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Windows Server 2008: Need to Know

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After many months of waiting, Microsoft finally released the Beta 3 version of Windows Server 2008 (previously codenamed "Longhorn"), a major milestone pre-release version of the next version of Windows Server. (More recently, a CTP, or Community Technical Preview, version was distributed to beta testers in June 2008.) Windows Server 2008 has evolved quite a bit over time, and though the project hasn't suffered from the many feature drops and problems that dogged Windows Vista, there are certainly a few surprises in Beta 3 and the June CTP. Here's what you need to know about Windows Server 2008.
Windows Server 2008 basics:

Windows Server 2008 will be a major Windows Server release with dramatically improved functionality when compared to its predecessors. Enhanced scripting and task automation via the new Windows PowerShell--a surprise addition to Beta 3, given that PowerShell was originally not going to ship as part of this product--and improved roles-based installation and management capabilities will give administrators more control than ever, Microsoft says. Indeed, the roles-based installation and management features now extend to Server Core, a new lightweight and safer version of the server.

Like Windows Vista, Longhorn also includes increased security prowess, thanks to a variety of tools and low-level changes. The Windows Firewall is enabled now by default, for example, and Windows Server 2008 can be installed in branch offices using technologies such as Read Only Domain Controller (RODC) and BitLocker ensuring that physical server theft won't result in a major security disaster. Windows Server 2008 also includes the long-awaited Network Access Protection (NAP) feature, which finally brings policy-based network quarantining to the Windows platform.

On the flexibility front, Windows Server 2008 adds some intriguing new Terminal Services improvements that will allow organizations to deploy remote environments and even remote applications, both within their firewall and beyond. And eventually, the inclusion of the optional Windows Server Virtualization piece will provide Windows Server 2008 with a more performance-friendly and secure "bare metal" virtualization solution, though that's not present in Beta 3. (See below for more information).
Beta 3 and beyond:

In the gear up to Windows Server 2008 Beta 3, Microsoft has made a number of improvements. PowerShell is now included in the product, as previously noted. Windows Firewall is enabled by default and is configured to open and close only the required ports as roles and features are installed and removed, resulting in the most secure Windows Server version yet. And Server Manager, Microsoft's central console for daily server administration tasks has been improved and augmented by a new command line tool called servermanagercmd.exe that provides admins with all of Server Manager's functionality from the command line. (Note that this tool runs within the standard command line environment and not PowerShell, however.)...
http://www.winsupersite.com/showcase/win2008_ntk.asp
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post #2 of 6
Firewall on by default? no thank you, thats going to be turned off immediately. If you have a server, that means you have a router, and routers have firewalls.
post #3 of 6
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Originally Posted by h4rdcor3 View Post
Firewall on by default? no thank you, thats going to be turned off immediately. If you have a server, that means you have a router, and routers have firewalls.
Ummm...haha....I hope you are joking....

Routers have a basic firewall that most often will kick back anything that it knows would be a DOS but as for your normal routers it pretty much stops there. Granted the windows firewall may not be the best I would use it in a heartbeat over anything that comes in a home router. The only reason you would find that turned off for me is if I am sitting cozy behind a decent hardware firewall.

Otherwise this looks very interesting. But alas it just means more studying to renew the certifications for Server 2K8...
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post #4 of 6
What's the cost of a Windows server license again? $500?
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Is Powershell something that could be included in a Vista service pack?
    
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post #6 of 6
Powershell seems to be more of a server app as it sounds mainly like it will use command line to introduce any scripts the administrative staff may already have for their network that need to be run on the servers. I doubt it will be available to the client side.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Microsoft
Microsoft Windows PowerShell command line shell and scripting language helps IT professionals achieve greater control and productivity. Using a new admin-focused scripting language, more than 130 standard command line tools, and consistent syntax and utilities, Windows PowerShell allows IT professionals to more easily control system administration and accelerate automation. Windows PowerShell is easy to adopt, learn, and use, because it works with your existing IT infrastructure and existing script investments, and because it runs on Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows Server 2003. Windows PowerShell is now included as part of Windows Server 2008 and can be evaluated in Windows Server 2008 Beta 3. Exchange Server 2007, System Center Operations Manager 2007, System Center Data Protection Manager V2, and System Center Virtual Machine Manager also leverage Windows PowerShell to improve administrator control, efficiency, and productivity.
And as for the pricing. Currently you can obtain a copy of Server 2K3 Standard with 5 CAL's (the lowest you can get with maintaining an active status for the server, meaning not a test server) for about $900 through a reseller. The Small Business versions are cheaper though. I would expect Server 2K8 to be about the same.
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