So its official, Windows Server 2012 is coming September 4th . There are lots of new features in this release, everything from Dynamic Access Control, focus on an ‘all in one’ server for small businesses, and leveraging virtualization technology more so than in the past.
I fully expect lots of early adopters for Windows Server 2012, there is just so much new and cool stuff to ignore. One interesting aspect is how Hyper-V gets lots more attention now, more so than what was released with Windows Server 2008 R2. Not only is this cool technology, it makes fiscal sense as well. Lack of hardware means virtual machines are easier to manage, save on energy costs and it’s much easier (faster and repeatable) for the active directory expert to deploy virtual domain controllers vs physical boxes.
Server virtualization is nothing new. Every customer I talk to leverages it in some shape or form. File servers are virtualized, print servers are virtualized, and even some domain controllers. But not all domain controllers….. until now.
When I talk to customers about how they manage Active Directory, I always ask about virtualizing domain controllers. The number one push back I would get is around Active Directory Security. The Active Directory team is responsible for the security of the directory. The server virtualization team is responsible for the management and security of the virtual infrastructure. But more often than not they are not the same individuals. So if you want to virtualize a domain controller the AD team needs to work with the server virtualization team and you introduce people who never had access to Active Directory before…. Thus the security concern.
So in a brilliant move Microsoft now has Hyper-V as part of Windows Server 2012. This will allow the Active Directory team to quickly deploy more virtual domain controllers under their own security supervision. I can even see some physical to virtual machine conversions happening as well as the Active Directory team takes control of both the virtualization and security of the Active Directory infrastructure.
So with all this new flexibility deploying domain controllers what will the AD team focus on with all this newly-found free time? How about putting together a full disaster recovery plan for Active Directory.