January 17, 2013 News Thursday: Microsoft Brews Up a Solution for Costa Coffee and More Server & Tools News...

by STB Blogger

Microsoft helps Costa Coffee brew sales data solution

Last week, Microsoft announced an exciting (and tasty) example of its work in intelligent systems, business analytics and cloud computing. Costa Coffee’s iconic red Costa Express vending machines are the UK’s leading self-service bar, with more than 2,500 machines in the UK since launching 18 months ago. When Costa decided to build its next-generation coffee-serving machine, they wanted a flexible, end-to-end solution. Windows Embedded, Windows Azure and SQL Server helped Costa meet their exact needs, allowing them to track all aspects of the machine including diagnostics and sales data.

Read the full Windows Embedded blog post to learn how Microsoft and Costa are delivering a better cup for coffee lovers.


Join the Microsoft Cloud OS Trivia Challenge

This week we launched the Cloud OS Trivia Challenge, designed to test your knowledge with trivia for a chance to win some pretty incredible prizes —including an all-expense trip to the Microsoft Management Summit in Las Vegas. Test Your Knowledge for a chance to instantly win a copy of Windows 8, Windows Server, a Microsoft Surface tablet, or a Linksys Router. Plus, for each trivia question you answer correctly, you will receive one extra sweepstakes entry.

What are you waiting for?  Play Now!


How Xbox Can Transform Your Datacenter

Xbox and datacenter in the same sentence? The common denominator is Microsoft’s extensive experience running some of the largest Internet-scale services in the world. That experience comes from consumer services such as Xbox Live, as well as Bing and Outlook.com, as well as from enterprise services such as Office 365.

Find out how Xbox and Microsoft’s numerous world-class services are informing our enterprise offerings to help our customers compete in a way that none of our competitors can. Read today’s  a blog post by Varun Chhabra, a member of the Server and Tools Marketing team, and learn about specific examples of learnings that Microsoft from cloud services
like Xbox Live, Bing, Outlook.com and Office 365 to the products that drive the Cloud OS including Windows Server 2012, System Center 2012 and Windows Azure.


Analyst Report Highlights Windows Server 2012 Storage Innovation

A recent benchmarking study from Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) Labs on the various storage features in Windows Server 2012 reinforces Windows is a great Storage platform that offers a number of key benefits to customers. The lab performed a hands-on evaluation designed to demonstrate the performance, efficiency and scalability of Windows Server 2012 using industry standard tools and methodologies.

Some highlights of the evaluation include:

  • The performance of remote storage with SMB 3.0 was within a 5% variation of Direct Attached Storage for Enterprise class workloads. This provides a great storage choice for customers to provide reliable, high performance storage for their mission critical workloads on industry standard hardware.
  • Built in Data Deduplication resulted in over 98% storage savings for VM libraries and over 30% for information worker workloads.
  • Offloaded Data Transfer(ODX) improved performance of data copy by over 8 times for large files, letting customers maximize their investments in SANs.
  • ChkDsk took a matter of minutes to scan and repair 100,000 files on WS 2012 with virtually no downtime  as opposed to several hours in the previous release of Windows Server.

You can download the full report here, or access from the Windows Server website under Storage capabilities section.