Microsoft shows off early peek at Windows Server 8

Microsoft shows off early peek at Windows Server 8

Summary: Microsoft officials showed off on July 12 at the company's Worldwide Partner Conference a first public glimpse of its coming Windows Server 8 operating system.


Microsoft officials showed off on July 12 at the company's Worldwide Partner Conference a first public glimpse of its coming Windows Server 8 operating system.

Windows Server 8, the server complement of Windows 8 client, is on the same development track and path as Windows 8 client. If we Microsoft watchers are right, both Windows 8 client and server should be out in 2012, possibly in the first half of the year.

Microsoft is touting Windows Server 8 as a key private-cloud building block, which means virtualization will be critical to the next release. Microsoft demonstrated only one of what officials said would be several of more than 100 new features coming in the next version of Windows Server: The next version of its Hyper-V hypervisor.

Specifically, the Softies showed off what they are calling Hyper-V Replica. In a demonstration from Jeff Woolsey, the Principal Program Manager Lead for Windows Server Virtualization, noted that Microsoft has heard from its customers that it needed to provide more virtual processor support. He said the new Hyper-V will support more than 16 virtual processors per machine.

The coming Hyper-V Replica feature provides asynchronous virtual machine replication. All users will need is Hyper-V and a network connection. Users will be able to schedule replication to happen immediately or later. The new feature will allow users to do things such as replicate their mission-critical database to an offsite data vendor. Woolsey said that Microsoft will be vendor-agnostic with this and support multiple storage, datacenter and software/service providers. Microsoft also is going to allow Windows Server 8 users to replicate unlimitedly without charging additional fees per virtual machine.

Microsoft is also believed to be providing the next version of its Hyper-V hypervisor in the Windows 8 client, as well, though Microsoft has yet to announce this officially.

Microsoft is expected to share more about Windows Server 8 at its Build conference in mid-September.

The same day that Microsoft showed off Hyper-V Replica, its archrival VMware announced VSphere 5. One of the new features in vSphere 5, which is due out in the third quarter of 2011, is its ability to support virtual machines "that are up to four times more powerful than previous versions with up to 1 terabyte of memory and 32 virtual CPUs." VMware is touting the scalability and performance gains customers will get when they use these new VMs with the high-availability advances in the VMware platform.

In other private-cloud news, Microsoft officials said today at the partner conference that Hewlett Packard is still on-board with plans to deliver Windows Azure Appliances before the end of this year. Microsoft announced its "cloud in a box" Azure Appliances last summer, with officials saying the first of those products would be available to customers at the end of 2010. Fujitsu committed to delivering its first Windows Azure Appliances starting in August 2011. There's no word on when Dell, another of MIcrosoft's announced Azure Appliance partners, will start offering Azure Appliances to their customers.

Update (July 18): Microsoft has posted a video clip featuring the brief Windows Server 8 preview from the Partner Conference.

More from the Microsoft Partner Conference:

Microsoft to open 75 more retail stores in next two to three years

Microsoft execs continue to insist tablets are PCs

Microsoft shows off early peek at Windows Server 8

Microsoft commits to deliver next CRM Online release by year-end

Windows 8 will run on all Windows 7 PCs (and Vista PCs too)

Microsoft: 400 million Windows 7 and 100 million Office 2010 licenses sold

Microsoft: In a year, Windows Phone has gone from very small to ... very small

Microsoft makes it official: New beta of Windows Intune 2.0 available

What's on Steve Ballmer's Microsoft priority list now?

Microsoft to deliver Surface 2.0 software developer kit on July 12

Why Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is so bullish on Bing

Topics: Microsoft, Hardware, Operating Systems, Servers, Software, Windows


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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  • My test machine is ready and waiting

    Can't wait until September for the build conference. :)
    Mr. Dee
    • RE: Microsoft shows off early peek at Windows Server 8

      @Mr. Dee
      Mine too. I am hoping that they give away free laptops (or tablets) like they did a few years ago.
  • Already running it here...

    I have to say, we are already running Hyper-V 8 and it has been an amazing difference. It has been so amazing that I migrated ALL Windows Server 2008R2 Hyper-V servers to this pre-alpha build as my rep commanded. We then celebrated at Yarrow's with a fine meal while I cancelled all paid-time-off for my MCSEs.
    Mike Cox
    • Welcome back from hospital!

      @Mike Cox

      It's been a while...
      • RE: Microsoft shows off early peek at Windows Server 8

        What kind of hospital was it? My guess would be something head related.
      • LOL

    • Neither of these possibilities is flattering to you

      @Mike Cox
      You are either serious in which case you are a complete idiot

      or this is a lame attempt at sarcasm in which case you are a complete idiot.

      ZDNet, this poster is making you look like a joke. Doesn't anybody moderate these forums in an attempt to make this a useful place for serious people? So far, it seems that 50% of the posts are from trolls.
      • Develop a sense of humour

        toddybottom is the latest is a long list of talkbackers calling for comments to be moderated in accordance with their beliefs, and flag everyone they don't agree with. Sadly they have some wins (ZDNet please resist the temptation).<br><br>Comments in breach of the guidelines should be removed. Some of us enjoy a mixture of opinions (and as with Mike, humour). Long may it continue.
        Richard Flude
      • RE: Microsoft shows off early peek at Windows Server 8


        Meet Mike Cox, the long time satirist of the ruthlessly pro-MS. If you take him seriously, he's an idiot. However, the better intro is this fine op-ed piece from the archives:

      • Thanks voyager

        So ZDNet has not only been tolerating this troll for at least 4 years, they've actively been encouraging him?

        I have to say that I'm surprised although it does explain the very small signal to noise ratio here. It is clear that ZDNet has absolutely no interest in keeping these forums a place where rational people can have rational discussions.
      • RE: Microsoft shows off early peek at Windows Server 8

        I don't know if that is the case? My advice: have a sip of kool-ade, and unbunch your undies! Works for me!
    • A welcome return, Mr. Cox

      @Mike Cox
      I would gauge your reply at a respectable 8 out of 10.

      Tim Cook
      • RE: Microsoft shows off early peek at Windows Server 8

        @Mister Spock

        As would I!
    • 6/10

      @Mike Cox

      Honestly, I think is one of your weaker posts... sorry, only a 6/10 for me.
      • But he did mention his rep and Yarrow's

        William Pharaoh
      • It might have been a bit weak - but...

        ... he did fool toddybottom. Gotta give him at least a +1 for that.
    • Right!

      Obvious troll is, well, being quite inconspicuous actually.
  • WAR

    With W8, Micosoft enters the battle to remain supremacy for the datacenter and desktop. The future of Windows on the line. so far apple and VMware have won the 1st battles, but Microsoft knows how to wage war, and has the scars, and a massive warchest of experience and IP. Get ready for a decade of techwars.
    • RE: Microsoft shows off early peek at Windows Server 8


      Apple won a first battle for the datacenter? Is that why they dropped Xserve?
      Lester Young
    • If you're gonna be a pro-Microsoft Troll, at least, do yourself a favor...

      ...and get your facts straight. It's not Apple that's a lurking threat in the data center. It never was, and likely never will be. Apple's forte is in the consumer arena - NOT the enterprise.

      Linux, OTOH, is more of an issue.