Now that the Altech Launch countdown website has been running for a few weeks, I thought it was time to mention a few of the articles that I have been writing for them. For those of you unfamiliar with Altech, they are an Authorised OEM Distributor for Microsoft in Australia, and supply a large range of hardware solutions into the system builder and reseller channel. They asked me to write a series of articles for their channel to help promote the new Windows releases this year.

Like the Windows 8 line-up, the number of editions has been reduced, simplifying the available options. There is also the consolidation of what has been traditionally seen as two different families of products, Windows Server and Small Business Server. There are three versions of Windows Server 2012 that Altech will have available, and these are  Windows Server 2012 Standard, Windows Server 2012 Datacenter and Windows Server 2012 Essentials. Here is Microsoft’s high level overview of each version.

For those of you who haven’t done much with Windows Server in the last few years, it’s time to introduce you to something you are going to be spending a great deal of time with over the coming years. Hyper-V is Microsoft’s virtualisation solution, that with the introduction of Windows 8 will run from Windows 8 Pro all the way up to Windows Server 2012 Datacenter Edition.

Hyper-V is Microsoft’s virtualisation platform that scales from the desktop to the datacenter, but in today’s post I will focus on the new capabilities that are relevant for Altech partners and the customer segments they work with – primarily those in Small and Medium Business. Read on to find out some of the new capabilities that are delivered in Windows Server 2012. Even if you have been recommending competitors to Hyper-V up until now, its definitely worth taking a look at what Microsoft now gives you in the box.

What’s New In Hyper-V Part 1 covered a number of new or enhanced technologies, including Hyper-V Replica. increased hardware support, storage enhancements as well as Live Migration, but there are more capabilities that you can take advantage of with Windows Server 2012. Today’s post will cover some of these, once again addressing capabilities that are applicable to SMB customers, rather than only targeting larger enterprises.

It could easily be argued that the enhancements to storage capabilities within Windows Server 2012 are the biggest improvements that Microsoft has made between successive versions of Windows Server. These changes offer new solutions for customers of all sizes, and mostly take advantage of server hardware that is already available. In today’s post I will cover those that small and medium sized businesses can take the most advantage of, but also highlight one that also applies to Windows 8 on the desktop as well.