Windows Server 8 Beta available for download

While the general public can now download the Windows 8 Consumer Preview, IT professionals are not left out in the dark today. Microsoft has just launched the Windows Server 8 Beta which can be downloaded at the company's TechNet web site.

The official Windows Server 8 web page offers up more information about what users can expect from this beta release. There's a lot of emphasis on cloud computing in this newest release. Microsoft says that Windows Server 8 can handle everything from large public cloud servers to small private cloud server operations.

The company claims that it has added hundreds of new features to Windows Server 8. Microsoft says the new version is designed to offer "businesses and hosting providers a scalable, dynamic, and multitenant-aware cloud infrastructure that securely connects across premises and allows IT to respond to business needs faster and more efficiently."

The final commercial version of Windows Server 8 is speculated to be released by the end of 2012, around the time the final shipping version of the consumer-themed Windows 8 is also scheduled to be released to the public.

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Quick tip folks - I installed this on a VMware Workstation 8 VM so it's entirely possible this won't apply to ESX/ESXi but when I installed VMware Tools it tanked the VM and wouldn't recover even after a reboot so having to run it without tools for now!

The new look Server Manager is taking some getting used to, I'll tell you now!

SirEvan, clean install here. But, we always back up the state, just in case.

I was going to build a Lync server on my ESX host at home to test out, so I think I'll try this.

In the past, we've ordered new servers at work that come pre-loaded with a newer OS, so we've never had to do an upgrade. With Win 8 server though, if we decide to upgrade, how do most of you do it? do you do a fresh reinstall, or do you just do an in-place upgrade?

SirEvan said,
In the past, we've ordered new servers at work that come pre-loaded with a newer OS, so we've never had to do an upgrade. With Win 8 server though, if we decide to upgrade, how do most of you do it? do you do a fresh reinstall, or do you just do an in-place upgrade?

I dislike upgrading Server systems... always prefer clean installs, unless that's not possible. p2v an existing server onto a vmware system and give it a try?? who knows

SirEvan said,
In the past, we've ordered new servers at work that come pre-loaded with a newer OS, so we've never had to do an upgrade. With Win 8 server though, if we decide to upgrade, how do most of you do it? do you do a fresh reinstall, or do you just do an in-place upgrade?

ALWAYS best to do a fresh install.
Upgrades can have stale drivers and settings laying dormant, plus fragmented and un-needed files, and any exploited vulnerabilities that have dropped payloads will still be there.