At TechEd in Orlando today, Microsoft made a few product announcements and demonstrated a lot of Windows Server 2012's new virtualization features.Microsoft highlighted what is coming soon, especially from Windows Server 2012. Virtualization isthe name of the game
, and Microsoft showed off migration of virtual machines between on-premises servers and the cloud (using the new Azurevirtual machine capability
), showcased the scalability of Hyper-V 3 (up to 64 virtual CPUs, 1TB RAM per virtual machine, and a test virtual machine managing more than 900,000 I/O operations per second, bottlenecked only by hardware), and demonstrated management of its virtual switch usingsoftware from Cisco
These capabilities are going to be production-ready soon. For Microsoft, in fact, they're already here; the company said that it has migrated the front-end servers for the Bing search engine to the Windows Server 2012 Release Candidate. The purpose of TechEd is not to announce major new features: it's to get Windows admins and developers ready for the imminent future.
While once Microsoft might have put Linux in its crosshairs, these days, the target is VMware. Hyper-V 3 may not be able to match VMware vSphere 5 in every possible regard, but it's much closer than past versions. Hyper-V is already the default choice for many Windows-only shops, and Hyper-V 3 will only extend Redmond's reach. Major stumbling blocks with the current version, such as the lack of live migration, have been addressed, meaning that even more organizations will be able to move away from the "VMware tax."