With the launch of Windows Server 2012 also available now for download is Windows Storage Server 2012 Evaluation Editions and Hyper-V Server 2012 Release to Manufacturing (RTM).
""Windows Storage Server 2012" is built on the Windows Server 2012 operating system is an advanced storage and file serving solution for any size organization that offers new levels of performance and reliability on a proven and reliable server platform. It provide a platform for Network Attached Storage (NAS) appliances and can help reduce the storage costs associated with building modern datacenters and private clouds," Microsoft stated.
"Windows Storage Server 2012 delivers excellent economics for a shared storage solution by leveraging industry standard hardware matched with robust storage capabilities. It delivers continuous availability that is designed to protect from a range of failures and prevent downtime in a scalable and reliable manner."
"Hyper-V Server is a dedicated stand-alone product that contains the hypervisor, Windows Server driver model, virtualization capabilities, and supporting components such as failover clustering, but does not contain the robust set of features and roles as the Windows Server operating system. As a result Hyper-V Server produces a small footprint and and requires minimal overhead," Microsoft stated.
Apparently, "Hyper-V Server 2012 RTM" is the same hypervisor with the same scale and features in Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V, but does not come with free virtualization rights to install Windows Server in guest operating systems. It is pretty much a stripped down with just Huper-V host and nothing more. In other words, this is a good choice for labs, VDI, Linux hosting, and upgrading older hosts without SA. Hyper-V Server 2012 comes with no GUI and you must use PowerShell, SConfig, or remote admin to manage the machine.
Also published today is an updated eBook for IT Pros on Windows Server 2012
"This book is a great way to get quickly skilled up on all the new improvements in this latest Windows Server - one of the most ambitious releases of Windows Server for IT Pros since Active Directory was released in Windows Server 2000!," Microsoft stated.
In this 256-page eBook, "you'll find 5 chapters of detailed technical content covering the following key improvements to building a Private Cloud at your shop with Windows Server 2012."
Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter (MVMC) Solution Accelerator is a stand-alone solution for the IT pro or solution provider who wants to convert VMware-based virtual machines and disks to Hyper-V-based virtual machines and disks.
MVMC provides the following features:
- Converts and deploys virtual machines from VMware hosts to Hyper-V hosts including Hyper-V on Windows Server® 2012. As part of the machine conversion MVMC converts the virtual disks attached to the source virtual machine. It also migrates configuration such as memory, virtual processor and so on from the source virtual machine to the converted virtual machine deployed on Hyper-V. It adds virtual network interface cards (NICs) to the converted virtual machine on Hyper-V.
- Converts VMware virtual disks to Hyper-V based virtual hard disks (VHDs).
- Supports conversion of virtual machines from VMware vSphere 4.1 and 5.0 hosts to Hyper-V.
- Note MVMC also supports conversion of virtual machines from VMware vSphere 4.0 if the host is managed by vCenter 4.1 or vCenter 5.0. You have to connect to vCenter 4.1 or 5.0 through MVMC to convert virtual machines on vSphere 4.0.
- Offers fully scriptable command-line interfaces for performing virtual machine and disk conversions that integrates well with data center automation workflows and Windows PowerShell scripts.
- Has a wizard-driven GUI, making it simple to perform virtual machine conversion.
- Uninstalls VMware tools prior to conversion to provide a clean way to migrate VMware-based virtual machines to Hyper-V.
- Supports Windows Server guest operating system conversion, including Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2003 SP2.
- Enables conversion of Windows client versions including Windows 7.
- Installs integration services on the converted virtual machine if the guest operating system is Windows Server 2003 SP2.
Windows Powershell 3.0 for Windows 7 SP1, Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 & Windows Server 2008 SP2 is now part of the Windows Management Framework 3.0.
Windows Management Framework 3.0 makes some updated management functionality available to be installed on Windows 7 SP1, Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 & Windows Server 2008 SP2. Windows Management Framework 3.0 contains Windows PowerShell 3.0, WMI & WinRM.
Windows PowerShell 3.0 include:
- Windows PowerShell Workflow lets IT Pros and developers apply the benefits of workflows to the automation capabilities of Windows PowerShell. Workflows allow administrators to run long-running tasks (which can be made repeatable, frequent, parallelizable, interruptible, or restart-able) that can affect multiple managed computers or devices at the same time.
- Disconnected Sessions. PowerShell sessions can be disconnected from the remote computer and reconnected later from the same computer or a different computer without losing state or causing running commands to fail.
- Robust Session Connectivity. Remote sessions are resilient to network failures and will attempt to reconnect for several minutes. If connectivity cannot be reestablished, the session will automatically disconnect itself so that it can be reconnected when network connectivity is restored.
- Scheduled jobs that run regularly or in response to an event.
- Delegated Administration. Commands that can be executed with a delegated set of credentials so users with limited permissions can run critical jobs
- Simplified language syntax that make commands and scripts look a lot less like code and a lot more like natural language.
- Improved cmdlet discovery and automatic module loading that make it easier to find and run any of the cmdlets installed on your computer.
- Show-Command, a cmdlet and ISE Add-On that helps users find the right cmdlet, view its parameters in a dialog box, and run it.
- A new provider development model
This new model brings down the cost of provider development and removes the dependency on COM.
- A new MI Client API to perform standard CIM operations.
The API can be used to interact with any standard WsMan + CIMOM implementation, allowing management applications on Windows to manage non-Windows computers.
- The ability to write Windows PowerShell cmdlets in native code
The new WMI Provider APIs supports an extended Windows PowerShell semantics API allowing you to provide rich Windows PowerShell semantics. e.g., Verbose, Error, Warning, WhatIf, Confirm, Progress
- Connections are more robust
Remote connections communicating over WinRM are more robust to transient network failures such as a flaky WAN connection. In the case of a complete network failure, connections are gracefully disconnected and can be reconnected when network connectivity is restored.
- Remoting is more Standards-compliant
Standard WS-Management operations, including Create and Delete, can be performed over WMI. Remoting for cmdlets written in native code using the new WMI provider development model uses WS-Management instead of DCOM.
- Multiple PowerShell sessions can be shared in the same process
Management OData IIS Extensions enables an administrator to expose a set of PowerShell cmdlets as a RESTful web endpoint accessible via the Open Data Protocol (OData). This enables Windows and non-Windows clients to discover and invoke PowerShell cmdlets remotely over standard web protocols and interfaces.
Server Manager CIM Provider packaged with Windows Management Framework 3.0 allows you to manage your Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 and Windows Server 2008 SP2 servers from Server Manager in Windows Server 2012 or Remote Server Administration Tools for Windows 8.