The launch of Windows Server 2012, otherwise known as the only server built from the cloud up, attracted more than 600 eager IT professionals at Microsoft's road show in downtown Toronto on Sept. 5th.

The cloud-centric, mobile-friendly, data-focused operating system is one of the core product roll-outs in a busy season of new product introductions. Windows 8, Windows Phone 8 and Office 2013 will soon follow.

"I've never seen the developers on the Windows Server team so happy with a release in my eight years at Microsoft," said Ward Ralston, Director in the Windows Server Management Group.

Several incremental improvements were made on Server 2008 R2 including significantly larger amounts of processing power, storage, and memory.

Add to that a capacity to handle up to 320 CPU cores, double that of its predecessor. Memory capacity has doubled to 4 terabytes and Server 2012 will be supporting up to 64 cluster nodes, way up from 16 in the previous release.

And when you add in the automation component, you can be sure Web hosting providers start perking up. This is where the makeover of Server Manager and improvements to PowerShell enable quick configuration of servers.

For Windows administrators, this frees up valuable time as several tasks can be automated on deployed servers, whether on-site, in a Web host's data center, or even in a service provider's public cloud.

That type of time- and money-saving innovation is always welcome in IT departments and not surprisingly Canadian Web hosts have been quick to embrace the new release.

Toronto-based is now offering Virtual Private Server (VPS) plans for Windows Server 2012 starting at $55.95/month with a 1 year commitment; Montreal's iWeb has the new Windows platform available across its entire range of dedicated servers; and Canadian Web Hosting has a team of certified Microsoft specialists ready to work with customers to get them into the right version of the new release, either the Standard or Datacenter edition.

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