Microsoft Windows Server 2008 – Review
In a nutshell Microsoft’s Windows Server 2008 is more forgiving then W2K3, in particular it requires less work to install and configure the server’s role on the network. I hope that you enjoy exploring the new ‘Longhorn’ features as much as I did.
- New Features for Windows Server 2008
- Overview of Server 2008
- Migration Advice
- Install Windows Server 2008
- Install on Virtual PC
- Windows Server 2008 Editions
- MAPSA Assessment Tool
- 7 Naughty but Nice Settings
- Active Directory
- Server Manager
- Server Manager – Add Roles
- Server Manager – Add Features
- Server Core (or Core Server)
- Virtualization with Hyper-V
- BCDEdit – Edit Boot Configuration Data
- DNS in Windows Server 2008
- Group Policy Preferences
- Performance Monitor
- Reliability and Perfmon
- Network Monitor
- Windows System Resource Monitor (WSRM)
- NAP (Network Access Protection)
- Differences Between IPv4 and IPv6
- Windows PowerShell
- .NET Framework
New Vista-like Features
Vista-like features which are incidental to Windows Server 2008, but nevertheless useful.
- AERO – Replaces XP’s Luna Desktop
- The New Windows Explorer
- Explorer’s Virtual Folders
- User Account Control (UAC)
- Activate the Local Administrator Account
- ClickOnce and MSI
- Site Home
Microsoft’s Improvements for Windows Server 2008
Windows Server 2008 introduces Hyper-V (V for Virtualization) but only on 64bit versions. More and more companies are seeing this as a way of reducing hardware costs by running several ‘virtual’ servers on one physical machine. If you like this exciting technology, make sure that you buy an edition of Windows Server 2008 that includes Hyper-V, then launch the Server Manger, add Roles.
The five years between W2K3 and Windows Server 2008 is a relatively long time in computing. Perhaps the 64bit verses 32bit debate is a good bellwether for the changes. In W2K3 most servers were 32bit with 64bit an option, whereas for Windows Server 2008 almost all servers will be 64bit.
Another trend in the Microsoft Windows family of servers has been improved scalability, the desire to take on jobs previously associated with main-frame computers. For this high-end role, Windows Server 2008 has better support for failover clustering than W2K3.
The best feature of this new this new version of SolarWinds VM Monitor is that it checks Windows Hyper-V. Naturally, it still works with virtual machines on VMware ESX Servers. VM Monitor is a clever desktop tool that not only tests that your server is online, but also displays the CPU and memory utilization for each node.
It’s easy to install and to configure this virtual machine monitor, all you need the host server’s IP address or hostname and the logon info. Give this virtual machine monitor a try – it’s free.
Windows Server 2008 with Vista
Even though servers have always been more secure, and less flashy, than clients like Vista, Microsoft has made security their number one priority for Windows Server 2008. To gain maximum benefits I have always preached match clients and server, thus XP and W2K3, and now, match Windows Server 2008 with Vista. Perhaps the killer reason for the latter association is DHCPv6 and IPv6. At present Windows Server 2003 does not support DHCP for IPv6.
Because Windows Server 2008 gains in speed, efficiency and security over W2K3, so there will be knock-on improvements for their clients, particularly for Vista. Talking of Vista, features such as NAP (Network Access Protection), BitLocker and UAC are as relevant for Windows Server 2008 as they are for Vista.
Group Policy Preferences
W2K3 Group Policies are great, especially if you want to tattoo settings and enforce a corporate desktop. Windows Server 2008 introduces an additional or parallel idea; you set the initial preference, but allow uses to amend these less critical settings. Take the time to review Group Policy Preferences.
Although Microsoft has created more GUIs than ever, it is perceived to be quicker, to configure Windows Server 2008 from the command line using PowerShell. The vision behind PowerShell is to provide cmdlets (scripts) which automate repetitive tasks, much like UNIX administrators use BASH in their UNIX shells. See more onWindows PowerShell
Review of New Technologies Related to Microsoft’s Windows Server 2008
Here are code words which became more recognisable features of Windows Server 2008. Else they were part of a project, which has been abandoned or placed on the back-burner.
- Avalon Display System
- Palladium a code name for Generation Secure Computing Base (NGSCB)
- Indigo is the ‘glue’ to provide secure communication
- Viridian = Windows Virtualization
- WinFx = Windows Frameworks, now called .NET Framework 3.0
- WinFS Means Windows Future Storage (The future is not here yet!)
(Here is a page is to help those whose typing fingers are slightly dyslexic – Windows Sever 2008)
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