Five Things About Windows Server 2008 You Probably Don’t Know (part 3)

This is the 3rd and final part of the article on 5 things you probably don’t know about Windows Server 2008. Previously, I wrote about NPS and then 2 aspects of PowerShell (portability and remoting). Now let’s wrap up with 2 more things.

4. Branch office support has reached “significant” status with Windows Server 2008.

Well, it’s true that many organizations have used Windows Server in small satellite offices for years. But often times the tradeoffs of what services should/must be run in the headquarters versus a field office weren’t all that effective for many organizations. But Windows Server 2003 R2 provided some truly useful “branch office” features and Windows Server 2008 extends support for such needs to encompass several additional services.

Windows Server 2003 R2 offered a Print Management Console (PMC) and massively upgraded (well completely redesigned is more apropos perhaps) Distributed File System (DFS) implementation which both helped to unify, policize, and centralize the management of file and print services hosted by Windows Server which are distributed across diverse and/or vast network topologies, geographies, or (organizational) political boundaries.

Windows Server 2008 includes all that and more. The most publicized branch office feature (which you may have heard of (but may not know enough about)) is support for Read-Only Domain Controllers (RODCs). While they don’t fully support local Exchange Server 2007 messaging servers, this sort of option for deploying additional domain controllers (DCs) is a boon for many management and security concerns. Compared with the staid “desktop” orientation of Terminal Services and Remote Desktop of the past, the new gatewaying and individual remote application extensions to the terminal services framework have substantial advantages not only for branch office scenarios, but even for single building deployments. There are many other features and roles in Windows Server 2008 which support this “branch office as a first class citizen” treatment that’s finally coming of age in Windows Server.

5. Windows Small Business Server (SBS) and Essential Business Server (EBS) licensing can potentially save small and medium businesses a lot of money and hassle.

For one price, Microsoft’s Windows Small Business Server (SBS) 2008 includes Windows Server roles and features plus more:

• Windows Server 2008 Standard Edition

• Exchange Server 2007 Standard Edition

• Windows SharePoint Services 3.0

• Microsoft Forefront Security for Exchange Server

• Windows Server Update Services 3.0

• Microsoft Office Live Small Business

And not just all that which we get in the Windows SBS 2008 Standard Edition, but the Windows SBS 2008 Premium Edition also licenses you to install Windows Server 2008 Standard on a second server which can host the include (again, this is just in SBS 2008 PREMIUM):

• Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Standard for Small Business

Microsoft’s Windows Essential Business Server (EBS) 2008 goes much farther than Windows SBS 2008 with:

• Windows Server 2008 Standard Edition on up to 3 servers (EBS 2008 Standard) or 4 servers (EBS 2008 Premium)

• Microsoft System Center Essentials 2007

• Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 (licensed for download (not on included media))

• Exchange Server 2007 Standard Edition (E2K7)

• Microsoft Forefront Security for Exchange Server

• Microsoft Forefront Treat Management Gateway Medium Business Edition

For example, the three servers could be:

• Management Server: W2K8 Server + SharePoint + System Center

• Messaging Server: W2K8 Server + Exchange 2007 Server + Forefront

• Security Server: W2K8 Server + Exchange 2007 Server + Threat Mgt.

And not just all that which we get in the Windows EBS 2008 Standard Edition, but the Windows EBS 2008 Premium Edition also licenses you to install Windows Server 2008 Standard on a fourth server which can host the include (again, this is just in EBS 2008 PREMIUM):

• Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Standard Edition

(Note that on that 4th server (SQL), until the end of 2009, Microsoft allows Windows EBS 2008 Premium licensees to use Windows Server 2003 R2 and Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Standard as options.)

Consider adding all the licensing fees for these products separately. If you need several of these services, either the standard or premium editions of SBS or EBS 2008 versions could save quite a bit. Note that certain Enterprise edition features of Windows, Exchange, and SQL servers geared to big businesses – such as clustering – might be on the agenda of some small and medium sized businesses, and the Standard editions included in SBS and EBS 2008 wouldn’t be sufficient in those settings. Even so, it’s good to know the options.

Were all five of these things new to you? Did you know a few? Did you already know all five? Let us know if you’d like to know 5 more things…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.