I had some difficulties in accessing some machines in my test lab, mainly because the target machines didn't have the right telemetry packages installed by default; some of them also had firewall issues that were fairly easily rectified. Still other machines added just fine and I was able to view rollups of events and problems right from within the tile in Server Manager, and from there I could also drill down to any level of the pool and find individual events on any given machine.
All in all, this is very useful for large-scale machine management tasks.
Hyper-V 3.0 improvements
Numerous enhancements have been made to the Hyper-V virtualization platform in this beta.
Hyper-V Replica interface
The Hyper-V Replica feature, which existed pre-Windows 8, is arguably the biggest advance in Microsoft virtualization in a while, allowing you to replicate a virtual machine from one location to another with Hyper-V and a network connection. VMware does this, too, but charges extra for this capability with new licensees; existing customers get it for free.
With this beta, the new Hyper-V Replica interfaces within Hyper-V Manager include a much simpler, cleaner display for setting up a replication sequence and for better monitoring the process and the overall health of replication systems and partners.
Hyper-V Extensible switch improvements
Along with support for private virtual LANs (VLANs) and Access Control Lists for individual ports on the Hyper-V virtual switch, the hypervisor in Windows Server 8 beta is ready for multi-tenancy. So if you host multiple customers on a single Hyper-V host, each individual customer's privacy and security is much more protected than it was under Windows Server 2008 R2. You can also make new virtual subnets without having to resort to the complexity and administrative burden of VLANs.
Windows Server 8 includes new support for the encryption of Server Message Block (SMB) data on untrusted networks. This end-to-end encryption of data from SMB shares, as it crosses the wire, guards against eavesdropping attacks when that data travels across a network not known to be friendly.
This is all done in the box, with no additional investment of hardware or software is required -- you simply turn it on per-share via the Server Manager File and Storage Services node. You can also turn it on via Group Policy for the entire server.
Adding support for the encryption of Server Message Block data on untrusted networks requires admins to simply turn it on per-share via the Server Manager File and Storage Services node.