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What does Windows Server 2012 mean for business?

With Windows Server 2012 launched this week, I quiz two of our experts about what Microsoft’s latest server operating system has in store, for both the cloud-initiated and those still considering their first steps to the cloud.

In and amongst the excitement of TechEd NZ, the much-awaited Windows Server 2012 – the world’s first cloud-optimised operating system – was launched this week.

In the calm before the launch, I caught up with Bevan Sinclair and Andrew Kosmadakis, two of Intergen’s senior infrastructure consultants, to find out what the release of Microsoft’s next server operating system will mean for organisations. Why are Bevan and Andrew (and Intergen in general) so excited about it? What’s so different about it? And – perhaps most importantly – how is it going to change the way organisations manage their applications and infrastructure, and – ultimately – help them to embrace the cloud?

Windows Server 2012 

What about Windows Server 2012 are you most excited about?

From an Intergen perspective, we’re most excited about the wealth of features that Windows Server 2012 brings, along with its simplicity and its stability. As the next evolution of Windows Server, it delivers many features that we have been working with and reading about for a while now.

With Windows Server 2012 we can help make public, private or hybrid cloud a reality. Even if organisations aren’t ready for the move to the cloud right now, Windows Server 2012 will help them to ‘future proof’ their IT systems and applications, facilitating the transition when the time is right for them, while at the same time giving them across-the-board improvements in areas such as performance, security and scalability – capabilities which they can take advantage of on day one.

In the short-term, we don’t believe organisations will shift their entire corporate infrastructure to the cloud in one hit, and that’s where Microsoft’s hybrid cloud model works well – it allows organisations to plan their shift to the cloud based on their own priorities and budgets, and in their own timeframes, something that competing platforms don’t currently allow. 

What benefits will Windows Server 2012 provide – both to you and to our customers?

We see Windows Server 2012 providing numerous benefits for our customers and ourselves.

For our customers, Windows Server 2012 allows people to transition their applications and services between public and private cloud more easily than ever before. By leveraging cloud-based services, people can get much greater value for money from their existing IT infrastructure, improved scalability and the power to better utilise existing resources. Other big wins for everyone are automation and simplification; tasks that previously required manual repetition can be more easily automated; it offers better control and consolidation; and it’s more secure than ever.  At the end of the day this is a win for IT departments and IT service providers: this technology automates the simple yet time-consuming tasks that are necessary but add little strategic value. By simplifying and automating them, more resources can be freed up to see how IT can be used as an enabler, adding value to the organisation and helping it achieve its goals.

What do you think will be the key features of Windows Server 2012, and why?

There are several key features of Windows Server 2012.

The operating system is multi-tenant aware by default, meaning it can host multiple independent applications or services simultaneously, out of the box.  This will increase the performance and stability of these applications and services.

Hyper-V is definitely a key feature, as it represents another step forward for virtualisation and enables better density (the ability to fit more virtual servers onto physical hardware than previously possible) for the customer.  The benefit: less effort and resources are required to manage and maintain these.

The networking stack has also been simplified, making for greater ease of administration and therefore requiring less reliance on third party tools, which can add cost and complexity to an implementation. 

How do you think 2012 will change the game for cloud (as it’s the only true cloud OS available)?

Windows Server 2012 is a game-changer in the respect that it prepares people for a transition to the cloud, while catering for both their short-term and long-term needs.

Many organisations are still wondering what this journey to the cloud will look like for them, and how they are going to get there, and Windows Server 2012 assists in answering this question. The fact that the operating system can be abstracted from applications and services allows for the transition of those services into hybrid or public clouds. And when organisations combine Windows Server 2012 with Systems Center they will have a true, end-to-end cloud solution, from the desktop to the internet. 

Tell me about Intergen’s involvement with Windows Server 2012.

We’ve been using Windows Server 2012 ourselves since pre-beta and it has long been part of our own technology roadmap. As providers of solutions right across the Microsoft stack, we’re in a unique position to see the full picture, and to help our clients get more out of their application investment. Windows Server 2012 helps us to transition our clients – irrespective of their circumstances – to private, hybrid or public clouds. We see embracing Windows Server 2012 as the perfect opportunity for our clients to maximise the many opportunities that exist in the cloud, allowing our customers to deploy and manage their applications – and infrastructure – more efficiently and with a greater degree of flexibility, than ever before. In combination, Windows Server 2012 and Systems Center give us – and our clients – the tools to manage all environments simply, efficiently and cost effectively. 

Useful resources:

And then of course you can always talk to our experts. Contact us to talk in more detail about Windows Server 2012.

Posted by: Katy Sweetman, Marketing Director, Empired Group | 07 September 2012

Tags: Windows Server 2012

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