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Microsoft boosting Hyper-V replication in Windows Server 8

Microsoft talks up new versions of Windows Server, SQL and System Center

Workloads running in Hyper-V will be far more reliable after the release of Windows Server 8 because Microsoft is boosting the ability to replicate mission-critical databases and other applications.

This is one of "hundreds" of new features that will be in the next version of Windows Server, but Microsoft gave only a short preview. At the Worldwide Partner Conference in Los Angeles, Windows Server virtualization program manager Jeff Woolsey demonstrated the use of Hyper-V to replicate a SQL Server database in just a few clicks. Unlimited replication of virtual machines, with the ability to schedule replication in advance and replicate to remote data centers, and support for more than 16 virtual processors per machine are among the expected features. 

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"Hyper-V Replica works with any server vendor, any storage vendor, any network vendor, making it the ideal platform to deliver new service offerings," Woolsey said. "With Windows Server 8 we're delivering massive, massive scale in the box, and we're delivering mission-critical reliability enhancements." 

Windows Server 8 and Windows 8 for the desktop are likely to be released next year, and further details will come out at Microsoft's BUILD conference in September. Woolsey said "I haven't even scratched the surface," but didn't provide further information. 

The Windows Server updates are part of Microsoft's push in private cloud computing, which will also require updates to SQL Server and the System Center management platform. 

Microsoft Server and Tools Chief Satya Nadella promised that System Center 2012 will work with multiple hypervisors and multiple guest operating systems, "because we recognize customers are going to be heterogeneous." 

Microsoft today launched an updated beta of Denali, the next version of SQL Server. This is the third beta since last November when it issued the first preview of Denali, which will replace SQL Server 2008 R2.

The release of the latest beta marks the first time "customers can begin testing ... features ...  including SQL Server AlwaysOn and Project 'Apollo' for added mission critical confidence, Project 'Crescent' for highly visual data exploration that unlocks breakthrough insights, and SQL Server Developer Tools code named 'Juneau' for a modern development experience across server, BI, and cloud development projects," Microsoft said. 

System Center 2012 will feature App Controller, formerly known as "Project Concero," to give IT managers greater control over applications across public clouds and their private data centers, and application managers a self-service interface to deploy and manage applications.

Microsoft also has a beta coming next week for an "Operations Manager" capability in System Center 2012. 

"Operations Manager is a key component that provides end-to-end application service monitoring and diagnostics across Windows, others platforms and Windows Azure," Microsoft said. "Operations Manager will fully integrate technology from the AVIcode acquisition for monitoring and deep insights into applications."

WPC hasn't been the newsiest Microsoft conference ever, but the company has talked up a range of products including Windows 8, Office, InTune, Dynamics and more. For more, here are Network World's stories from the show:

Microsoft plans big Skype/Lync integration

Microsoft: Buy Windows 7 today, keep same PC for Windows 8 upgrade

Ballmer's new chant: Numbers, numbers, numbers

Microsoft talks cloud CRM, ERP at partner conference

Microsoft expands Intune services

Follow Jon Brodkin on Twitter: www.twitter.com/jbrodkin 

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