Microsoft today announced changes to its Windows Server product line when Windows Server 2012 is launched later this year.
Windows Server 2012 has been simplified compared with previous versions, cutting back from eight to four editions. Key changes across Windows Server Datacenter and Windows Server Standard now see both editions having feature parity, differing only in virtualisation rights – Windows Server Datacenter (the full specification version) will provide customers with unlimited virtualisation whilst Windows Server Standard edition will allow customers to two virtual instances with each license.
"This is an exciting time in the server space, with Windows Server 2012 being the first cloud operating system, meaning customers can use the cloud to optimise their businesses. It will be an easy-to-manage, multiple server platform that houses the power of many servers in one," says Bradley Borrows, Business Group Lead, Server and Tools Marketing for Microsoft New Zealand.
"It is great news for small-to-medium businesses, as they will have access to the same functionality as large corporate customers, with the same premium features, including business continuity, data security and compliance, automation and increased storage capacity, previously only found with the Datacenter edition."
For larger customers, the Datacenter edition with unlimited virtualisation rights will provide scalability and predictability along with lower costs.
"Customers will be able to choose the edition that is right for them by taking into consideration the size of their company and their virtualisation needs," says Borrows.
"There will be additional value for small business customers, including high availability features previously only offered in the premium editions and an additional virtual instance. No matter what the scenario, whether the business is large or small, there will be more value provided with Windows Server 2012, giving businesses another affordable choice in the virtualised server space."
A number of New Zealand customers are participating in the early adoption programme, allowing them to trial Windows Server 2012 before the official launch later in year.
Pricing and licensing changes have not been announced at this stage, but it will be simpler. There will be a consistent processor-based licensing model between the two editions making it easier for customers to purchase and manage their licenses.