Dell and Advanced Micro Devices are among the hardware makers who are introducing new products in conjunction with the release of Microsoft Windows Server 2012.
Dell is introducing a series of PowerEdge servers that will be pre-loaded with Windows Server 2012, including Microsoft's Hyper-V technology to support server virtualization.
Dell actually introduced this 12th generation PowerEdge line earlier this year but now the company will ship the servers with the new OS.
Meanwhile, AMD is also announcing recently released AMD Opteron 4200 and 6200 series processors have been optimized to run Windows Server 2012. AMD said that its Opteron processors run in servers that power Microsoft's Windows Azure public cloud service.
Hardware and software producers in the server, processor, OS ecosystem are under pressure to deliver improvements in the performance metrics that are most important to customers who expect the latest platforms to be faster, better, simpler, higher-capacity and more energy-efficient.
"We've got to drive simplicity in the management of that infrastructure. We've got to automate things," said Brian Payne executive director Dell PowerEdge platform marketing.
Dell's new servers-the M420 and M820 series-emphasize ease of deployment with Microsoft System Center Manager, said Kevin Noreen, marketing director for PowerEdge operating system and systems management technology at Dell.
"If you plug your Dell server into the wall, and you plug your network cable into the wall, it will automatically appear in the System Center console," said Noreen. "I don't even have to hit my power button. I can now push out configuration information or updates to that server without even powering it on and when it powers up it will automatically configure itself based on the configuration that you push to it."
This automatic configuration means that administrators in a Dell data center spend 85 percent less time firing up a new server than if it were an HP server, he said, and that the process takes 86 percent fewer steps.
The rivalry between Dell and HP can be seen in the latest server market share numbers from IDC. Dell was the only one of the top server vendors to increase market share in the second quarter in IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Server Tracker report, growing by 5.9 percent to a 16 percent share. Noreen said Dell's second quarter server revenue grew by 14 percent.
However, HP leads the market with a 29.6 percent share to IBM's 29.2 percent share, although IDC considers any difference of less than 1 percent to be a statistical tie.
AMD, meanwhile, points out how its AMD Opteron processors help Microsoft attain some of the virtualization performance enhancements it sees with Windows Server 2012 and Hyper-V, including support for up to 64 virtual processors, up to 1 terabyte of memory and support for up to 4,000 virtual machines.
Editor's Note: This article has been updated to clarify when AMD released its new Opteron processors and how these chips have been optimized for Windows Server 2012.