For instance, an administrator may now have to execute a routine task on a server once a week -- such as backing up data -- by clicking through a series of options on a graphical program. With the command line, the administrator can write a script in PowerShell to run though all of those steps automatically and that script can run against multiple machines.
PowerShell may require some studied learning for those used to GUIs, but it is time well invested, Jones said, adding that his videos were designed to help give users an introduction to the technology. In addition to PowerShell, Windows Server 2012 also features a data-center-friendly installation method called Server Core, which provides a way to install the OS over the network.
One hardware partner, Dell, has wasted no time in updating its line of servers to run Windows Server 2012. The company designed its PowerEdge 12G (12th generation) servers around Windows Server 2012. The new blade, rack and tower servers run Intel Xeon E5-2600 processors and feature extreme memory density, hot-swappable hard drives and solid state drives, and a range of advanced features to support networking.
Microsoft "engineered the Windows Server 2012 for the private cloud. Our part of the equation is to deliver hardware and systems that are enabled for virtualization," said Brian Payne, executive director of Dell PowerEdge servers. The 12G was designed to host the many multiple virtual machines that Hyper-V can host, he noted. Dell also designed software to take advantage of Windows Server 2012's ODX (Offload Data Transfer) protocol, which allows data to be moved among different server nodes without the need of the server CPU.