2008 R2 has the same support end-dates.
As Foley notes, this isn’t because Windows Server 2008 is so popular that Microsoft felt it needed to continue to support it (and, it isn’t yet widely used, according to our Purchasing Intentions survey last year). Rather, the launch of Windows Server 2012 kicks in a protocol that “provides a minimum of five years of Mainstream Support or two years of Mainstream Support after the successor product ships, whichever is longer.”
Does this change help you decide when you’ll make your Windows Server 2012 purchasing decision? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter @SearchWinServ.
Since the general availability of Windows Server 2012, companies have revealed new products that will run with the support of this Windows Server version and its cloud capabilities.
We compiled a list of company announcements and broke down what products will take advantage of the latest version of Windows Server.
Advanced Micro Devices
AMD announced that its processors would run on the latest version of Windows Server. AMD 4200 and 6200 processors will work with Windows Server 2012 and the Azure public cloud service. The company said these upgrades would support the virtualization enhancements of Windows Server 2012 and Hyper-V.
Brocade said all of its product lines will support Windows Server 2012. The announcement highlighted its Ethernet and fibre channel products, which the company says will offer networking functionality in a cloud-based, virtualized data center based in the latest version of Windows Server.
CA said its products would support Windows Server 2012 Dynamic Access Control. Dynamic Access Control lets users define central access policies at an organizational level, which allows users protect critical information. The company said that because of the integration of CA DataMinder Classification, the latest version of Windows Server allows users to have precise access control of data stored on the server.
Dell’s PowerEdge 12th-generation servers will use Windows Server 2012. The high-density PowerEdge servers will enable increased scalability of clusters and Hyper-V. The servers will offer a combination of Microsoft Remote Desktop Services (RDS) and virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), which provides users with an end-to-end desktop virtualization service. OpenManage Integration Suite for Systems Center 2012 will also provide agent-free monitoring.
EMC announced that it will offer storage platform and software support for Windows Server 2012. The VSPEX Private Cloud is validated by Microsoft Private Cloud Fast Track, which is designed to help administrators create and speed up the deployment of pre-configured private clouds. EMC’s Global Services will assist customers with the assessment, strategy and development of private cloud infrastructures based on its technology and Windows Server 2012.
Emulex detailed multiple products that will support Windows Server 2012 in its announcement. Its 16 GB Fibre Channel will offer increased data for highly virtualized, shared cloud environments compatible with Windows Server 2012. The integration of OneCommand Vision will use the Operations Manager of System Center 2012 to enhance availability and performance. The LightPulse Virtual adapter technology will also provide virtual port management in System Center 2012 Virtual Machine Manager.
Hitachi Data Systems
Three Hitachi products will support Windows Server 2012: virtual storage platform, unified storage and compute blade. Hitachi’s products were built with the Microsoft Private Cloud Fast Track, which combined Hitachi computer and storage with Window Server’s Hyper-V and System Center 2012 software. The company said the scalability will allow it to support thousands of VMs.
HP announced that its ProLiant Gen8 servers will support Windows Server 2012. HP’s virtualization tool, HP VirtualSystem, will help administrators create the necessary infrastructure needed for a successful private cloud, the company said. Other tools, including HP Insight Management and HP Converged Infrastructure, aim to simplify an enterprise’s move to a private cloud.
In its announcement, Netapp said its FAS and V-Series storage systems would fully support Windows Server 2012. The product that received the Windows Server 2012 logo certification, NetApp Snapshot backup and recovery, will work with Hyper-V. The company said the latest Windows Server version would offer solutions for availability, desktop virtualization, private cloud development and Web and application platform development.
NovaStor announced that its line of NovaBACKUP products would support Windows Server 2012. NovaBACK helps users launch file and disaster recovery protection. One of the products in the line will work with Windows Server 2012 to launch unlimited VMs based on Hyper-V.
Supermicro’s said its server and storage platforms will support Windows Server 2012. In its announcement, the company said its Server Building Block product would work with the latest version of Windows Server to create scalable and easy to manage platforms based in the cloud.
What do you think of these announcements? Are you planning on using any of these products? Let us know in the comments, or on Twitter @SearchWinServ.
User Experience-Virtualization will hit general availability in the fourth quarter when Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack 2012 ships, Microsoft said last week.
According to a blog post by Karri Alexion-Tiernan, director of product management, new User Experience-Virtualization (UE-V) features will include support for the final release of Windows Server 2012 and Windows 8, refinements in Office 2010 settings templates and control on a per-user basis.
With the general availability of UE-V, an OS can be virtualized using virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) 12, which provides the single platform that gives users a common experience. A combination of RemoteFX, Windows Server 2012 and Windows 7 or Windows 8 brings VDI together.
The Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP) adds support for UE-V this year; it brings with it older features like Advanced Group Policy Management and the Diagnostics and Recovery Toolset (DART), which hit release candidate during TechEd in June.
UE-V virtualizes the application layers of the desktop and the user state in an OS without reconfiguring applications or settings in Windows 7 or Windows 8. Administrators can manipulate UE-V to enable users to change their devices and keep their experience on any deployed Windows desktop.
Alexion-Tiernan also said that enhancements in Windows 8 access devices will work on Windows 7 access devices. During this year’s 4Q, Remote Desktop Protocol 8.0 Update for Windows 7 will be released to give Windows 7 SP1 devices the same RemoteFX enhancements as in Windows Server 2012.
Admins found out that access to Microsoft Desktop Optimization would cost $1 a month last year.
