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Microsoft is touting Server 2012 as having the most significant upgrades since 2000.   The big improvements from Microsoft, all come in that this is the first server designed with virtualization and cloud in mind.  Many of the improvements were made to Hyper V 2012, and the introduction of VHDX files.  These will be covered in depth, in a future blog.

As for now, you should see an immediate upgrade to your infrastructure due to a couple of key features:

--On Volume Deduplication.   Typical savings are as much as 90% for VHD libraries, to 30% for user home folders.  (http://blogs.technet.com/b/filecab/archive/2012/05/21/introduction-to-data-deduplication-in-windows-server-2012.aspx)

--Resilient File System (ReFS).  Microsoft’s long awaited upgrade to NTFS, capable of data verification and auto correction, increased scalability and increased sizes.  http://4sysops.com/archives/resilient-file-system-refs-in-windows-server-2012/

--NIC Teaming now native in the Operating System.

--Shared Nothing Live Migration.  This is the ability to move a VM across both hosts and datastores while powered on.

--Virtual Fibre Channel. 

--Smart Paging.  This addition to Dynamic Memory allows you to set a minium, maximum and buffer level for your RAM. http://www.windowsitpro.com/article/hyper-v-server/windows-server-2012-smart-paging-143660

--Offload Data Transfer  (ODX).  Built in SAN integration that allows more of the copying and moving to be handled by the SAN hardware.  These features can greatly improve your network  and CPU utilization.  http://en.community.dell.com/techcenter/b/techcenter/archive/2012/08/14/offloaded-data-transfer-in-microsoft-windows-server-2012.aspx

Honestly, only the end user can answer that question for themselves, and the best way to answer that is to play with it.  Ask about a vCloud demo with access to server 2012.


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