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Windows Server 2008 “A closer look”

When you install and configure a server operating system, you hope you’ll never have to do it again. It’s inordinately complex and time-consuming. Each server is a unique creation, and each configuration meticulously adapted to a particular use.

Any installed drivers, applications and other software components reflect that specialized use. Even individual applications may have a unique set of patches. It’s difficult, if not impossible, to identify each unique configuration and determine how to replicate it on a new OS. 

So why should you bother with Windows Server 2008? You’ll still have to replicate your server environment on each server as you replace your old OS. It should take less time, though, with Windows Server 2008. And when you’re done, you’ll have a more secure, more manageable and better performing box, both physically and virtually.

In reality, swapping out your Windows 2000 or Windows 2003 Servers for Windows Server 2008 is only going to be slightly less painful than in the past. The resulting value is real, but in many cases probably not a game-changer. You’ll have to weigh the costs in both dollars and time against the benefits to your organization.

Don’t be surprised if the cost/benefit analysis tells you to start planning for a migration today. In many cases, it will take a year or more to plan and execute, and the return on the initial investment may not come until years later-but you’ll sleep better at night. The question is easier if you’ve reached the end-of-life on Windows NT 4. If so, it’s high time to upgrade.

Product of Its Environment: To understand Windows Server 2008, you have to look at several overarching trends in the industry and the concerns of most server customers. Bill Laing, general manager of Microsoft’s Windows Server division, calls Windows Server 2008 “the most customer-focused operating system release in our history.”

First, Moore’s Law has essentially taken a turn from continually increasing clock speeds and put in multiple execution units on the same processor unit. We still think of the unit as a single processor. Units are, in fact, multiple processors, each capable of executing individual processes or even threads. To achieve the performance improvements theoretically possible with this type of architecture, we need an OS capable of dispatching those processes to multiple cores.

Second, while you may debate the relative merits of 32-bit versus 64-bit address space and word size, at the very least, it appears we’re in the early stages of a fundamental shift to 64-bit computing. For a long time, some argued that we wouldn’t need the address space provided by 64-bits. That’s no longer the case.

Third, reliable and high-performance virtualization presents a radically new usage model for server-based computing. IT shops are turning to virtualization as the solution to a host of different issues, including server consolidation, utilization, business continuity and flexibility.

Full Article

Microsoft, WS2008, Windows Server 2008, Hyper-V, Longhorn, Server

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