With any server operating system upgrade, IT is always looking for the hooks that help motivate the upgrade process and deliver additional value. Sometimes it is as simple as better performance, a single feature that has been a long time coming, or something that simply snaps into an IT policy and waits out any bumps from the early adopters. By now IT shops should have solid exposure to Windows Server 2012, blipped through SP1, and are now ready to focus on R2. As IT pros research and learn about Windows Server 2012 R2 deployment opportunities, they should be aware of these three potential impacts:
- Platform consistency: ESG’s Steve Duplessie dug into the advantages Microsoft has with its Cloud OS in his article, Is Microsoft the answer to the cloud quandary? With R2, Microsoft continues to embrace data center transformation by highlighting the importance of on-premises private cloud capabilities mapped to Azure services and capacity.
- Storage considerations: It’s not time to throw away existing storage investments, but R2 storage capabilities are certainly worth considering as part of any forward-looking storage strategy. Microsoft will continue to align with the existing storage vendor ecosystem, but it is SMB 3.0 and storage spaces where things get real interesting. IT pros have the option to use local (and ideally less costly) storage with some compelling performance results that have been tested by ESG: Microsoft Windows Server 2012: Storage Performance and Cost Analysis.
- Network fabric: ESG senior analyst Bob Laliberte is in lock step with the importance of network architecture as businesses extend workloads to the cloud. Bob digs deep into SDN (software defined networking) in his ESG market landscape report, The Emergence of Software-defined Network Architectures. Microsoft’s R2 capabilities focus on extensibility, performance, and management as they work together with its technology partners to bridge and build IT’s next-generation network architecture.
So love them, hate them, consume from Amazon AWS, manage a considerable VMware investment, or be the Microsoft guru, but be aware of Windows Server 2012 R2 capabilities and consider these points as part of a 2014 strategy.