It was just over a year ago that we announced our Windows Server 2012 Beta Cloud Server offering and I’m happy to announce (now that we’re officially allowed to announce) that we didn’t stop there. We’ve been working closely with Microsoft (in fact over the past couple years even more closely) around the next version of Windows Server and it’s officially been announced it will be Windows Server 2012 R2. Last month I attended two events: The Windows Server Futures Council meeting where the product teams showed us the new versions of the CloudOS and the Microsoft Hosting Summit. Now that they’ve officially announced much of this at Tech Ed and this week at Build, I can talk about it. So here’s some of the good things coming:
- Improvements to Hyper-V Replica – The initial release of Hyper-V Replica was limited. The updated version is going to allow us to create replicas off of replicas and manage the replication window from as little as 30 seconds (previously this was set to 15 minutes). What’s this mean? It means we’ll be able to offer you new disaster recovery options and the ability to fail over to another datacenter as needed, when needed.
- Full Console Access – In the past you only had RDP access to your Hyper-V based cloud servers. With this new feature we’ll be able to give you full console access as if you were standing in front of your machine. This means you’ll be able to install custom operating systems like Linux, etc and not rely exclusively on pre-baked OS Images.
- Storage Quality of Service Management – The biggest internal complaint we’ve had about Hyper-V is that Disk I/O is not manageable or metered. This means some users can use high I/O applications and potentially choke other users. We’ll now have fine grained control over the I/O of each VM and be able to offer a guaranteed level of I/O.
- Second Generation VM’s – Today’s VM on Hyper-V has to maintain backward compatibility with legacy systems. With the new generation of VM’s running modern operating systems (Windows Server 2012 for instance) we’ll be able to use this 2nd generation VM and gain performance such as faster boot and faster OS installs but we’ll also be able to deliver a secure / trusted boot. Oh and it will boot off of virtual SCSI (no more IDE required for boot device). What’s this mean? Speed! More Speed!
- Online Drive Resizing – Today if you want to increase the size of your drives, we have to shutdown your server, increase the size of the drive and start your server back up. The new system will allow us to resize it while running.
But this isn’t just about Windows Server 2012 R2, They’re updating the “Cloud OS”! What’s this mean? It means they’re updating the System Center stack as well so the System Center suite of tools will be updated at the same time. We’re also going to get a new version of “Windows Azure for Windows Server” which will be renamed as “the Windows Azure Pack” and we’ll be releasing more information on that very soon.
Anyway, the point of this blog article was to remind you that Applied Innovations still believes today as it did 14 years ago that it’s important we bring you the latest technology early and deliver it in a way that’s easy to understand and easy to use. It’s one of the core principles I believed in when I founded the company and it’s one we’re all committed to delivering against.