Top 10 reasons_to_upgrade_to_windows_server_2008_r2
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  • 1. Top 10 Reasons to Upgrade to Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 is the latest Windows Server operating system from Microsoft. R2 SP1 is theright foundation for today’s businesses to design tomorrow’s automated, secure datacenters and cloudcomputing solutions. And for today’s datacenter concerns, it can immediately reduce operating costs andincrease efficiencies via features like enhanced management control, improved energy efficiency, andenhanced workload performance through full support for 64-bit computing. It also provides improved branchoffice capabilities, exciting new remote access experiences, streamlined server management, and a powerfulnew in-box virtualization solution spanning both clients and servers.#1. Powerful Hardware and Scaling FeaturesWindows Server 2008 R2 was designed to perform as well or better for the same hardware base as WindowsServer 2008. In addition, R2 is the first Windows Server operating system to move solely to a 64-bitarchitecture.Windows Server 2008 R2 also has several CPU-specific enhancements. First, this version expands CPUsupport to enable customers to run with up to 256 logical processors. R2 also supports Second LevelTranslation (SLAT), which enables R2 to take advantage of the Enhanced Page Tables feature found in thelatest AMD CPUs as well as the similar Nested Page Tables feature found in Intel’s latest processors. Thecombination enables R2 servers to run with much improved memory management.Components of Windows Server 2008 R2 have received hardware boosts as well. Hyper-V in Windows Server2008 R2 can now access up to 64 logical CPUs on host computers. This capability not only takes advantage ofnew multicore systems, it also means greater virtual machine consolidation ratios per physical host.#2. Reduced Power ConsumptionWindows Server 2008 introduced a balanced power policy, which monitors the utilization level of theprocessors on the server and dynamically adjusts the processor performance states to limit power to theneeds of the workload. Windows Server 2008 R2 enhances this power saving feature by adding moregranular abilities to manage and monitor server and server CPU power consumption, as well as extending thisability to the desktop via new power-oriented Group Policy settings.Active Directory Domain Services Group Policy in Windows Server 2008 already gave administrators a certainamount of control over power management on client PCs. These capabilities are enhanced in WindowsServer 2008 R2 and Windows 7 to provide even more precise control in more deployment scenarios for evengreater potential savings. 1
  • 2. #3. Hyper-V in Windows Server 2008 R2Windows Server 2008 R2 also holds the much-anticipated update to Microsoft’s virtualization technology,Hyper-V. The new Hyper-V was designed to augment both existing virtual machine management as well as toaddress specific IT challenges, especially around server migration.Hyper-V is an enabling technology for one of Windows Server 2008 R2’s marquee features, Live Migration.With Hyper-V version 1.0, Windows Server 2008 was capable of Quick Migration, which could move VMsbetween physical hosts with only a few seconds of down-time. Still, those few seconds were enough to causedifficulties in certain scenarios, especially those includling client connections to VM-hosted servers. With LiveMigration, moves between physical targets happen in milliseconds, which means migration operationsbecome invisible to connected users. Making this even easier is a new feature called processor compatibilitymode, which allows administrators to migrate machines between different generations of same-brand CPUs.Customers employing System Center Virtual Machine Manager for Hyper-V will also enjoy additionalmanagement and orchestration scenarios, including a new VM-oriented Performance and ResourceOptimization feature and updated support for managing failover clusters.The new Hyper-V also has core performance enhancements, including the previously mentioned ability totake advantage of up to 64 logical processors and to beef up that CPU performance with host support forSecond Level Translation (SLAT). Finally, VMs can also add and remove storage without requiring a rebootand also boot from VHD as well.#4. Reduced Desktop Costs with VDIMuch of the interest in virtualization solutions is in the server world. However, equally exciting advances arebeing made in presentation virtualization, where processing happens on a server optimized for capacity andavailability while graphics, keyboard, mouse, and other user I/O functions are handled at the user’s desktop.Windows Server 2008 R2 contains enhanced Virtual Desktop Integration (VDI) technology, which extends thefunctionality of Terminal Services to deliver certain business programs to their employee’s remote desktops.With VDI, programs that Remote Desktop Services sends to a computer are now available on the Start menuright alongside programs that are locally installed. This approach provides improved desktop virtualizationand better application virtualization.Desktop virtualization will benefit from features including improved personalization management, a near-invisible integration of virtualized desktops and applications in Windows 7, better audio and graphicsperformance, a seriously cool Web access update and more. VDI provides more efficient use of virtualizedresources and better integration with local peripheral hardware as well as powerful new virtual managementfeatures.#5. Easier and More Efficient Server ManagementAlthough increasing the capabilities of your server operating system is always a good thing, the perceiveddownside has always been additional complexity and workload for day-to-day server managers. WindowsServer 2008 R2 specifically addresses this problem with lots of work evident across all of its management-oriented consoles. 2
