Along with the release of Windows 8 Consumer Preview, Microsoft has pushed out Windows 8 Server Beta. Yes it has not been called “Windows 8 Server Consumer Preview”. Microsoft has put a lot of emphasis on virtualization and cloud computing. Windows Server 8 beta will be able to create a complete private cloud, a fully isolated environment inside the network. This will help in greater scalability and will increase the performance levels.
The support for virtualizations has reached new horizons. We can expect a new version of Hyper-V 3.0. With Windows Server 8 beta, you will be able to run Hyper-V on a host machine with 160 logical processors. Currently the processor limit for Hyper-V is only 2. Windows Server 8 also comes with a new virtual hard drive (VHDX) which supports 16TB or hard drives as compared to the current 2TB HDD size. If you want more technical information about Windows Server 8 beta, you can read through the Windows Server 8 beta overview whitepaper (PDF document).
Windows Server 8 beta is available for download from Microsoft TechNet. Registration is required through TechNet which is free. Please note that you will be asked to select the language of your download during the registration. Windows Server 8 beta is available in the following languages:
- Chinese (Simplified)
If you are downloading from TechNet, you will need to have Java installed on your system as the download manager from TechNet requires Java in order to download the ISO image files.
Windows 8 Server beta minimum system requirements are as follows:
Processor: 1.4GHz (only 64-bit processors are supported. Not 32-bit downloads available)
Memory (RAM): 512 MB
HDD space: 32 GB
These are the absolute minimum requirements. It is always recommended that Windows Server 8 is run on a much high hardware configuration to enjoy all the new features.