Microsoft is making some wave about the upcoming features of Windows Server 8. A new post on Hyper-V.nu details some of the more interesting announcements including:
Virtual Machines on a File Server
With Windows Server 8 it's possible to store virtual machines on a Windows file server! This is made possible through the updated file server protocol SMB 2.2. This means that it is not a requirement anymore to make use of a SAN system when you build a Hyper-V cluster. You can simply point your nodes in the cluster to the file share where the VM is placed.
Domain Controllers that are virtualiation-aware
Snapshotting a virtual machine with the domain controller role is absolutely unsupported. The restore snapshot method will likely cause a rollback in the update sequence number (USN) used to track changes in Active Directory. When a USN rollback occurs, the contents of the Active Directory databases on the improperly restored domain controller and its replication partners may be permanently inconsistent… But thins will change with Windows Server 8!!!!!
On top of Windows Server 8 you can install a virtual machine with the Domain Controller role and AD will be virtualization aware. It even understand what needs to be done when a DC goes back in time (revert a snapshot). There is even an option DC cloning. When you setup a virtual DC you can make this DC clone-able.
De-Duping on storage and network
Windows Server 8 can dedup files within a VHD file. So If you have some VHD files with all a Windows Server 8 installation on it identical files will be deduped to save storage! This will also happen when you copy a number of files between two Windows Server 8 host the network stack will do dedupping as well.