Whether your organization relies on a few servers or several datacenters, managing and maximizing your network performance can be a challenge. Windows Server 2012 offers a rich set of features that will change the way you look at networking.
A network that is resilient to hardware and software failures can help ensure that your services are available whenever users need them. Windows Server 2012 introduces several new networking features that help deliver predictable, reliable, and scalable networking.
With NIC Teaming, you can increase fault tolerance on your network adapters without additional hardware or software by teaming multiple network adapters together. Enhancements in the server message block (SMB) protocol enable automatic recognition of all network adapters with available network paths to storage, making it possible for you to then route traffic through all of them (taking full advantage of all available network bandwidth while adding resiliency to potential network failures). This ability allows you to move file shares between cluster nodes without interrupting server applications storing data on those shares. Additionally, Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) failover capability makes it possible for you to have two DHCP servers synchronize lease information, providing high availability of DHCP service even if one server goes down.
Windows Server 2012 introduces a wide range of features that will improve the performance of your network and workloads, helping you do more with existing resources. Quality of Service enables you to assign a minimum network bandwidth to a virtual machine and ensures consistent application performance. You can maximize your network throughput while minimizing network latency and the CPU overhead required to process network traffic with Single Root I/O Virtualization. Plus, BranchCache improves your ability to optimize bandwidth over wide area network connections between content servers and remote client computers. The Registered I/O feature enables you to optimize applications to use memory more efficiently, thereby improving performance across the board. Improvements to Receive Side Scaling can increase scalability anywhere between 40% - 200% even on industry standard hardware, depending on your workload to help you meet increasing demand. With Receive Side Coalescing, you can reduce CPU consumption by up to 20% for certain workloads. Plus, BranchCache improves your ability to optimize bandwidth over wide area network connections between content servers and remote client computers.
Manage More Efficiently
As your datacenter and network topology grow, so does the challenge of managing your infrastructure. With more than 400 Windows PowerShell cmdlets in networking alone, managing your network infrastructure has never been easier. Windows PowerShell provides easy-to-use commands for almost all networking features, including fine-tuning network performance and managing security.
Additionally, the IP Address Management (IPAM) functionality helps you manage the IP Address life cycle of various devices in your network and your DHCP and Domain Name System servers. Now you can also meter resource usage using Windows Server 2012 and build solutions on top, including showback—for private cloud customers who want deeper insight into resource usage, and chargeback, for hosting providers who charge based on resource use. The Hyper-V Extensible Switch within Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V gives you an open, extensible switch to help support security and management needs, including port access control lists, private virtual local area networks, Address Resolution Protocol/Neighbor Discovery spoofing protection, DHCP Guard, trunk mode to virtual machines, and monitoring. You can build your own extensions, or use partner extensions to support these needs.
Improve Handling of Multitenant Environments
Private clouds provide the greatest benefit when their functionality is augmented with public cloud services from your organization or from third parties, which means you need to connect private and public clouds more easily and more securely. New Network Virtualization features in Windows Server 2012 help you scale beyond virtual local area network (VLAN) implementations. You can place a virtual machine on any node regardless of its IP address, whether on-site, hosted, or in the cloud, making the network infrastructure truly invisible. The new security and multitenant isolation capabilities with private VLANs can keep virtual machines isolated, even when they are stored on the same physical network or server.
With Hyper-V live migration, you can now migrate your virtual machines, and optionally your virtual machine storage, from one location to another even if the machines do not share storage; all you need is a network connection between them.