Note: Microsoft is always a big mover and shaker in the technology world. In addition to the news we talk about in this post, we’ve also investigated the Microsoft’s recent take down of a huge network of botnets.

The Microsoft Mangement Summit started on Monday and the company showed off some of its latest software.

Two days ago, the Microsoft Management Summit kicked off in Las Vegas. Yesterday, Microsoft announced that what had previously been referred to as Windows Server 8 will officially be called Windows Server 2012, and it will be released within the year. Also, the company put a lot of emphasis on highlighting all of the beneficial features of Windows System Center 2012. Keep reading to get a synopsis of all of the technical details unveiled at the summit.


The company’s corporate vice president Brad Anderson said that this is Microsoft’s most ambitious project to date. Server 2012 will include storage pooling, and improved Hyper-V virtual machine hypervisor capabilities. To accommodate users who want to virtualize larger workloads, Microsoft’s principal product manager Jeff Woolsey first demonstrated a virtual server using Hyper-V running 32 virtual processors with 120 gigabytes of memory allocated. He went on to say that in Server 2012, Hyper-V would be able to support up to a terabyte of memory per virtual machine.

Maybe the most impressive thing about that is that it will be offered at the same licensing cost as any other virtual workloads. Microsoft’s static price for increased virtual workload capacity is in direct response to VMware’s licensing system for its hypervisor (which only allows 12 processors per license).

Woolsey went on to highlight that Hyper-V on Server 2012 would support 64 terabytes of virtual disk space. Again, this seems to be another feature in response to VMware, who offers VSphere with only 2 terabytes per virtual disk.

As far as the new operating system’s network, Woolsey highlighted the network virtualization capabilities that are coming with Server 2012. Multiple virtual networks will be able to share the same network and even the same IPs, but remain isolated from each other.

Aside from Windows Server 2012, Microsoft announced Microsoft’s System Center 2012 which is the most recent rollout of the company’s system management environment. Brad Anderson claimed that the system center is so easy and efficient to use that system administrators could perform all necessary tasks to implement a private cloud in 30 seconds. Before you scoff, timing product manager Vijay Tawari tried it live at the keynote session and got it done in just over 30 seconds.

Note: We’ve had the opportunity to cover events as they’re happening, or at least field rumors right before big announcements. For example, you can read our wrap-up of the iPad 3 rumors we published right before the Apple event.

Anderson went on to highlight the two different interfaces in System Center 2012. One is for infrastructure management and one is for service users (or, those who have applications running in the infrastructure). For infrastructure managers, the software has features that automate provisioning hardware, create and manage pools of storage resources that are rated by performance level (which allows automatic storage provisioning for applications based on a required service level), and a drag-and-drop option to create server clusters.

For application management, System Center 2012 lets app administrators view deployed services and available cloud resources (for future deployments). Additionally, it automatically moves applications from pre-production to full production simply based on service templates and wizards. Also, the management software provides performance monitoring capabilities including error reporting to administrators.

System Center supports not only Microsoft operating systems, but Citrix and VMware servers as well. Microsoft reported at the summit that 20 percent of System Center users were using the software to monitor Linux systems. This is significant for the company, since the product relies on code and ideas from Microsoft operating systems. It wanted to prove that Microsoft can create management tools that are useful and applicable to the entire industry, not just for Windows users.

If you want to read more about Microsoft’s recent endeavors, check out our blog post about the company buying $1 billion USD on AOL patents, perhaps in an attempt to seriously compete with Google Maps.