Microsoft introduced its new Windows Server 8 operating system on Wednesday.
Server and Tools Business President Satya Nadella detailed Microsoft’s Windows Server 8 improvements in a keynote speech at the company’s BUILD developer conference on Wednesday. Windows Server 8 is designed with the cloud in mind. The company has taken its work of building and operating the Windows Azure service and optimised Windows Server 8 for high availability and high-performance virtualization. The new operating system includes over 300 new features and some heavy changes to the underlying architecture of Windows Server 8. One of the visual changes in Windows Server 8 is the inclusion of a Metro style server manager and Windows Phone-like tiles.
Under the hood, Microsoft is continuing its support of PowerShell throughout Windows Server. Version 3.0 of PowerShell is now included which ships with over 2,000 commands to allow system admins to easily script and manage all of their servers. Windows Server 8 also includes the ability to script workflows with Powershell to make it an easier to patch multiple servers while maintaining great uptime.
Hyper-V 3.0 is also included which includes VHDX support. The new VHDX format is capable of supporting disks much larger than the current 2TB restriction of VHD. Microsoft has created VHDX which is capable of supporting disks up to 16TB in size. The new format can only be used in Windows OS versions starting at Windows 8.
“With Windows Server 8 we are delivering high availability and disaster recovery at a much better price point,” said Microsoft’s server and cloud corporate VP Bill Laing in a blog post on Wednesday. “We are giving customers access to high-end storage capabilities that before required specialized hardware, such as device pooling, disk virtualization, and thin provisioning, in Windows Server 8.”
- A complete virtualization platform that delivers a fully isolated, multitenant environment with tools that can guarantee service-level agreements, enable chargebacks through usage-based billing, and support self-service delivery.
- Increased scalability and performance through a high-density, highly scalable environment that can be modified to perform at the optimum level based on your needs.
- Connectivity to cloud services using a common identity and management framework for secure and reliable cross-premises connectivity.
- Continuous availability: New and improved features offer cost-effective, high IT service uptime. They are designed to endure failures without disrupting services to users.
- Management efficiency: Windows Server 8 helps automate an even broader set of management tasks and simplifies deployment and virtualization of major workloads, which provides a path to full lights-out automation.
- Cost efficiency: Windows Server 8 leverages commodity storage, networking, and server infrastructure, as well as offering increased power efficiency for superior acquisition and operating economics.
- Flexibility to build on-premises and in the cloud: Developers can use the same languages and tools to build on-premises and cloud applications, allowing them to build applications that use distributed and temporally decoupled components.
- An open web platform: Windows Server 8 combined with Internet Information Services (IIS) offers a solid platform for both open-source web stacks and ASP.NET, opening up a wide range of choices for application development.
- A scalable and elastic web platform: Hosting providers can use new features in Windows Server 8 to increase density, simplify management, and achieve higher scalability in a shared web-hosting environment.
- Access anywhere on any device: Seamless, always-on access to virtualized work environments from anywhere, including branch locations and public connectivity services.
- A full Windows experience anywhere: By enabling a personalized and rich user experience from any device while adapting to different network conditions quickly and responsively.
- Enhanced data security and compliance: Central audit and access policies enable granular access to data and corporate resources based on strong identity, data classification, and simplified administration for remote access.