It would be fair to say that Windows 8 is the most anticipated operating system release in the history of Microsoft. New features abound: a brand new user interface with an entirely new application model, support for a new architecture that enables Windows to run on smaller form factors, new touch-focused features, huge leaps in Hyper-V capability way beyond the competition, huge enhancements in remote desktop capabilities, new priorities for managing many servers as if you were managing one, new ways to secure data and grant access—and the list goes on.
In the three sessions that comprise our Deep Dive into Windows 8, we’ll look at some of the most important changes coming with the new operating system and what these changes will mean for organizations. We’ll look at what companies can do before its release to prepare for implementing Windows 8 and how to make sure they can hit the ground running without stopping current initiatives pending the RTM of Windows 8.
Sessions (each session runs approximately 75 minutes):
Session 1: Windows 8 Interface and Management
This session will focus on changes that affect the Windows 8 interaction and management. The most visible change is the new Start screen, which replaces the previous Start menu and is present in both server and client Windows 8. We’ll look at how to use and customize the new Start environment. We’ll also look at navigation and when to use the “desktop” environment. The newly designed Server Manager will be explored and its capability to manage multiple servers simultaneously and the management capability has been bolstered by a huge number of PowerShell cmdlets. We will see how configurations can be exported out to XML and applied to many machines and even VHD files!
Session 2: Windows 8 Server Core Features
First we’ll explore new capabilities in Active Directory and access management (including Claims-Based Access Control).New data de-duplication capabilities will be explored. Continuing on the file services trend we’ll see new Storage Space, offline data transfers, and improved CHKDSK capabilities. We’ll examine new server installation modes, including Feature on demand, and what role it might play in your Windows 8 planning. We’ll show new high-availability changes around file services, DHCP, and Failover Clustering including the huge changes to SMB and Cluster Shared Volumes. And we’ll show how Active Directory will have a beefed up Administrative Center, finally pulling together all the capabilities of the separate MMC snap-ins—plus graphical interfaces for the Recycle Bin, Fine Grained Password Policies, and new wizards for most tasks an administrator performs.
Session 3: Virtualization with Windows 8
In this session, we’ll look at virtualization in Windows 8. With the news that even Windows client will include Hyper-V, the changes affect client in addition to server in many cases. We’ll look at the key changes in Hyper-V, including CPU, memory and scalability. We’ll look at new capabilities around high availability, fault tolerance, and migration, including Hyper-V Replica, Live Storage Move, new VHDX format for larger virtual hard disks, new NIC teaming capabilities, and virtual IP addressing that is part of Windows 8. We’ll examine the support for virtual machines running on SMB 2.2 file servers, in addition to new storage connectivity capabilities for virtual machines. We’ll discuss new virtual aware services, including virtualization-aware Domain Controllers, and exactly what this means to an IT organization. In addition to Hyper-V, Windows 8 has great new features around Remote Desktop capabilities. We’ll cover capabilities for both VDI and traditional session-based Remote Desktop.
John Savill is a Windows technical specialist, an 11-time MVP, and an MCITP: Enterprise Administrator for Windows Server 2008. He also is the author of the popular FAQ for Windows, and a contributing editor to Windows IT Pro. John’s latest book is The Complete Guide to Windows Server 2008 (Addison-Wesley).
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