Windows Server 8 Developer Preview

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No it’s not a typo,

The latest developer preview of Microsoft’s server operating system has been given the code name “Windows Server 8.” Things are confusing now but surely there will be lots of confusion over “Server 08” and “Server 8.” Fantastic name, what were the geeks at Microsoft thinking when they came up with this name.

The name of the server operating system does give us a hint that it will be designed for and will integrate into Microsoft’s newest operating system “Windows 8” that is due to be released soon.  Windows Server 8 has been released to MSDN subscribers to prepare new and existing applications, systems and devices. This version is not considered to be ready for deployment.

So what’s Windows Server 8 all about then?

The core ethos of Windows Server 8 is to offer “consistent, integrated approach that helps to solve fundamental business and IT challenges,” by building secure private clouds.  Windows Server 8, will heavily be promoting virtualised services, as it is designed to scale according to workloads and could mean that businesses could build cost effective private clouds.

Virtualisation is a process that many businesses are moving towards as it delivers the power of multiple servers using one server. There are many benefits to virtualisation, firstly the cost of hardware outlay is reduced and also electricity consumption is reduced hence a green solution.

The virtualisation platform HyperV v3 within Windows Server 8, has many features that are found in premium virtualisation platforms like Vmware and Citrix.  It is possible that these premium vendors will have to re-think their pricing strategies or develop their products further after the release of “Windows Server 8.”

Windows Server 8 has the usual web access facilities but it will be a more rich and personalised interface which can be accessed from any device, all over a secure connection.

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In Windows Server 8 there are more installation options, the new option “Features On Demand” installs the core services and GUI. This means every time the user wants to add a new feature or role he/she will have to insert the installation discs into the server.  In many respects this is good, as it strips the operating system back to basics and makes it less clunky.

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Microsoft has completely changed the login screen, it looks very appealing to the eye but surely a network engineer would choose performance over fancy artwork.  I have to praise Microsoft for thinking about putting a small icon at the bottom of the screen to show network connectivity, I hope they follow this trend and add more icons so that network administrators can see the status of a server at a glance.

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There are multiple new interfaces that system administrators will have to navigate, one of which is the new start menu system. I really hope there is an option to turn off tiled “start menu.”

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As this is a Developer Preview many things will be changed and improved based on the feedback Microsoft receive from testers.

We will keep you posted with updates on the Storm-IT Blog.

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