Just some quick first thoughts on WS2012….
1. The Hyper-V role can be installed standalone. Very cool. However, SCVMM 2012 has not shipped yet, so for those who were going to install a bunch of headless Hyper-V hosts, good luck. You’re better off doing Powershell.
2. Cue next item – not sure how hosting-friendly this is going to be in current state. I am hoping that there will be tools provided for MSP’s to manage and monitor this as a cloud platform. Without that, it’s going to be a tough sell when MS and everyone else is promoting their hypervisor offerings as “cloud ready” for “cloud building”. While the guts are definitely there, it’s the skin that’s missing – I still have no viable single pane of glass as an MSP for this. Hope that’s on the way.
3. Speaking of Poweshell. Holy cow. Need to learn it, can’t be stressed enough. If you haven’t started learning it yet, do so now. There are a large number of commandlets exposed in what is the “Server Manager” component now, and remote commandlets are used to manager other servers or groups of servers. That said, it is extremely powerful and lets you do a lot in the way of automation, which is clearly good for cloud platforms.
4. Final point: Server Core (learn Powershell). The most optimized and streamlined version of Windows Server 2012 is GUI-less. Obviously you can install with full GUI, but the ideal and preferred configuration is Server Core. With the proper management tools, it shouldn’t be an issue. Once again though, I can’t stress enough the need to learn Powershell for remote administration and management, and to Microsoft, please give us a decent management console for this and the Hyper-V roles in particular!
I’m impressed so far, and don’t see nearly the resistance to adoption that consumer end users may exhibit with Windows 8. This is definitely a cloud-building OS, and a fine one from Microsoft at that. If this is a testament to their unification strategy, Microsoft is definitely back in the game of innovation, and appears to be tooling up in that effort! Hoping to test a lot more on this and report again soon!