What do you think of the new UE-V features? Let us know in the comments on this post, or on Twitter @SearchWinServ.
September will be a light month for Patch Tuesdays with a mere two bulletins and nothing ranked at a “critical” level, according to an advance security bulletin Microsoft released Thursday.
The affected software includes Microsoft Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2010 SP1, Microsoft Systems Management Server 2003 SP1 and Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2007 SP2.
Each bulletin is marked as “important.” The vulnerabilities mentioned in both bulletins could allow an elevation of privilege if an attacker gained access, which still puts data at risk.
As one of the lightest Patch Tuesdays of 2012, this is the first month since June that no patches will be released to address vulnerabilities in Internet Explorer. This could present a problem for Windows 8 users, as Adobe released security updates for its widely used Flash Player. Ed Bott writes that because Microsoft and only Microsoft controls updates to IE 10 in Windows 8, users are powerless until the company releases a security update.
What do you think of this uncharacteristically light month for Windows patches? Let us know in the comments on this post, or on Twitter @SearchWinServ.
Not satisfied with releasing 2012 editions of Windows Server and desktop Windows to manufacturing, Microsoft has revamped its logo for the first time in 25 years.
In a post on Microsoft’s corporate blog, Jeff Hansen explained the rationale for the new logo, saying it “takes its inspiration from our product design principles while drawing upon the heritage of our brand values, fonts and colors.”
Reflecting the new design of OS (but don’t call it Metro) in its server, phone and desktop, the waving Windows flag is replaced by four square tiles. In fact, the logo might make one want to play the beloved childhood game or check in somewhere.
This puts another notch in Microsoft’s belt this summer. It seems like every week this summer, Microsoft has divulged or announced plans for something new. The company is aware of that fact, too: Frank X. Shaw, vice president of corporate communications, posted on the company’s blog that the company is setting a “blistering pace.”
What do you think of the new logo? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter @SearchWinServ.
Microsoft reorganized the Server and Tools unit of the company this week, after completing the final code of that unit’s marquee products earlier this month.
The changes, first reported by Mary Jo Foley, reflect mostly title changes. Satya Nadella still leads the Server and Tools division.
Azure platform corporate vice president Scott Guthrie is now a CVP of program management within the division. Brad Anderson is also alongside Guthrie as a CVP of program management.
Jason Zander, who was the Visual Studio lead, now heads up development with Bill Laing as CVPs.
Bharat Shah is listed as the corporate vice president of test and engineering systems. Craig Fleischman is now the partner director of test and engineering systems (his old title? Just replace “engineering systems” with “operations”).
The Windows Embedded team remains in the Server and Tools business unit, but moves under Ted Kummert in the Data Platform Group.
“The purpose of the reorg is to create a consistent engineering structure for improved alignment and faster decision making,” Microsoft told Foley.
Earlier this month, the company hit the RTM milestone for Windows Server 2012.
Update: Per a statement from Microsoft, corrected explanation that Windows Embedded remains part of the Server and Tools unit, but leadership moves to the Data Platform group.
Microsoft said Wednesday Windows Server 2012 has hit the release-to-manufacturing stage of development and that it will be generally available on September 4.
All code is complete and being delivered to hardware and software partners this week, Windows Server lead architect Jeffrey Snover said in a blog post on the company’s website.
“It feels great to ship software that so squarely addresses customer objectives, both in the here and now and in the future,” Snover wrote.
The server product reached release candidate, its last major milestone, on June 1. Windows Server 2012 will be generally available nearly two full months ahead of its client sibling, Windows 8, which also hit the RTM milestone Wednesday.
Will you be adopting Windows Server 2012 when it comes out in September, or will you wait it out? Let us know in the comments or by Twitter @SearchWinServ.
Weather.com may only be able to give an accurate forecast for the next 10 days, but Microsoft has already given IT pros a hint of what to expect this fall: Clouds. Lots of clouds.
When Windows Server 2012 releases in September, it will come with tighter ties to the company’s Windows Azure cloud platform. During Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference this week in Toronto, the company announced that Windows Azure Web Sites and Virtual Machines – new features revealed last month – will be extended to Windows Server. The services, now available in a Community Technology Preview version, can be administered via a self-service portal that provides the same experience regardless of whether it is accessed on-premises or via the cloud.
To run the CTP, users will need to have at least four virtual machines running Windows Server 2012 or Windows Server 2008 R2, as well as System Center 2012 SP1.
In other Windows Server cloud news, Rackspace, the hosting provider recently named the 2012 Microsoft Hosting Partner of the Year, announced that it would offer Server 2012 as a dedicated hosted server and as part of its Cloud Sites PaaS package.
Microsoft hardware partners will receive the final code for Windows Server 2012 next month and the final version will be available in September, the company said Monday.
As part of its Worldwide Partner Conference held in Toronto, Jeffrey Snover, lead architect of Windows Server, said Windows Server 2012 will release to manufacturing in the first week of August. After that, “the product will be generally available to customers worldwide through multiple channels in September,” he said in a company blog post.
Microsoft previously hit the release candidate milestone in June, and Snover noted that the pre-release versions of the Server product have been downloaded over 500,000 times — a record number for the company.
Last week, the company detailed licensing information for Windows Server 2012 and announced the final editions.
Windows 8, the client product, will RTM that same week; however, this version will reportedly not be generally available until the end of October, according to Tami Reller, Windows Chief Financial Officer and Chief Marketing Officer.