Microsoft gets a lot of flak for its many lame products. It’s difficult to decide which is the lamest of all. The Me too Windows Phone, the pathetic Bing or the “so NOT “ Microsoft Live? Or maybe the Windows desktop OS? Its on death row, its head neatly greased, and waits happily and patiently to be executed - even though it will take years. And Microsoft Office can now be DONE online, but cant DO online. It just waits. To be undone by time.
But behind all this doom and gloom shines Microsoft’s little lauded and often forgotten jewel – the Windows Server OS. Windows Server 2008, and Windows Server 8 even more so, are the ultimate in server computing. Yes, if you want to run Apache with a PHP app (Wordpress), nothing beats Linux. But for everything else you need Windows Server. Windows Server is performant. Scaleable. Manageable. Programmable.
With terminal services you can virtualize desktops and apps. And its inbuilt virtualization makes it easy for administrators to run several machines on one server and easily configure redundancy and automated backup of not just apps but the whole OS. Windows Server makes it easy to go to the cloud, but allows you to decide to wait. Windows Server is THAT reliable and manageable you can hold on to your precious data a while longer. Share your data with Google or your hosting provider at some point in the future.
And Windows Server 8, already far ahead, lifts the bar even higher. Hyper-V is greatly improved. The internal switches between VMs can now be intelligently configured and traffic throttled or filtered. Hyper-V Replica can backup virtual machines automatically itself at intervals. And differentially. Put your server back in time with a few mouse clicks in case of emergency.
Storage for your servers can be virtualized and moved to other hardware with a few mouse clicks. You can move virtualized servers onto other servers - LIVE.
You can even send a LIVE VM to a remote host, thanks to network virtualization. Domain controllers can now also be virtualized and the Hyper V hypervisor will recognize domain controllers and deal with them intelligently avoiding conflicts.
And Windows Server management got easier too. Not just the management of a single server but of all your servers, including virtualized ones.
Windows Server 8 is cool. And it’s the future of Microsoft.
It is one of the futures of Microsoft. Office can't all be "DONE" online, yet. No one yet turns up to a presentation in a foreign environment (eg a hotel) and expects online stuff to work, reliably, every time.
If you argue "online" versus MS, then you are also arguing for "no server at all" - Linux/Server 8 doesn't *really* matter.
I have to agree that Windows Server is incredible and keeps getting better.
But Windows Server an "often forgotten jewel"? Forgotten perhaps by the open source and free software people but certainly not by the business community. ;-)
Also the "me to" characterisation of Windows Phone is interesting. Was Android "me to" when it started?
Good, provocative articles as always, but don't let msft loathing get the best of you. ;-)
@anon - i am not arguing online versus MS. But whether online or not, that same server is still required. Its just in a different location. The person running that server still needs a powerful server OS so online will definitely not obsolete Windows Server.
@Matt - Hi Matt, good to see your feedback here. Yes i think Windows Server does not get enough attention. All MS acquisitions are always about consumer or search. But they could be about the server. They could add strategic components to Windows Server. So forgotten by Microsoft, not by the business community. Thats what i meant.
I dont loathe Microsoft at all! I believe the loss of focus has not been good for Microsoft. And as a long term investor in microsoft this has frustrated me somewhat. I am not the only one. The share price reflects it. I think MIcrosoft is a great company but it must focus on what it does best.
Not sure if Android is me too, but its currently the market leader so it did quite well :)
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