Introduced in September as a preview, the cloud-optimized OS features an updated Hyper-V engine, improved disaster recovery options, multi-machine management, and more.
For example, with Hyper-V Network Virtualization users can create virtual networks so different business units, or even multiple customers, can share network infrastructure. Users will be able to move virtual machines and servers around without losing their network assignments.
In Windows Server "8" Microsoft is delivering high availability and disaster recovery through software technology on much more cost effective hardware. For example, with File Server Transparent Failover users can now more perform hardware or software maintenance of nodes in a File Server cluster by moving file shares between nodes with little interruption to server applications that are storing data on those file shares.
Microsoft is also delivering new capabilities for multi-machine management and automation. Users will want to explore the new improvements to Server Manager, as well as the new Windows PowerShell. With 2,300 commandlets provided out of the box, Windows PowerShell allows users to automate everything they can do manually with the user interface. And, with technologies like Intellisense, Microsoft has made it very easy to master all of that power.
Additionally, Windows Server "8" provides a server application platform that enables users to develop and host the most demanding of application workloads. For example, with .NET Framework 4.5 users can take advantage of new asynch language and library support to build server and web applications that scale far beyond what other platforms provide. The new IIS 8 web server provides better security isolation and resource sand-boxing between applications, native support for web sockets, and the ability to host significantly more sites on a server.
This is just a brief taste of the hundreds of features and capabilities found in the beta. More information is provided by Microsoft in this blog.