Facts about both systems should become available on Sept.15, when various NDAs are lifted, with analysts, the press and others that will convey Microsoft’s messaging to the general public.
So far, Microsoft has said Windows Server 8 has 100 or so new features, but what proves to be most interesting is the integration and evolution of Hyper-V, which sports a new feature called Hyper-V Replica. Microsoft has said that new feature provides “asynchronous, application-consistent virtual machine replication.” At a recent Windows 8′s partial unveiling, Microsoft demonstrated a mission-critical SQL VM being replicated from a private cloud to the offsite data center with a few clicks.
Microsoft also showed Hyper-V supporting 16 virtual processors per VM, four times as many as are supported currently, and Microsoft didn’t say that 16 was the limit. Microsoft has made bold promises about huge scalability that would support a private cloud strategy by IT. Other details are slowly filtering out via Windows chief Steven Sinofsky’s Building Windows 8 blog, where one of the first posts says, “Windows 8 reimagines Windows.”
So what’s next? Microsoft is hosting its press reviewers’ workshop Sept. 8-10 and its BUILD event on Sept. 13-16, so more details are sure to be forthcoming. Rumor has it that Microsoft will lift the veil of secrecy and set the hype machine to max power.
That’s the good news, but everyone is still itching to know when we will see an actual release. One Microsoft VP, Dani Lewin, hinted at an autumn 2012 release, whereas others have reported a potential April 2012 release. Judging from Microsoft’s track record for past release dates, it’s still anyone’s guess at this point.]]>
Microsoft kicks off its sold-out BUILD Conference in Anaheim next week with…well, we’re not sure exactly with what. The company has been particularly stingy with details on the event, failing to provide an agenda or even official list of speakers. So the rumor mill has been working overtime, with conjecture about what might be in store (ARM-based tablet giveaways, anyone?)
This much we know: Windows 8 will be revealed in some form, along with further details on Windows Server 8 following this week’s Reviewer’s Workshop in Seattle. Some specifics have emerged about both products, especially the client OS; the Microsoft team’s Building Windows 8 blog has provided a starting point for conversation about new features and strategies that will affect developers and administrators alike. With that in mind, here are some topics we do expect to come up at BUILD.
Is Windows 8 a game-changer, or just another Microsoft tease? The week should provide some insight to that question, particularly if a public beta release is offered. Some themes to watch for:
Taking on the tablets
Microsoft aims to compete in the tablet market with Windows 8. The new, optional touch-centric interface (which builds upon the Metro UI seen on Windows Phone 7) will purportedly scale across all devices and platforms, from phones on up. Rumored support for low-power ARM-based processors is also based on a desire to meet tablet demand.
Apps battle brewing
Microsoft confirmed that Hyper-V, previously limited to the server product, will come to Windows 8, along with VHDX, a new virtual hard drive format that allows for up to 16 TB of data. This brings up opportunities and questions alike for administrators, particularly those currently using VMware for virtualization. It could also bring MinWin, a stripped-down version of Windows, into the spotlight as an enabler for creating virtual appliances.
The Building Windows 8 blog has been fast and furious with updates relating to features in the new OS, including a ribbon-based Windows Explorer interface, ability to ISO and VHD file access, USB 3.0 support, and improved file management. These are not the sexiest offerings, so you can bet there will be additional reveals as the BUILD week goes on.
It’s inevitable that the server product would be stuck in the shadow of its client-facing sibling, but many BUILD attendees will be eager for information on Windows Server 8. Of the “100 or more new features” that were alluded to at the Worldwide Partner Conference in July, only a few have really been explored relating to Hyper-V Replica.
Sweet 16…or more?
As demonstrated at WPC 2011, admins will be able to manage 16 virtual processors per machine in this new version – which is apparently not the limit. But what is?
With its asynchronous virtual replication feature, Replica offers the ability to specify replication targets and snapshot intervals. This could have major implications for reducing server loads and increasing scalability.
Microsoft has touted its ‘private cloud’ solutions of late – with Hyper-V and System Center the products to make it happen. Expect this to be a consistent talking point throughout the week, prompting questions about application development as well as pricing and security risks.
What are you looking forward to hearing about at BUILD? Has the lack of information heightened your anticipation or lowered your expectations? Share your thoughts and predictions in the comments section, and look for our coverage from the event next week.]]>