September 4th, in a global online launch event, Microsoft Server and Tools Business, president Satya Nadella, announced the general availability of Windows Server 2012.
Microsoft built Windows Server 2012 from the cloud up, applying its experience operating global datacenters that rely on hundreds of thousands of servers to deliver more than 200 cloud services.
"Windows Server 2012 expands the definition of a server operating system, with significant new advancements in virtualization, storage, networking and automation."
Hundreds of new features "can help customers achieve a transformational leap in the speed, scale and power of their datacenters and applications. In combination with Windows Azure and System Center, Windows Server 2012 empowers customers to manage and deliver applications and services across private, hosted and public clouds," Microsoft stated.
Customers can use their existing skills and investments in systems management, application development, database, identity and virtualization to take advantage of Windows Server 2012 and realize the promise of cloud computing.
Many enterprise customers are already seeing tremendous value in early deployments.
Microsoft also revealed that according to a recent survey of 70 early adopter customers from across the globe, Windows Server 2012 brings "on average, 52 percent reduction in downtime, 41 percent reduction in workload deployment time, and 15 hours of productivity time saved per year, per employee."
"91 percent of the companies surveyed expect a reduction in server administration labor, and 88 percent expect reduction in network administration labor," Microsoft adds.
See how Window Server 2012 helps increase agility and efficiency in the datacenter:
See why Windows Server 2012 and Windows Azure provide the world's best platform for modern apps:
See how Windows Server 2012 helps enable personalized experiences across virtually any device:
Empower People-centric IT:
You can try Windows Server 2012 on Windows Azure without downloading an ISO or VHD file or installing anything, you can be up and running in just a few steps:
Step 1 - Sign up for a FREE 90-day trial of Windows Azure
- In a few short steps, enable your trial and get access to all of the Windows Azure services at no cost or obligation
- The trial allows you to create several Windows Server 2012 Virtual Machines on our Windows Azure public cloud.
- Join the thousands of others easily and efficiently experiencing Windows Server 2012 on Windows Azure.
Step 2 - Deploy a Windows Server 2012 Virtual Machine from our gallery of pre-built test images
- With a few clicks, deploy a clean image from our gallery in just minutes.
- Use Remote Desktop to manage your new virtual machine just like you would a physical server.
- Test and evaluate Windows Server 2012 features on your fully functional virtual machine.
- With Window Azure Virtual Network, securely link your new virtual machine to your data center, allowing it to interact with your existing resources.
Step 3 - Learn more about what you can do with Windows Server 2012 on Windows Azure
- Watch a quick demo on how to create and manage Windows Server 2012 Virtual Machines.
- See how easy it is to manage a Windows Server 2012 Virtual Machine on Windows Azure
- Connect your new Virtual Machines to your existing data center using a virtual private network.
- Learn how to customized virtual hard disks running Windows Server 2012 and quickly deploy them on Windows Azure
Windows Server 2012 Virtual Labs. No complex setup or installation is required to try Windows Server 2012 running in a full-featured virtual lab. You get a downloadable manual and a 90-minute block of time for each module.
Before you start, "read the minimum system requirements. Next, select a virtual lab from the list below. Then, you will see an application called "holSystems LaunchPad Online" which will launch the lab," Micorosoft said.
- Active Directory Deployment and Management Enhancements
In this lab, you will learn how to deploy Active Directory Domain Controllers with Windows Server 2012. You will deploy domain controllers using the new Server Manager, as well as deploying remote domain controllers using Windows PowerShell. You will be able to explore the new Active Directory Management tool and use its PowerShell History Viewer.
- Configuring a Highly Available iSCSI Target
In this lab, you will learn how Windows Server 2012 can provide storage remotely to any machine. You will build clusters using shared storage and build iSCSI high-availability instances--observing highly available application communication during cluster failover.
- Configuring Hyper-V over Highly Available SMB Storage
In this lab, you will learn how to configure a file server cluster to support running Hyper-V virtual machines from SMB file shares. You will create the file share, configure delegation, and then create a new VM on SMB storage.
- Getting Started with Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V Replication
Asynchronous, application-consistent virtual machine replication is now built in to Windows Server 2012. It permits replication of Hyper-V virtual machines between two locations for business continuity and failure recovery. In this lab, you will learn how to configure and manage this technology.
- Implementing Storage Pools and Storage Spaces
In this lab, you will work with the new storage spaces technology in Windows Server 2012. You will first create new storage pools and virtual disks, and then you will work with those virtual disks in both Server Manager and Control Panel.
- Introduction to DirectAccess in Windows Server 2012
DirectAccess gives users the experience of being seamlessly connected to their corporate network anytime they have Internet access. In this lab, you will learn how to configure this now easy-to-install technology and provide greater mobility and ease of access for your users.
- Introduction to IIS 8
IIS 8 in Windows Server 2012 provides many new features to support greater scaling, density, and performance for your web applications. In this lab, you will learn how to configure many of these exciting new technologies, including centralized certificate support, dynamic IP domain restrictions, and throttling.
- Introduction to iSCSI Diskless Boot Deployment
Windows Server 2012 can efficiently provide highly available iSCSI block storage for diskless network boot. In this lab, you will learn how to configure both the iSCSI target and diskless boot servers, enabling rapid deployment and network boot capability for commodity hardware.
- Introduction to Windows PowerShell Fundamentals
Windows PowerShell is a command-line shell and scripting language that helps you achieve greater control and productivity. Using a new admin-focused scripting language, more than 230 standard command-line tools, and consistent syntax and utilities, Windows PowerShell enables you to more easily control system administration and accelerate automation.
- What's New in Windows PowerShell 3.0
In this lab, you will explore some of the new features and functionality in Windows PowerShell 3.0 to enable you to more easily control system administration and accelerate automation.
- Managing Branch Offices
In this lab, you will learn how the branch office scenario has been improved in Windows Server 2012 including new branch cache enhancements.
- Managing Network Infrastructure
In this lab, you will explore new network management capabilities in Windows Server 2012. You will learn how to implement Network Teaming as well as how to implement DHCP failover. Finally, explore new Windows PowerShell cmdlets for network management.
- Managing Windows Server 2012 with Server Manager and Windows PowerShell 3.0
In this lab, you will learn how the Server Manager and Windows PowerShell framework in Windows Server 2012 delivers an enhanced, multi-server management experience. You will learn to perform tasks such as multi-server management. You will also explore new Windows PowerShell capabilities including new cmdlets and the Windows PowerShell gateway.
- Managing Your Network Infrastructure with IP Address Management
Network management is core to running a business, yet the tools that IT professionals need can be too costly or not available from Microsoft. With Windows Server 2012, we change that with the introduction of IP Address Management (IPAM).
- Online Backup Service
In this lab, you will use Windows Server Backup to back up your critical data to Windows Azure. This lab will teach you the entire set of workflows around backing up and recovering your data to Windows Azure.
- Using Dynamic Access Control to Automatically and Centrally Secure Data
In this lab, you will explore Dynamic Access Control in Windows Server 2012. You will learn how to create Central Access Policies, explore the new Access Denied Remediation features, as well as learn how to use the audit capabilities built into Dynamic Access Control.
Windows Server 2012 Technet download links:
- Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2012 (x64) - DVD (English)
- Windows Server 2012 VL (x64) - DVD (English)
- Windows Server 2012 Storage Server and Foundation (x64) - DVD (English)
- Windows Server 2012 Language Pack (x64) - DVD (Multiple Languages)
- Windows Server 2012 (x64) - DVD (English)
Here is the Windows Server 2012 Infographic: