Windows Server 2008: The Complete Reference (Excerpt): Page 3

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Common Networking Functions

WS08 includes features and functionalities that support almost every conceivable networking service. But not all of these functionalities are new or updated in Windows Server 2008. It is, therefore, important to first establish a common vocabulary on standard networking services and then identify where WS08 brings new features and functionalities to help draw a graphical map of the new WS08 features. This will provide you with a simple graphical layout of the new Windows Server 2008 feature set.

Small organizations or networks that include only a single site will often include a basic set of networking services. These services tend to focus on the following:

·      Domain Services Using Active Directory to centrally store and manage all user accounts makes sense in organizations of all sizes. The alternative—using workgroup practices—means having to manage multiple security account databases, one on each server or workstation, in fact. Active Directory is so simple to use that it simply does not make sense to use anything else.

NOTEActive Directory Domain Services (ADDS) relies on the Domain Name System (DNS) to operate. Therefore, any installation of ADDS will require at least one server running the DNS service. Note that in small-scale ADDS installations, you are automatically prompted to perform a simple DNS installation.

  • File and Printer Sharing Storing documents centrally has always made sense because you only have to protect one single location. Every organization has a use for central file and printer management, even if new collaboration features offer a better way to manage documents and have teams interact.
  • Collaboration ServicesWith Windows SharePoint Services (WSS), organizations can have teams interact with each other through a Web-based team structure. Since almost all organizational activity takes the form of a project, using team sites and collaboration services only makes sense, especially since WSS is so easy to install and manage.
  • Database ServicesWindows SharePoint Services relies on a database—in this case, the Windows Internal Database, which is, in fact, a version of SQL Server Embedded edition.
  • E-mail Services Most organizations also rely on e-mail services. Though Windows Server 2008 does provide the simple message transfer protocol (SMTP) service, organizations usually opt for a professional e-mail service, such as that provided by Microsoft Exchange Server.
  • Backup and Restore Services All organizations will want to partake of Windows Backup to protect their systems, both at the data and the operating system level. The new Backup tool in Windows Server 2008 provides protection for both.

These often form the basic services that most organizations require. Optionally, even small organizations will also rely on the following services:

Windows Server 2008, book

  • Firewall Services Any organization that has a connection to the external world through the Internet will want to make sure they are completely protected. The only way to do so is to implement an advanced firewall service.
  • Fax Services Windows Server 2008 can provide integrated fax services, freeing organizations from needing a conventional fax machine.
  • Terminal Services Terminal Services (TS) provides the ability to run applications on a server instead of on the user’s workstation. The advantage of this is that organizations need to manage applications only in one central location. In addition, with Windows Server 2008, the use of TS applications is completely transparent to end users, since it appears as if they are working off the local machine.

CAUTIONTerminal Service applications are not appropriate for mobile or disconnected users because they do not offer any kind of offline caching. Therefore, when a user is disconnected, they do not have access to TS applications.

  • Hyper-V This is a core service of the new datacenter. It supports the virtualization of all other service offerings. This service is installed on all hardware, and all other services are installed within virtual machines.
  • Network Access Services (NAS) With the proliferation of home offices, more and more organizations are relying on network access services, such as virtual private networks (VPNs), to let home workers access the corporate network over common home-based Internet connections.
  • Deployment Services With the advent of new Windows Deployment Services in Windows Server 2008, many organizations will want to take advantage of this feature to automate the installation and deployment of Windows XP and Windows Vista machines. Larger organizations will definitely want to use these services to deploy servers as well as workstations.
  • Windows Server Update Services With the proliferation of attacks on systems of all types, organizations of all sizes will want to make sure they implement a system for keeping all of their computers—workstations and servers—up to date at all times. Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) is not part of WS08, but is free and can be obtained at Registration is required to obtain the download.

In addition, any organization that includes more than one site will need to ensure that the services they provide at one site are available at any other. This is done through a series of different features, which rely mostly on either a duplication of the base services in remote sites or the use of a replication mechanism to copy data from one location to the other. The implementation of these systems is more complex than single-site structures.

Larger organizations will add more services to their network just because of the nature of their organization. These will include:

  • Certificate Services Anyone who wants to control identity and ensure that users are who they claim they are at all times will want to take advantage of Active Directory Certificate Services, a public key infrastructure system that provides electronic certificates to users and machines in order to clearly identify who they are.

NOTE    For more information on public key infrastructures (PKI), see the “Advanced Public Key Infrastructures” section at

  • Rights Management Services Organizations concerned about the protection of their intellectual data will want to implement Active Directory Rights Management Services (ADRMS). ADRMS can protect electronic documents from tampering through the inclusion of protection mechanisms directly within the documents.
  • Advanced Storage Organizations maintaining large deposits of information will want to take advantage of advanced storage systems, such as storage area networks (SANs). Windows Server 2008 provides new ways to access and manage SANs.
  • Clustering Services and Load Balancing Organizations running N-tier applications—applications that are distributed among different server roles—will want to protect their availability through the use of the Windows Clustering Service (WCS)—a service that provides availability through a failover capacity to another server running the same service—and/or Network Load Balancing (NLB)—a service that provides availability through the use of multiple servers running identical configurations.
  • Database Services Organizations relying on large data structures will want to run more than the Windows Internal Database and will rely on other versions of SQL Server to protect their databases.
  • Web Applications Organizations providing custom services, both internally and externally, will need to rely on Internet Information Services (IIS) to deliver a consistent Web experience to end users.
  • Middleware Services Organizations running N-tier applications will want to support them with middleware, such as the Microsoft .NET Framework, COM+, and other third-party components. These run on middleware servers.
  • Key Management Services Organizations that take advantage of Microsoft Software Assurance and Volume Licensing will want to implement this new WS08 role. Key Management Services (KMS) controls the activation of Microsoft volume-licensed software from both clients and servers from within your firewall.

Microsoft Windows Server 2008: The Complete Reference; Copyright 2008, The McGraw-Hill Companies

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