Dear Windows Server 2003,
Ten years ago, Microsoft brought you into my life. You were new, fresh, interesting – the server OS of my dreams. You dramatically improved Active Directory to truly enable single sign-on within my enterprise, and introduced me to Hyper Threading, IPv6, the Microsoft .NET Framework, and the key technologies that have evolved to what we now know as Server Manager and PowerShell for the first time. But now, 10 years later, a lot has changed. Just not you.
Think back: ten years ago, there was no Facebook, no Twitter – nothing, for that matter, that we referred to as “social networking.” When we met, I used my cell phone for calling, not checking sports scores. iTunes was just becoming a “thing.” A gallon of gas cost, on average, $1.83, and the Concorde was still flying on that inexpensive fuel. An HDTV flat screen of modest (by today’s standards) size cost at least $5,000, but even if I had had one, there was barely any HD programming to watch. The Prius had just become available, and Lance Armstrong had just won his 5th Tour de France title. And, of course, the “cloud” was in the “sky” and was a portent, mostly, of which way the weather would go.
I’ve changed, too. Now, I see that the cloud is the future of IT: and Windows Server 2012 is powering that transition as a key component of the “cloud OS.” I was just beginning to hear about virtualization to address server sprawl after we met, and because you didn't have it, you forced me into the arms of VMware. Now I don't have to cheat: Windows Server 2012 has Hyper-V, with great TCO on virtualization that VMware can't match. And there’s more.
- In 2003, the growth in servers was driven by enterprise software and enterprise-purchased equipment for their employees. Today, server growth is driven by consumer-purchased devices used for games, social media, web surfing, and, occasionally, work-related emails or content. When we met, I was thrilled with just being able to access the internet outside the office. Now I want to more fully manage the "BYOD" landscape in my enterprise. Frankly, effectively serving up the content my users want and need is something that Windows Server 2012 does extremely well.
- We can’t look back at our ten years and not consider the impact of Moore's law and Kryder's law. The maximum memory capacity of a two socket system about 2003 was in the teens of GB -- today it's in the thousands. That’s right, WS03. Your memory doesn’t scale to meet my needs. But Windows Server 2012 takes advantage of these improvements, building hosts that support 4 TB of memory and 320 logical processors all to support higher virtual machine density and scale. Windows Server 2012 supports 64 VCPUs and a 1 TB of memory per VM!
- As all the mobile devices, sensors, and trackers in the world have exploded over the last decade, so too have the data that they generate – and the need to store all of these data. I need choice and flexibility for how I manage storage to better balance costs and performance. Windows Server 2012 gives me that: with Server Message Block protocol (SMB) 3.0, the performance of remote storage is within a 5% variation of Direct Attached Storage for Enterprise class workloads, including SQL Server. This means I have a great choice to provide reliable, high performance storage for my mission critical workloads on industry standard hardware, and I don’t have to have all your DAS friends hanging around unless I want to.
- WS03, you haven’t even changed the way you dress. Too often, I still see you in a "pizza box," and the heat, cabling, and energy resources you haul around just don’t cut it when I see the simpler and more efficient blades that Windows Server 12 sports. With you, capacity optimization can be crippled by not being able to share infrastructure across applications and services, and too often, provisioning new services is like an act of congress. With Windows Server 2012’s industry-leading virtualization across compute, network and storage, I can quickly scale applications, deploy new services and move workloads easily between my datacenter, my service provider and Windows Azure.
What I really mean, though, is that hardware and software are co-evolving. But not you. You, Windows Server 2003, have been a great server operating system – but your hardware, and the places you like to hang out, just aren’t what I need.
When the world of apps and hardware have both changed as much as they have, it’s time for me to rethink my OS. Windows Server 2012 and I get major advancements in storage, networking, data recovery, and more. To drive the innovation, agility, and cost savings I need, I need the cloud, and I need Windows Server 2012.
I’m sorry to end it this way. You won’t see me tonight. Windows Server 2012 and I are going to be building a private cloud to celebrate.
Your IT Pro