Windows Server 2008: The Complete Reference (Excerpt)

This book excerpt provides an introduction to Microsoft Windows Server 2008.


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Chapter 1

The Windows Server 2008 Delta

Microsoft made some major inroads with the release of Windows Server 2003. This version of Windows Server became the flagship version, since it proved to be stable and reliable, and was available in a number of different configurations. It became even more reliable when Microsoft released version R2.

Now, with the release of Windows Server 2008 (WS08), Microsoft is making more inroads, as this version provides much more robust and integrated capabilities. Built with a foundation on Windows Vista, WS08 includes many of the features that made this client operating system the best of breed in the marketplace. But, WS08 is a server operating system; as such, its market is not the home user, but businesses and organizations everywhere. This is why the primary audience for this book is the system administrator, whether you are a generalist who is responsible for all system administration tasks in your organization or whether you are a member of a system administration team within a large enterprise.

Our advice to you is pay attention to the structure of this book! It covers both migrations for existing networks and new network installations. With our previous books, we have developed a proven methodology for server system implementations as well as system administration. This methodology relies on careful planning and selection of feature sets, comprehensive preparation, and testing and then, finally, deployment of the selected feature sets. When you use this approach, you will have a better-than-average chance of having a flawless implementation that will run smoothly and that will operate as expected. Too many operators rush into installations and implementations without proper planning and then need to rely on troubleshooting books to try and repair or patch the systems they implemented without proper guidance. This is not that type of book! This book outlines detailed explanations of each new feature in Windows Server 2008, and then it provides guidance on how to implement them. Because we do not work for Microsoft, we do not need to provide information for every possible installation situation. Instead, we provide known recipes—recipes that are proven to work when you want to use a specific feature set. If you use the recommended approaches we outline, then you will meet some very specific goals that will provide some very compelling benefits.

Windows Server 2008, book

We’ve gathered feedback on our approaches through the delivery of multiple courses and conferences over the past few years as well as through direct interaction with customers. This feedback proves that when system administrators rely on our administration practices, they finally gain control over their schedule and don’t work in reactive mode all the time. In many cases, they only work overtime for very special situations, not on a regular basis, like many administrators do today. Isn’t that a worthwhile goal?

Resource Pools vs. Virtual Service Offerings

In addition, this book outlines a new approach to the delivery of IT service offerings. This approach is based on virtualization, now that virtualization—the ability to run a “guest” operating system (OS) or a virtual machine inside a “host” OS—is a core element of the new datacenter. This approach was popularized by manufacturers such as VMware, Citrix, and Virtual Iron, as well as Microsoft themselves through the delivery of a series of different products aimed at supporting the ability to run virtual machines. In this approach, service offerings, or the services your end users interact with, are delivered inside virtual machines. Hardware systems are only used to run the virtualization services, or hypervisor, that expose resources to the virtual service offerings. As you will see, this approach liberates the service offerings from their dependency on hardware and provides the foundation for a dynamic datacenter—a datacenter where you can allocate resources as needed to meet the demand of the moment. In addition, using virtualized service offerings will enable almost any datacenter to have a simplified disaster recovery and business continuity strategy. This approach revolutionizes the way IT administrators have managed service offerings in the past and lets them look to the future, with a greater breadth of possibilities.

NOTEHyper-V, the new integrated virtualization engine in Windows server, is not included in the original release of WS08. Instead, it has been marked for availability after the market version has been released. You will need to download the virtualization components from the Microsoft web site at http://downloads.microsoft.com.

New Feature Listings

OK. Now that we have laid down our approach, let’s get to it. The very first thing you need to do when examining a new operating system is to understand its new feature set. Next, you need to wade through the sometimes hundreds of new features in order to identify which ones apply to organizations of your size and structure. Once this is done, you need to identify which of these features you want to implement, when you want to implement them, and how you will proceed. This is the structure of this book. In this chapter, we begin by laying out the general categories of the new WS08 feature set and then go on to examine each new feature in depth, identifying who it applies to—small, medium, or large organizations—as well as laying out a recommended timeframe for implementation of this feature. Each feature is laid out in a grid that covers core elements. This chapter is also available online on the companion web site (www.reso-net.com/livre.asp?p=main&b=WS08) so that you can integrate it into your own technical architecture documents—documents you will create in support of your planned WS08 migration or implementation. We recommend that you read this chapter carefully, mark those features you think apply to your organization, download our document, and remove or at least indicate which features do not apply to your organization. This will greatly facilitate your implementation and set you well onto the path for migration or new network design.

NOTE    Actually, the very first step you should address when changing server operating system is to review your business objectives to make sure that the selections you make will be in line with your business needs. How to do this is beyond the scope of this book, but we have written a series of articles on the subject of developing an enterprise architecture and identifying business requirements. You can find these articles at www.reso-net.com/articles.asp?m=8 under the “Architectures” heading. This should greatly assist you in outlining what you need to gather in terms of information about the business before you proceed.

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

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