At the 2011 Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference, the software company showed off some of the first peeks at the next generation of Windows Server software, currently codenamed “Windows Server 8”. The biggest features of the new server OS are, unsurprisingly, cloud related.
Microsoft made a big deal a couple of years ago with their launch of Windows Azure, a distributed hosting cloud platform that businesses could use in order to develop and roll out their individual cloud applications without having to worry about scaling the network and hardware. In other words, it’s the Microsoft version of a public cloud.
In Windows Server 8, we’re going to see Redmond give that power wholly back to enterprise with their private cloud architecture. Businesses will be able to create, manage and host cloud-like networks and infrastructure, but on their own terms. In other words, without having to worry about potential security issues caused by outsourcing their cloud operations.
It’s an interesting take on the ever-increasing cloud presence, as the trend until recently has been to engage greater and greater numbers of business needs on an outsourced, software-as-a-service basis. The private cloud features in Windows Server 8 let companies maintain the freedom and flexibility that cloud networks offer, while keeping tight controls on who is capable of accessing the data.
Some of the other features offered by the new upgrade include support for at least 16 virtual processors and the new Hyper-V Replica functionality. That latter invention allows customers to replicated a virtual machine from one location to any other just by using Hyper-V and a network connection. Microsoft worked hard on the improvements to virtualization in Windows Server 8 in order to compete more effectively with opponents such as VMWare.
The company is expected to release much more information about both Windows 8 and Windows Server 8 (including the high possibility of a public beta) at their BUILD conference in mid-September.