Microsoft Windows Server 2008 may not ship officially until Wednesday, but early adopters are running it in production networks and reporting solid results with new features including everything from stretched clusters to workload specific configurations of the server.
“Every one of our organizations is having the conversation about rolling out 2008 or deploying Windows Server 2003,” says Rand Morimoto, a consultant with Convergent, which helps companies architect and implement, local, wide area, and enterprise networks. “If they think 2008 is dependable and reliable, we roll it out. And we have installed 100s of these servers in production environments.”
While early adopters are reporting success with their deployments, a recent survey by CDW showed that security, setup/configuration improvements and virtualization were key benefits identified by the 772 IT respondents from small business, medium/large businesses, state/local governments, higher education and K-12 education.
But there were concerns among respondents with bugs (48%), application compatibility (41%) and hardware compatibility (28%) toping the list.
And Microsoft has issued specific guidelines that avoid in-place upgrades for application servers, including those running Exchange 2007 SP1. Morimoto says, however, that users are finding that certain new features are finally breaking down barriers, including stretched clusters that allow clusters to sit on either end of a T-1 WAN connection.
“Before, these kinds of clusters were only run by the richest companies that could support fiber across the WAN. This is a huge development for needs like [disaster recovery] for Exchange 2007.”
Morimoto says features such as Network Access Protection (NAP) are compelling to Convergent customers, but admits the deployment is cleaner and easier to pull off in a homogeneous Microsoft environment with Vista and Windows Server 2008.
“When you start to get into multi-platform environments you run into stuff that is not supported,” he said.
Microsoft, WS2008, Windows Server 2008, Win2K8, Adopters