Windows Server 2012 spinoffs: What else is Microsoft shipping?

Windows Server 2012 spinoffs: What else is Microsoft shipping?

Summary: Microsoft has made Hyper-V 2012 and Windows Storage Server 2012 generally available, alongside Windows Server 2012.


Windows Server 2012 is not the only server-specific product that the Redmondians made generally available this week.


A couple of other related server SKUs are now available for test/evaluation and purchase. Specifically, these are:

Hyper-V Server 2012: Hyper-V Server 2012 is a dedicated stand-alone product that contains the Hyper-V hypervisor, Windows Server driver model, virtualization capabilities, and supporting components such as failover clustering, but does not contain all of the features and roles as the full Windows Server 2012 operating system does. "As a result Hyper-V Server produces a small footprint and and requires minimal overhead." according to Microsoft's page about the product, which includes a download link.

Aidan Finn -- a Microsoft Valuable Professional (MVP) with an expertise in Virtual Machine who works for MicroWarehouse Ltd. -- alerted me to the fact Hyper-V 2012 is generally available. He noted in a September 4 blog post that there are "no free virtualisation rights to install Windows Server in guest OSes" with this product. "This means it is good for labs, VDI (virtual desktop infrastructure), Linux hosting, and upgrading older hosts without SA (Software Assurance." In other words, it is pretty stripped-down, but may be the right choice for particular workloads.

Windows Storage Server 2012: Windows Storage Server 2012 is built on the Windows Server 2012 operating system to provide a platform for Network Attached Storage (NAS) appliances. "Windows Storage Server 2012 NAS appliances can help reduce the storage costs associated with building modern datacenters and private clouds," according to the description on the Microsoft Download site.

There are four primary Windows Server 2012 SKUs: Datacenter, Standard, Essentials and Foundation. Datacenter and Standard are available to users to license on a per-processor basis.

Essentials is the only one of these four that has not yet been released to manufacturing. Microsoft officials have said that will happen later this year. Essentials -- meant to be the replacement for Windows Small Business Server and Windows Home Server (for those who used it as a small-business server) -- will be generally available before the end of calendar 2012, Microsoft officials have said.


Topics: Servers, Microsoft, Virtualization, 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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  • Hyper-V Server Remote Admin

    Remotely managing a stand-alone 2008 Hyper-V Server was ridiculously complicated to configure and troubleshoot, almost a cruel joke. Hopefully it's much better now.
  • SCVMM 2012 and Server 2012

    Just a quick note to all those folks installing 2012...SCVMM 2012 Service Pack 1 has not yet shipped. So this means that one will have to use Hyper-V to manage everything...
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    Ok, so I run a small web host as a hobby business, and it seems like in the world of web technologies, Microsoft LAGS behind the LAMP stack in many different aspects.

    IIS and are great technologies, but unfortunately, on a shared hosting context, Microsoft has two MAJOR weaknesses, SQL server, and the lack of a good hosting control panel.

    First of all, SQL server does not, in shared hosting contexts, show any advantage against the (free) MySQL. Its not much of a problem, but thing is, its not really easy to buy a monthly license for SQL Server. Most dedicated server providers provide monthly SPLA for windows, but SQL server monthly licenses are hard to find, many hosts do not provide it. Why can't Microsoft sell monthly licenses for web edition on their web store?

    Secondly, and critically, there is NO good hosting control panel. For Linux servers, Cpanel/WHM is great, and is pretty much the de-facto standard, but for windows, what do you have? Website panel? that doesn't have half Cpanel's features. Plesk? its slow and buggy. Hell, the Cpanel people gave up on their windows panel, Enkompass has stopped development. Why try to advertise how good your platform is for hosts, when you don't even have a good control panel?
  • Good Good...

    They have come very far... Remembering the days when I used to work to get the PDC/BDC NT 4.0 servers up on our company network...

    This will be an excellent Release... The enhancements, feature additions and performance tuning that has gone in is simply amazing... There is PowerShell CmdLets everywhere and that is super good for those command line admin junkies.

    Also the simplification of the SKUs is worth touting... Certainly they have taken many cues from the client team... Azure and Server teams working in tandem is very much appreciable... They have to work in tight Sync in the future too...