Microsoft has formally launched its Windows Server 2012 operating system, which Satya Nadella, president of Redmond's Servers and Tools Business, is dubbing the company's first "cloud OS."
"This is perhaps the biggest release of our server products in history, bigger than NT," he said at the launch event on Tuesday. "I was here at Microsoft when we launched Windows NT, which ushered in the era of client/server, and we believe that Windows Server 2012 ushers in the era of the cloud operating system."
While Microsoft would no doubt like Server 2012 to give it the kind of market share NT did, the company faces serious competition this time around, especially on the virtualization front. As such, Nadella touted the abilities of the new OS in this area with some digs at VMware et al.
In a series of launch webcasts Microsoft said Server 2012 will support 320 logical processors and 4TB of physical memory per server, with 64 virtual processors per virtual machine - each scalable up to 1TB of memory in Hyper-V at no extra cost. Virtual disks can scale up to 64TB apiece, 32 times what the competition can offer at the moment, Microsoft claimed, and virtualize 99 per cent of all SQL databases.
There was also a firm pitch to the data center market. Microsoft has been stressing almost since the get-go that Server 2012 has had huge chunks of code replaced to address the data center buyers and Nadella said the new OS will give corporations a single platform spanning their internal servers and integrating with its Azure platform cloud.
On the control side, Redmond said big advances had been made in automating management systems and making sure systems have "always on" reliability. For direct control there are 2,400 new commandlets out there to brush up on, and while management would be "standards-based" to encourage integration, Systems Center 2012 users will get the biggest management benefits.
But if Tuesday's launch event was a chance for Redmond to show off its scalability chops then there'll be more than a few worried end users. The webcast is up and down like the Assyrian Empire and while demand was certainly high to watch it, if you're trying to sell "always on reliability" and "cloud scaling" this is hardly the best example of Server 2012's capabilities.
A spokesman told El Reg that "some folks are having trouble accessing the launch site and we’re working to address the issue." ®