OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA         Here’s a very good story from one of the highly active community members in Philippines, John Delizo. John just recently did a Windows Server 2008 R2 pilot project at a company to help the in-house IT group understand how an upgrade would affect their infrastructure. Today they have a single domain with 8 servers (a mix of Windows 2000, 2003 and Linux) and around 100 clients running a mix of Windows operating system from 2000, XP and Vista.

The reason to try out Windows Server 2008 R2 was for the IT administrators to gather the required knowledge and experience they need but also to evaluate the performance of R2. And the result was good:

“We were surprised that our test machine actually runs smoothly with R2 with a machine just having 4GB of RAM and Intel 2.93Ghz processor. We tried to install SQL 2008 Express and MOSS 2007 and it still run smoothly. The response time of IIS and the SharePoint site collections are very fast, even being accessed by a number of testers.”

The IT group was also pleased to see that one single console could be used to administer roles and that it was more user friendly. Since adding roles and features is done through a wizard no mistakes were done and with everything already included you don’t need to download any extra software for your initial configuration. They liked the Server Manager and the fact that it is immediately available upon logging on and you do not have to search for which MMC to use.

John also mentions the built in tools:

“The diagnostic tools also helped in our installation and evaluation, giving us real time data and other event information needed to troubleshoot some installation issues. Performance and reliability monitor also helped us determine our workload and the Resource Monitor gave us information on how to plan the next machine to be purchased for this kind of workload. The Audit tool could be a bit overwhelming but was very helpful in detecting problems on our configuration and security logs.”

Their conclusion after testing Windows Server 2008 R2 is that it performance is very good, even with less powerful hardware. For this company it was also important that it can coexist with Linux or earlier versions of Windows Server. I asked him why he would recommend other IT Pros to go for Windows Server 2008 R2, he replied:

“Windows Server 2008 R2 is very mature in terms of eventing, tracing and logging. Its diagnostics tool can help you detect bottlenecks, configuration errors and security events. It’s giving you a very high overview of the current state of your system so you can pinpoint errors and what to focus on to resolve the pressing issue. With diagnostics snap-in on server manager we can also drill down even to a specific event. For resources there’s a lot available at http://technet.microsoft.com and in the built in help of the Server 2008 R2.”

John also had the opportunity to test Windows 7 together with R2 and the next step for him will be to upgrade the Vista clients when Windows 7 is available to them as well as upgrade the servers to R2.