Microsoft's Windows Server 2012 will be released to manufacturers sometime in August and become generally available for sale in September, the company announced July 10. The software giant also detailed its plans to lure customers to its Hyper-V virtualization platform and away from industry leader VMware.
On the second day of its Worldwide Partner Conference in Toronto, Microsoft shared with an audience of about 16,000 Microsoft partners the performance improvements in Windows Server 2012 that will manage on-premise, cloud and hybrid environments for enterprises. Collectively, Windows Server 2012, its cloud counterpart Windows Azure and Microsoft System Center for managing the entire system, make up the Microsoft Cloud OS, said Satya Nadella, president of the Server and Tools Business at Microsoft.
Microsoft also announced a community technology preview of a trio of hosting services that will make it possible for service providers to offer their customers turnkey cloud services, including highly scalable Web site and virtual machine hosting with an extensible self-service portal experience. These services, recently made available on Windows Azure, will now be added to Windows Server 2012, Nadella said.
The company also touted specific performance enhancements in Windows Server, including benchmarks that best those of rival VMware. Windows Server 2012 will support up to 320 logical processors per server, up to 4 terabytes of memory per server and up to 64 virtual processors per virtual machine, said Jeff Woolsey, senior program manager for Windows Server Virtualization at Microsoft.
During a live demonstration, Woolsey said that VMware says they can deliver a maximum of 300,000 input/output instructions per second (I/Os) from a single virtual machine, but that Microsoft, with Windows Server 2012, can deliver more than 1 million I/Os.
"That's over three times VMware and, folks, I'm just getting warmed up," said Woolsey.
The new server OS also adds a feature Woolsey called offloaded data transfer (ODX) for faster backups to storage. He tried to move a 10GB file to storage without ODX and noted how network utilization spiked because of the load. With ODX on, the file was backed up to storage in about 10 seconds.
"This type of performance is unheard of and it makes Server 2012 a no-brainer for cloud storage," Woolsey concluded.