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Article · May 19, 2015

Server virtualization: a key benefit of migrating to Windows Server 2012

Server virtualization: a key benefit of migrating to Windows Server 2012

Color illustration showing computer servers.

The countdown is on – just 57 more days – until the life of Microsoft Windows Server 2003 comes to an end. That’s why millions of small businesses are in the process of migrating to Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2, the newest version of the popular server operating system.

For those in the process of migrating, there’s good news to share: The server virtualization capabilities in Windows Server 2012 represent a vast improvement over previous versions. A growing number of smaller organizations are turning to virtualization as a way to optimize server resources and reduce costs. If your company is interested in doing more with virtualization, the capabilities in Server 2012 will prove beneficial.

Here’s a look at some of the key virtualization features found in Microsoft Windows Server 2012:

Microsoft Hyper-V
Microsoft’s Hyper-V hypervisor ships free with Windows Server 2012. Hyper-V is Microsoft’s answer to the market leader VMware’s technology, and Hyper-V has been getting better with each iteration.

Hyper-V Replica
One example of how Hyper-V has been getting better is Hyper-V Replica, new technology introduced in Windows Server 2012 that significantly improves users’ disaster recovery capabilities.

Hyper-V Replica provides a storage and workload agnostic solution that replicates over IP-based networks, according to Microsoft. With Hyper-V Replica, administrators can also test replicated virtual machines without disrupting ongoing replication functions. If a disaster occurs, admins can restore business operations by bringing up the replicated virtual machine.

VM Direct Connect
In the past, connecting to a running VM using remote desktop protocol required an active network connection. This changes with the latest version of Windows Server. With the addition of VM Direct Connect in Windows Server 2012, users can create a direct remote desktop connection to any running VM over what’s known as the VM bus.

Online VM exporting
With Windows Server 2012 R2, users can now export or clone a running VM using the System Center Virtual Machine Manager. In the past, users needed to shut down a virtual machine before it could be cloned or exported.

Resize virtual hard disks online
With Windows Server 2012 R2, users can now expand or reduce the size of Microsoft’s virtual hard disks (VHDX) without stopping the running VM.

How Carbonite fits in with Windows Server 2012 virtualization
Small to midsize businesses making the move to Windows Server 2012 should remember to backup data with Carbonite often throughout all stages of migration. But that’s not the only way Carbonite can support your Windows Server 2012 environment.

The latest version of Carbonite Server Backup also offers enhanced support for Hyper-V virtualization. Some of the benefits and other capabilities include:

  • Restore VM disks to any local machine
  • Use full backup for a complete VM snapshot
  • Schedule full and incremental backups to align with workflow
  • Choose local or cloud backup targets
  • Replicate and restore VMs individually or within a VM cluster
  • Recover files with a simple drag n’ drop or cut n’ paste

Carbonite Server Backup gives you robust protection for your entire virtual infrastructure, from individual Hyper-V VMs to multiple virtual servers. It’s the safest way to reap rewards when virtualizing with Windows Server 2012.

For more on the end of support for Microsoft Windows Server 2003 and tips on migrating to Windows Server 2012, read these articles:


Mark Brunelli

Senior Writer

Mark Brunelli is a Senior Writer on the Corporate Marketing team at Carbonite. He blogs about Carbonite happenings and IT industry trends.

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