Posted By Partha Srinivasan
Product Manager, Windows Embedded Server and SQL Products
The following is the first in a series of posts on Windows Server 2012 for Embedded Systems written by the team at Microsoft Windows Embedded.
Windows Embedded customers can now download a release preview of the upcoming Windows Server 2012 R2 for Embedded Systems(the binary identical to the Windows Server 2012 R2), which will be available later this year. The preview allows customers to get their hands on a fully cloud-ready operating system that provides improved performance, hybrid cloud-service capabilities and innovative storage options for building robust, industry class server appliances.
OEM manufacturers use Windows Server for Embedded Systems to build server appliances — preinstalled hardware and software combined with the operating system — which make the configuration, deployment and management of industrial devices simpler and faster. One of the key benefits of the embedded channel is the availability of recovery image; the pre-packaged image makes recovery from system failures quicker, reducing downtime and thus meeting regulatory SLA requirements for high availability. These server appliances are used in a number of industrial devices such as PACS machines in hospitals, store servers in retail stores, historian servers in manufacturing plants, and are a key enabler in developing intelligent system architectures.
So what’s new coming from Windows Server 2012 R2 for Embedded Systems? There are many features and functionalities that are enhanced over the Windows Server 2012 for Embedded Systems, such as improvements to virtualization, networking, storage, server management and automation. Today, we offer an overview of the new features that can be leveraged by our embedded customers.
Windows Server 2012 R2 for Embedded Systems provides a great foundation for our OEM customers to deliver high-performance, reliable, secure, cloud-ready server appliances to their enterprise customers. We know that many enterprises and service providers that have been considering a cloud infrastructure have had challenges with integrating the solution elements while still meeting their business and technical requirements. Server appliances are quite commonly used at an end point location or edge of the industrial infrastructure, where they aggregate data from a number of devices ranging from mobiles to tablets. They act as a gateway to connect to the enterprise IT infrastructure in order to build better business intelligence and improve operational efficiency. Hence, the OEMs need to offer effective integration with both the cloud as well as the on-premises IT systems.
Specifically, our embedded OEM manufacturers are looking for a robust virtualization platform, high-performance, lower-cost storage, and flexible networking options. Windows Server 2012 R2 for Embedded Systems delivers a cloud-ready infrastructure that allows someone to virtualize even the largest workloads, provides easy capacity expansion on industry-standard hardware at a fraction of the cost of other solutions, and offers a complete software-defined networking solution out of the box. Notably, our telecommunications OEMs are looking to shift to SDN technology to optimize and centralize their networking services, and these new features can truly enable their vision to completely transition to IP networks.
Windows Server 2012 R2 for Embedded Systems provides a high-performance replication and reduced failover complexity to increase uptime for customer workloads. This solution provides hybrid cloud business continuity solutions that span from on-premises to the cloud, which enables robust and affordable, at-scale recovery options to better protect against service outages. This provides flexibility to our OEM’s customers to manage data that spans heterogeneous environments.
In terms of service delivery, OEMs are looking for more flexibility in composing their product services and offerings, as well as efficient administration and integration with their customers’ existing ecosystem and business assets. Windows Server 2012 R2 for Embedded Systems offers customers faster time to value by simplifying the provisioning, delivery and operations of server appliances, and lets the OEMs benefit from consistent management experiences and services across hybrid clouds.
To sum up, with Windows Server 2012 R2 for Embedded Systems, we are delivering an end-to-end cloud-ready infrastructure that is industry class in every aspect, simple and cost-effective to deploy and focused on applications – your applications, delivered from end point locations, from the cloud or in a hybrid cloud model.