Microsoft has released its Windows Server "8" beta, with an eye toward gathering feedback to refine the final release.
made Windows Server "8" beta available to IT administrators and
developers. As with all its major pre-releases, Microsoft is pushing the beta
to the widest possible audience in order to receive tons of feedback, the
better to refine the product ahead of final release.
multiple capabilities, Windows Server "8" includes robust features
related to multi-machine management and automation. The new Hyper-V Network
Virtualization allows different units within an organization to share network
infrastructure. IT administrators will have the ability to move virtual
machines and servers without disrupting network assignments.
File Server Transparent Failover apparently streamlines hardware and software
maintenance on File Server cluster nodes. "Additionally, Windows Server '8'
provides a powerful server application platform that enables you to develop and
host the most demanding of application workloads," Bill Laing, corporate
vice president of Microsoft's Server and Cloud, wrote in a March 1 posting on
the Windows Server Blog
that means developers will have the ability to leverage Windows Server "8"
to build extremely robust server and Web applications. "Our new IIS 8 Web
server provides better security isolation," he added, "and resource
sandboxing between applications, native support for Web sockets and the ability
to host significantly more sites on a server."
originally released its Windows Server "8" developer preview in
September 2011, touting the enhancements to virtual networking, storage and
infrastructure management. Its obvious competitive target was VMWare,
particularly the latter's vSphere 5 platform for x86 server virtualization.
Labs tested that developer preview, it found a Server Manager significantly
different than previous versions of the operating system. Not only did it fully
embrace the aforementioned multi-machine management approach in place of the
traditional one-machine-at-a-time view, but it adopted the same "Metro"
interface that increasingly defines Microsoft products from Windows Phone to
the upcoming Windows 8.
Overall, eWEEK Labs
found that Windows Server "8"
had the potential to challenge VMWare and other players in the field. However,
IT pros will likely have to wait until the final versionwhich will incorporate
feedback from the batabefore they can evaluate the full scope of the offering's
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