Windows Small Business Server 2008 Standard and Premium Editions Exceeding Expectations

Microsoft recently announced the release of Windows Small Business Server 2008 Standard and Premium Editions scheduled for release on November 12, 2008.

The release of Server 2008 marks one of the most significant upgrades Microsoft has made to its server line of software. Perhaps only the release of Windows 2000 was a more significant advance to the product line. Before the release of Windows 2000, only NT 4.0 was available for servers.

The new technologies present within Server 2008 will prove to be more beneficial to businesses than previous releases.

Small Business Server 2008 Server Pulsa Murah and Premium Editions

Server 2008 marks the first release of a new Microsoft server product since Server 2003 R2. The innovations in the new release have been well worth the wait. With the release, as with Vista, Microsoft makes full use of the 64-bit processing environment that has been around for several years now.

Some of the key advances in the new release are an upgrade to the Active Directory (AD) infrastructure, which has been around since Windows 2000 was released. However, many features within Server 2008 are quite powerful and have taken the newest Microsoft server OS in a radically different direction.

The Small Business Server 2008 Standard Edition comes bundled with Microsoft Exchange Server 2007, Windows SharePoint Services 3.0, Windows Server Update Services 3.0, Microsoft Forefront Security for Exchange Server, Windows Live OneCare for Server and Integration with Office Live Small Business.

The Small Business Server 2008 Premium Edition includes all of the products in the Standard edition plus Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Standard for Small Business.

Server Core

Server Core is one of these radically new features. Server Core allows for a minimal version of Server 2008 to be installed on machines that only need specific functionality. For example, Server Core can be configured to take on common functions that servers normally perform such as those of the DHCP server, DNS server, file server and Active Directory, as well as operations such as streaming media, print services or even Windows virtualization.

Server Core is meant for the use of network administrators and server management personnel who could develop a highly specialized and efficient computing environment utilizing Server Core. A Server Core installation is very different from other Microsoft OS installations on a PC or server. The interface is minimal – mostly by command line, though a Task Manager or Notepad window can be called up.

IT professionals will appreciate a Server Core installation where it is needed. Maintenance under such an installation is at an absolute minimum since the server on which the software is installed is only focused on one particular function rather than the multiple functions on a full installation of Server 2008. There are also inherently less vulnerabilities for a would-be hacker to exploit under this setup, so security is a breeze. The simpler installation also guarantees less software bugs arising when they are least expected – such as when an application is installed that is not fully compatible with Microsoft software.

Considering all these benefits to a minimal installation, it becomes obvious that the management time involved with these specialized servers is also considerably reduced. Less management time translates into less maintenance by IT staff or, at least, a staff that does not waste time making sure the firewall is holding up or pinpointing a problem through multiple functions on a typical server.

Hyper-V

Also in Server 2008 is the Hyper-V option, which enhances Microsoft’s presence in the world of virtualization. Virtualization allows for a single machine to take on the functions of two or more machines, utilizing resources simultaneously without causing overlap or conflict. Virtualization has so many benefits to the business world that they are difficult to number. The reduced number of machines in a virtual environment can save money for a business in many different ways. Fewer machines use less power in less space and can be effectively managed by fewer employees.

Today’s machines can handle the additional functionality that virtualization demands; oftentimes processor capacity, primary memory and hard drive space are wasted or never even used. Virtualizing a server environment is a trend we will continue to see over the next decade.
Microsoft’s previous virtualization release, Virtual Server, uses a popular virtualization technique called “host-based virtualization” where the primary OS installation runs a service called “Virtual Machine Monitor” (VMM) that provides the virtual environment to another operating system.

Hyper-V functions in a completely different way by using a hypervisor. A hypervisor creates an abstraction layer at the boot level, performing only minimal functions of the kernel, then abstracting the environment required to run multiple operating systems and their associated applications on top of the kernel. This translates into a much faster and more scalable virtual environment than the VMM methodology.

However, an important consideration is that Hyper-V is largely hardware dependent. To fully take advantage of the speed and scalability of a Hyper-V virtualization infrastructure from Microsoft typically requires hardware acceleration. This type of hardware is not uncommon, however. Examples of such are the AMD Pacifica and Intel VT extensions of their respective Opteron and Xeon processors.

Setting up a VM through Hyper-V is a breeze with the Wizard, and console access to the virtualized environments is simple and expedient. Hyper-V is built into the Server 2008 release and is managed just as print and file services are, so configuring and management are also very simple and familiar for those experienced with previous versions of Microsoft Server.

Easier Server Management

Previous server installations had a separate management console for each role contained within the Manage Your Server dashboard. Manage Your Server was a convenient enhancement over previous server releases where management consoles were not all so neatly gathered together. However, with Server 2008, this convenience is taken a step further with the completely new Server Manager.

With Server Manager, system administrators have a one-stop shop for server management for the first time. It is very likely that for a majority of the time, IT staff won’t ever need to use another tool to manage the Server 2008 system, and they will be very thankful for it. Once again, with this tool, Microsoft lessens the time it takes to perform simple tasks.

Within Server Manager are the roles and functions installed on the Server 2008 system such as the DHCP server, DNS server, file services, domain services, etc. All of them are available for management and monitoring at the click of a mouse. Very handy troubleshooting tools are also conveniently located within Server Manager such as Windows Firewall, Device Manager, Event Viewer and WMI Control. The completely new Windows Server Backup tool is also located here and will be discussed further, as it is a considerable enhancement in its own right.

Clicking on any of the management tools located within Server Manager takes the administrator to a dedicated home page, which provides pertinent information to the role in question. From here, more information can be gathered such as troubleshooting tips, further knowledge about the task or function and links to other helpful tools that help administrators in virtually any particular situation.

Terminal Services goes hand in hand with server administration. This is the capability that allows administrators to remotely configure PCs. In previous releases, Terminal Services only allowed the entire PC installation to be deployed remotely, rather than specific applications. The changes with the Server 2008 release are through the rehashed Remote Desktop client, where a user logs in to download and install the application without the administrator having to oversee the operation.

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