Late last week, I fired up a Windows Server 8 VM—I wanted to play with it a home a bit, before setting up a large scale environment here at work. The first thing I noticed was how much the GUI has changed—there isn’t a start button, and most tasks are driven by the Server Manager utility and/or PowerShell. Since, I’m a big fan of the command line and Windows Core, I think this a good thing. Start learning PowerShell now—you will need it in the near future.
Upon further digging, I found a feature called cluster-aware updating. Further research there, took me to this Microsoft White Paper. This is a cool new feature that will allow for clusters to be updated automatically, reducing downtime and hopefully be a much more seamless process we have currently.
There are still some challenges around the GUI—this will probably be one of the biggest changes for Windows admins in a long time. DBAs—you have less to worry about, just don’t plan on physically logging onto your servers, but you’re doing that anyway, right?