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Windows Server 2012 Waiting in the Wings

More than eight months after Microsoft released Windows Server 2012, and despite an 11 percent uptick in the company's Server and Tools business last quarter, it appears most enterprises, mostly with fewer than 1,000 employees, have yet to upgrade or deploy the new operating system.

A report published yesterday by Symantec reveals that while 56 percent of respondents plan to deploy Windows Server 2012, 93 percent of them have yet to do so. The survey consists of 530 organizations worldwide. The notion that organizations appear to be moving slowly to Windows Server 2012 is not surprising. Typically IT decision makers are conservative about introducing new platforms into their datacenters and there's no reason Windows Server 2012 should diverge from that practice. Nevertheless IDC in February reported that Windows Server hardware's overall growth increased 3.2 percent in the fourth calendar quarter of last year, though it's unclear how much of those sales are systems with Windows Server 2012. I have a query into Microsoft and will update this blog if I receive an answer.

Symantec's survey found of those planning to move to Windows Server 2012, 13 percent are waiting for the first service pack, 15 percent will do it within six months, 17 percent within a year and 11 percent plan to wait longer.

"It's going to be a wait and see," said Susie Spencer, a senior product marketing manager at Symantec. "Those that are more risk takers will jump on board pretty soon but those wanting to make sure everything is tested and tried before they implement it in their organization are going to wait before they move to Windows Server 2012."

For those that are planning to move to Windows Server 2012, the key reason for doing so is to run SQL Server (67 percent), followed by Active Directory Exchange Controllers (61 percent), Exchange (58 percent), file and print servers (54 percent) and finally SharePoint (52 percent).

Key new capabilities in Windows Server 2012 respondents are seeking are improved VDI, Hyper-V virtualization and the new Resilient File System (ReFS), according to the survey. PowerShell improvements and refined disk de-duplication were close followers, Spencer said.

The survey also found that only 18 percent have more than three-quarters of their IT environments virtualized, while 52 percent plan to be completely virtualized within two years. A survey of Redmond magazine readers found only 12 percent have upgraded to System Center 2012, which combined with Windows Server 2012 is the underpinnings of its so-called Cloud OS strategy. The good news I'm hearing from various third parties is improvements to Hyper-V in Windows Server 2012 have for the first time made the hypervisor a viable alternative to the VMware stack.

What are your plans in upgrading to Windows Server 2012 and what do you find most compelling about the new OS and the Cloud OS story? Are you waiting or hoping Microsoft will have more to say about its roadmap at next month's TechEd 2013 conference in New Orleans? Feel free to comment or drop me a line at [email protected].

Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on 05/22/2013 at 4:59 PM


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