Windows Server 8 Beta available for download

Microsoft released public beta of Windows Server 8 just yesterday. It is available for download here in two flavours (DVD ISO image and ready-to-go VHD). I downloaded both, but for obvious reasons I chose VHD for start. It allows you to have new server running in less than 10 minutes thanks to native VHD boot features in Windows 7. Keep in mind that a disk you download is an expandable one with maximum of 40 GB and it is expanded on boot to it’s maximum – if you don’t have enough free space, you will encounter the revamped BSOD.
The features look pretty amazing. Storage engine has completely been redesigned with SMB 2.2, transparent failover, deduplication, new file system and lots of other interesting features (check for example this article). Not to mention Hyper-V 3.0 with extended resource support (256 CPUs and 2 TB of RAM per machine – not that easy to spare at the moment, but don’t forget Moore’s Law!), enhanced clustering capabilities (up to 4000 machines per cluster, no shared storage required) and redefined Live Migration. And BTW, the interface has been modified – since it’s Windows 8, it’s Metro, with the Server Manager being the core of server operations, now allowing for multi-server administration (looks pretty cool, but couldn’t get it to work yet).
All I am waiting for now are few hours of spare time to play with it a little bit more, perhaps install SQL Server 2012 RC0 (already done by Aaron Bertrand – read the full story here) and try some clustering to take advantage of simplified storage provisioning.

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One thought on “Windows Server 8 Beta available for download

  1. Pingback: SQL Server 2012 RTM evaluation available for download « Yet another SQL Server DBA…

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