Thursday, March 26, 2009

Introduction to Windows Server 2008

Windows server 2008 is the latest server OS (Operating system) from Microsoft, If you worked with earlier versions such Windows server NT, 2003; you should be familiar with the concept and operation delivered by Microsoft Corp.

They are some new major new features in WS2008, To serve the new business demands, Most important new technology service from my view is the Hyper-v role.

As most of us may know now, virtualization is the technology that takes the scene nowadays, Because of the great benefits from using it which are concluded in two main points:

  • Save resources (Power usage, Space, Money, Time)
  • Ease of administration, redundancy and failover practices.

Hyper-V is the virtualization technology delivered by Microsoft to achieve these points.

Windows server 2008 is holding other new roles than AD (Active Directory) which is the most important service in Microsoft infrastructure I can mention some of them:

  • Solid foundation:
  • introduce windows PowerShell ( optional Command-Line scripting language).
  • Powerful Windows reliability and performance monitor
  • Componentized Server Core installation option allows minimal installations where only the server roles and features you need are installed.
  • Failover clustering wizards make it easy for even IT generalists to implement high-availability solutions.
  • Network Load Balancing (NLB) now supports IPv6.

  • Virtualization:
  • Support for the latest hardware-assisted virtualization technologies.
  • New storage features, such as pass-through disk access and dynamic storage addition.
  • Clustering of Windows Server virtualization (WSv) hosts or VMs running on WSv hosts and backup of VMs while they are running keep your virtualized servers highly available.
  • Terminal Services (TS) RemoteApp and TS Web Access allow programs that are accessed remotely to be opened with just one click and appear as if they are running seamlessly on the end user's local computer.
  • TS Gateway helps provide secure remote access to Windows-based programs through firewalls – without the need for a virtual private network (VPN).
  • Web:
  • IIS Manager, a new task-based management interface, plus a new appcmd.exe command-line tool make administration easier.
  • Cross-site deployment allows you to easily copy Web site settings across multiple Web servers without additional configuration.
  • Delegated administration of applications and sites.
  • Security:
  • Network Access Protection helps ensure your network and systems aren't compromised by unhealthy computers, isolating and/or remediating those computers that don't comply with the security policies you set.
  • User Account Control provides.
  • Read Only Domain Controller (RODC) allows a more secure method for local authentication of users in remote and branch office locations using a read-only replica of your primary AD database.
  • Active Directory Federation Services (AD FS) enables trust relationships to be more easily established between partners with different identity and access directories running on different networks, enabling secure single sign ons (SSOs) to each other's networks.
  • Active Directory Certificate Services (AD CS) delivers several enhancements to the Windows Server 2008 Public Key Infrastructure (PKI), including PKIView for monitoring the health of Certification Authorities (CAs) and a new, more secure COM control for certificate Web enrollment in place of ActiveX.
  • Active Directory Rights Management Services (AD RMS) together with RMS-enabled applications helps you safeguard your company's digital information from unauthorized users more easily.
  • BitLocker Drive Encryption provides enhanced protection against data theft and exposure of server hardware if lost or stolen, and it provides more secure data deletion when your servers are eventually decommissioned.

As I have seen it's very common to have windows servers in every organization today, I am not ignoring Linux OS but windows still the market leader so far for some services in network infrastructure.

As Microsoft used to, Server 2008 have some editions for each business requirement, which are

  • Windows server 2008 standard edition. (with or without Hyper-v)
  • Windows server 2008 Enterprise edition. (with or without Hyper-v)
  • Windows server 2008 Data Center edition. (with or without Hyper-v)
  • Windows server 2008 Web edition.
  • Windows server 2008 HPC edition.
  • Windows server 2008 Itanium edition.
Later I will demonstrate my experience from testing server 2008 in each and every point I get through.

For more information please refer to references below.

References:

http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2008/en/us/default.aspx

http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2008/en/us/editions-overview.aspx

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