  • 3. Features in these tools include:  Improved datecenter power consumption and management, as evidenced earlier  Improved remote administration, including a remotely-installable Server Manager  Improved identity management features via the updated and simplified Active Directory Domain Services and Active Directory Federated ServicesWindows Server 2008 R2 also improves on the popular PowerShell feature introduced in Windows Server2008. PowerShell 2.0 significantly enhances the earlier version with the inclusion of more than 240 new pre-built cmdlets as well as a new graphical user interface (GUI) that adds professional-level developmentfeatures for creating new cmdlets. The new GUI includes colored syntaxing, new production script debuggingcapabilities, and new testing tools.#6. Ubiquitous Remote AccessToday’s mobile workforce is increasing the demand on IT to provide remote access to corporate resources.However, managing remote computers is an ongoing challenge, with low wide are network (WAN) bandwidthand sporadic connection and re-connection processes interfering with lengthier desktop management taskssuch as Group Policy changes and up-to-date patching.Windows Server 2008 R2 introduces a new type of connectivity called DirectAccess—a powerful way forremote users to seamlessly access corporate resources without requiring a traditional VPN connection andclient software. Using technologies that shipped in Windows Server 2008, Microsoft has added simplemanagement wizards that enable administrators to configure SSTP and IPv6 across both R2 and Windows 7clients to enable the basic DirectAccess connection, and then augment that connection with additional R2management and security tools, including management policies and NAP.With DirectAccess, every user is considered remote all of the time. Users are no longer required todistinguish between local and remote connections. DirectAccess handles all of these distinctions in thebackground. IT professionals retain precise access control and full perimeter security, helping to ease bothdesktop security and management headaches on both sides of the connection.#7. Improved Branch Office Performance and ManagementMany branch office IT architectures have relatively low bandwidth. Slow WAN links impact the productivity ofbranch office employees waiting to access content from the main office, and costs for branch officebandwidth allocation can amount to as much as 33% of overall corporate IT spending. To address thischallenge, Windows Server 2008 R2 introduces a feature called BranchCache™, which reduces WANutilization and improves the responsiveness of network applications.With BranchCache™, clients who request access to data on the organizations network are sent directions tothe file on the local (branch office) network if the file has ever been requested there before. If the file isstored locally, those clients get immediate high-speed access. Such files can be stored either on a localBranchCache™ server for larger branch offices or simply on local Windows 7 PCs. 3
  • 4. #8. Simplified Management for SMBsWith Windows Server 2008 R2, Microsoft is focusing more attention at the SMB and mid-market customer.This new focus provides these customers with a rich landscape of Microsoft product offerings, from SmallBusiness Server up to Windows Essential Business Server and now Windows Server 2008 Standard. All SKUsare being outfitted with new management tools to make SMB IT Pro life easier.Active Directory’s new Active Directory Administration Center is one example—all those disparatemanagement GUIs now hosted in a single interface and all based on PowerShell. Additionally, there are theBest Practice Analyzers, which Microsoft has extended to every server role to keep all your server configs insync with the latest best practices.And last but not least, there’s the new Windows Server Backup utility. Long a second-class citizen, thisupdated, in-the-box backup app has been significantly upgraded to include more granular support fordesigning backup jobs, including support for system state operations; and, it has been optimized to run bothfaster and to use less disk space.#9. Foundation for Cloud ComputingWindows Server 2008 R2 is the foundation for Microsoft’s private cloud computing offerings. Combining coretechnologies, including Hyper-V for advanced virtualization, Active Directory for identity management,PowerShell for customizable automation and R2’s flexible remote access features, you can use this serverplatform to construct pools of virtualized compute resources and securely extend those resources cross-premises, securely and with custom and automated management.Whether you’re building a dedicated private cloud or attaching such a cloud to a hosted or public cloudresource, Windows Server 2008 R2 is the right bedrock on which to build your organization’s cloudinfrastucture. Best of all, everything you need to get started with basic cloud computing is included in thebox!#10. Managing Data Not just Managing StorageManaging storage isn’t just about managing disks. Storage volume is increasing at a 51% compounded annualgrowth rate between 2008 and 2012 according to IDC.* To keep pace and stay competitive, organizationsmust begin managing data, not just disks. Windows Server 2008 R2 gives IT administrators the tools forprecisely this kind of initiative with the new File Classification Infrastructure (FCI). This new feature builds anextensible and automated classification mechanism on top of existing shared file architetures; this enables ITadministrators to direct specific actions for specific files based on entirely customizable classification. FCI isalso extensible to partners, which means Windows Server 2008 R2 users can expect to see additionalcapabilities around FCI being delivered by ISVs in the near future. 4