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Kiwi flavour at Microsoft Management Summit in Las Vegas

18 Apr 12

It is truly amazing the number of attendees at this year’s Microsoft Management Summit (MMS) in Las Vegas, and when you consider that this year’s event sold out two months ago it really puts into perspective the importance people are placing on Private Cloud. 

This year’s MMS event definitely has a Kiwi flavour to it, both with the attendees, speakers and the keynote.

I am at MMS with a large contingent of Kiwis to experience what Microsoft is announcing around System Centre 2012 but to also support expat kiwi Adam Hall, who works in the Systems Centre Management group based out of Redmond. Adam has created a large proportion of Brad Anderson’s keynote content, which I attended this morning and was just amazing. 

But the Kiwi connection does not end there, with local systems integrator and development house Intergen creating a large amount of the physical demonstrations that were displayed by Brad and his team on stage. These were truly amazing demonstrations of beautiful UI development using the new Metro UI theme in a web application, and also new features from within Windows Server 2012 (I will go more into Windows Server 2012 later).

So what has been announced? There were two major announcements within the keynote, as well as other smaller titbits that were shown to us.

First and foremost is the announcement that System Center 2012 has reached general availability; this means that anyone in the world can now buy System Center 2012. Microsoft had already announced the two different ways customers can purchase System Center 2012 – as System Center 2012 Standard or System Center 2012 Datacentre. I think of it like this: if  you are lightly virtualised in your environment, buy Standard, if you are medium to heavy virtualised, buy Datacentre. 

The other major announcement is the official name of Windows Server 8, which is Windows Server 2012. Not really a huge surprise here, as the System Center team had already adopted the 2012 product name a while ago, but at least now we can officially recognise Windows Server under its proper name. 

Within the Keynote demonstrations we saw System Center 2012 and Windows Server 2012 performing some new tricks – key for me were:

Within System Center 2012 you have the ability to manage VMware (please check which version of VMware is supported), Hyper-V and Zen. This is huge for organisations as they look to migrate into a hybrid world and start to be more focused on the application, rather than what hypervisor they are running on.

With Windows Server 2012, I get the feeling that we have only seen a small slither of what is going to be coming out from this product. We got a quick view from Jeff Woolsey around the new Storage Pools concept (which for home server users will look familiar), and the new networking features. I will look to write an article on this later on, but for hosts and organisations that have branch offices this will remove a lot of pain.

I plan to attend Windows Server 2012 overviews and System Center 2012 overviews so keep an eye out for more updates on these.

I am pleased to announce that Adam Hall will be the Keynote speaker at the Microsoft New Zealand's System Center 2012 launch event in May, and that Intergen will be presenting one of the technical tracks. 

To find out more about MMS and other key Windows Server 2012 information follow me on on twitter @bradbor.

Bradley Borrows is senior product manager, Server and Tools at Microsoft New Zealand. The Microsoft Management Summit is taking place all week in Las Vegas; videos of sessions, including the keynote presentations, can be found here.

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