At TechEd North America 2013, Microsoft Corp. introduced a portfolio of new solutions to help businesses thrive in the era of cloud computing and connected devices. In the keynote address, Server & Tools Corporate Vice President Brad Anderson and fellow executives showcased how new offerings across client, datacenter infrastructure, public cloud and application development help deliver the most comprehensive, connected enterprise platform.
“The products and services introduced today illustrate how Microsoft is the company that businesses can bet on as they embrace cloud computing, deliver critical applications, and empower employee productivity in new and exciting ways,” Anderson said. “Only Microsoft connects the dots for the enterprise from ‘client to cloud.’”
At TechEd, Microsoft introduced upcoming releases of its key enterprise IT solutions for hybrid cloud: Windows Server 2012 R2, System Center 2012 R2 and SQL Server 2014. Available in preview later this month, the products break down boundaries between customer datacenters, service provider datacenters and Windows Azure. Using them, enterprises can make IT services and applications available across clouds and scale them up or down according to business needs. Windows Server 2012 R2 and System Center 2012 R2 are slated to release by the end of calendar year 2013, with SQL Server 2014 slated for release shortly thereafter.
With advances in virtualization, software-defined networking, data storage and recovery, in-memory transaction processing, and more, these solutions were engineered with Microsoft’s “cloud-first” focus, including a faster pace of development and release to market. They incorporate Microsoft’s experience running large-scale cloud services, connect to Windows Azure and work together to provide a consistent platform for powerful hybrid cloud scenarios. More information can be found at blog posts by Anderson about Windows Server and System Center and by Quentin Clark about SQL Server.
Further showcasing Microsoft’s hybrid cloud advantage, today the company also announced the public preview of Windows Azure BizTalk Services for enterprise integration solutions, both on-premises and in the cloud. In addition, Windows Azure now offers industry-leading, per-minute billing for virtual machines, Web roles and worker roles that improves cloud economics for customers. More information is available at the Windows Azure blog.
Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V
Microsoft made tremendous strides forward with Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V and now, with the upcoming release of Hyper-V with Windows Server 2012 R2, it’s clear that Microsoft has continued to push their virtualization technologies forward at a surprising pace. To give you an idea of the rapid advancements that you can expect to see in the next release of Hyper-V. WindowsITPro published an article of a top 10 new features introduced by Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V.
Windows 8.1: Empowering modern business
During the keynote address, Iain McDonald, partner director of program management for Windows, detailed key business features in the recently announced Windows 8.1 update — including advances in security, management, mobility and networking — to offer the best business tablets with the most powerful operating system for today’s modern business needs.
New networking features in Windows 8.1 aim to improve mobile productivity for today’s workforce, with system-on-a-chip (SoC)-integrated mobile broadband, native Miracast wireless display and near field communication (NFC)-based pairing with enterprise printers. Security is also enhanced in the new update to address device proliferation and to protect corporate data and applications with fingerprint-based biometrics, multifactor authentication on tablets and remote business data removal to securely wipe company data from a device. And improved management capabilities in Windows 8.1 give customers more flexibility with supported options such as System Center Configuration Manager 2012 R2 and new mobile device management (MDM) solutions with third-party MDM partners, in addition to updated Windows Intune support.
More information on new features found in Windows 8.1 for businesses, including updated Windows deployment guidance for businesses, is available on the Windows for your Business blog.
Microsoft officials said they plan to release public preview versions of all of these products (except for the next release of Windows Intune) around the time of the Build 2013 conference, which is at the end of June 2013. That’s the same time that Microsoft also will be releasing the public preview of Windows 8.1.