Sunday, March 4, 2012

Windows Server 8 Beta Now Live

Microsoft, right on the heels of its public viewing of Windows 8, has just released a beta version for the company's Windows Server 8 operating system. Windows Server 8, which was officially announced last September, updates the code base for Microsoft's flagship server OS, the current version of which is Windows Server 2008.

The beta version will allow administrators to test the operating system and give feedback to Microsoft who will then use that feedback to finalize the software for commercial release. However, Microsoft did not disclose any information on when the final production ready version of Windows Server 8 would be available for purchase.

Windows Server 8 is a very major update for the operating system and contains a plethora of improvements to virtualization, multi-machine management and application hosting capabilities, according to Corporate Vice President for Server and Cloud at Microsoft Bill Laing.

In terms of virtualization, Windows Server 8 will allow administrators to create virtual networks, allowing different business units or customers to share one physical network while simultaneously maintaining complete independence from the other virtual networks. Another new feature will allow you to move shared files between nodes without ever having to stop the server applications that use these files, which will help greatly in disaster recovery and maintaining continuity in operations.

As far as hosting applications are concerned, Windows Server 8 will also include a copy of .NET Framework 4.5, which also includes new capabilities to run a program concurrently across multiple processor cores. The Web server software Internet Information Server (IIS) has also been upgraded to provide better security isolation as well as manage more sites per server. The PowerShell command line interface has also been increased with the addition of 2,300 commands.

If you want to give the free beta version a run through, then all you need is a 1.4 GHz 64-bit processor, a minimum of 512MB of working memory and 32GB on a disk. In addition to that, users have the ability to upgrade to the new beta operating system from existing versions of Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2 though you will be unable to upgrade to subsequent releases from this release. Click here if you want to download the Windows Server 8 beta.

Source: PC World - Microsoft Releases Windows Server 8 Beta

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