Windows Server 8 announced – the new name for Windows 8 Server

Microsoft officials showed off the first public glimpse of its coming Windows Server 8 operating system today at the WPC 2011 conference.

Windows Server 8 was announced as the server side complement to the Windows 8 client.

Both the Windows 8 client and server should be out in 2012, possibly in the first half of the year.

Microsoft say that Windows Server 8 will be key to building private clouds and they demoed the next version of their Hyper-V hypervisor.

Jeff Woolsey, the Principal Program Manager Lead for Windows Server Virtualization, said the new Hyper-V will support more than 16 virtual processors per machine.

The coming Hyper-V Replica feature provides asynchronous virtual machine replication. All users will need is Hyper-V and a network connection.

Users will then be able to schedule replication to happen immediately or later.

The new feature will allow users to do things such as replicate their mission-critical database to an offsite data vendor and Woolsey said that Microsoft will be vendor-agnostic with this.

They also plan to support multiple storage, datacenter and software/service providers.

Hopefully, Microsoft will share more about Windows Server 8 at its Build conference in mid-September.