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Microsoft launches Windows Server 2012

New platform oils cloud migration, promises software giant

Microsoft launches Windows Server 2012
Microsoft’s Mark Chaban explains the Microsoft cloud architecture delivered by Windows Server 2012.

Microsoft announced its cloud-enabling Windows Server 2012 platform to the Gulf region today. Along with partners Intel and HP the company pushed the release as a major revision of architecture and product coupling.

"[Windows Server 2012] is a true cloud operating system... it is a comprehensive enablement of private cloud and data centres," said Samer Abu-Ltaif, general manager, Microsoft Gulf. "[It includes] multi-tenancy and manageability of storage and security across the whole data centre from a single source."

The significant cloud migration seen regionally and globally has many CIOs considering a shift in infrastructure, but cloud projects present many challenges.

"Everybody has seen the benefits of cloud from the financial perspective but when people take steps to adopt cloud [frameworks] they take [many risks]," said Eyad Shihabi, managing director, HP MEA. "Capitalising on the more-than-30-years relationship we have with Microsoft and Intel we have tried to facilitate [the migration process]."

In Microsoft's cloud model, products such as Internet Information Server, SharePoint Server, Lync Server, SQL Server, Exchange Server and Dynamics will be folded into the cloud architecture offered by Windows Azure to deliver a seamless rollout suite that can be managed from a single point, revealed Microsoft's Mark Chaban, director, private cloud and DC.

Windows Azure delivers public cloud utilities such as platform as a service (PaaS) and infrastructure as a service (IaaS), but with Server 2012 Microsoft brings its other server products together to allow a hybrid distribution, Windows Azure handling the public cloud and Windows Server 2012 handling the rest through HyperV, Microsoft's virtualisation builder.

"You will never go completely public; you will never stay completely private. You are probably going to exist in a hybrid state for at least the next decade," said Chaban.

Windows Server 2012 will be delivered to a market concerned about the security issues associated with the expanding "bring your own device" (BYOD) culture and aggressive malware proliferation. Microsoft claims Server 2012 ticks the boxes of scalability (from a home network to an 8000-workstation virtual environment), elasticity (management tools allow the automatic resizing of resource allocations) and availability ("always up, always on").

"We take cloud very seriously at Intel and have our own Cloud 2015 vision," said Nassir Nauthoa, general manager, GCC Intel. "By then we expect that over 15bn devices will be connected to the Internet [and will be] creating, consuming, storing, managing and translating data. IDC predicts that by 2020 the data volume within the enterprise market will be 44 times what it is today. To handle that volume we cannot continue on the same path."

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