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Just want to keep you all up to date on our progress with Server 2012 testing: We’ve acquired some more hardware to continue our evaluation of Server 2012. Our lab environment includes two servers connected to a shared external SAS drive array, which allows for expansion of disk storage and server failover.  Each server runs Windows Server 2012 Datacenter edition, and shares the disks in a pool between the servers.

One of the most exciting features promised by Server 2012 is automatic server failover of virtual machine (Hyper-V) servers.  We’ll get to that in a future edition, but for now our evaluation has focused on the storage layer.

One of the most exciting things about Server 2012 is Storage Spaces. This new feature adds a lot of function to how the operating system can interact with and manipulate storage. It adds a virtual layer to provide high availability and clustering features with fewer hardware requirements.  Read more...

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In the buzz of the next version of Microsoft’s desktop operating system, Windows 8, an important Microsoft release sits in its shadow – Windows Server 2012. Often taken for granted, Windows Server is the keystone to many offices. We’ve had a peek at the release candidate for this new version, which sees a lot of improvements in function and efficiency. On the surface, the most striking difference is the server management interface – but there are are powerful capabilities under the hood.

The desktop environment has been stripped bare. That took some getting used to. In previous versions, the desktop looked much like any other workstation with a few extra options. The new interface has been designed to improve workflow. All dashboard menus are now oriented toward administrative functions. Previously, you had to navigate through the workstation elements to get to the administrative options behind it. My experience with Server 2012 gave the feel of a uniquely tailored environment for servers rather than a workstation with server options shoe-horned in.  Read more...