With all the hubbub around Microsoft's Cloud services these days, you'd think the company had forgotten about its on-premises version of Windows Server. I noted this to a Microsoft VP a while back that Windows Server messaging tends to get lost in the Cloud noise. Windows Server 2012 was a major release and a huge leap of improvements over previous Windows Server versions. But, the company has been so intent on its Cloud push that Windows Server has become a second-class citizen of sorts.
If you've not dug into all the aspects of Windows Server 2012, you should. Windows Server 2012 is a worthy upgrade, particularly for those migrating this year from Windows Server 2003 which reaches end of life on July 14, 2015.
However, as many monumental improvements that were unveiled as part of Windows Server 2012, Microsoft continues to build in new features, despite how little you hear about them over the Cloud noise. Windows Server vNext (currently in technical preview) may not be as monumental a release as was Windows Server 2012, but there are some very significant new features on tap.
One of those features, the Storage Replica service, should help companies develop better disaster recovery capabilities through technology.
The Storage Replica services is intended to deliver an all-Microsoft disaster recovery solution that provides for both planned and unplanned outages. It does this using the SMB3 transport, which provides enough reliability, scalability, and performance to allow for expanding recovery clusters over longer distances. Replication is designed to be block-level and synchronous ensuring a zero data loss scenario.
Storage Replica provides server-to-server replication, cluster-to-cluster, and eventually, server-to-Cloud synchronization and mirroring.