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Matt McSpirit on Virtualisation, Management and Core Infrastructure

Windows Server 2003 SP2 - Top 10 Reasons to install...

Windows Server 2003 SP2 - Top 10 Reasons to install...

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Now, I'm not sure how many people know that this has actually released - I know that there were a few Release Candidate's released just before Christmas, but I can confirm that the RTM of Service Pack 2, for Windows Server 2003, is now out there and ready to download.

"Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2 (SP2) delivers on the Microsoft Trustworthy Computing initiative and illustrates Microsoft's commitment to continually create software products with enhanced security, increased reliability, and simplified administration.  The SP2 update can be applied to all Windows Server 2003 products and Windows XP Professional x64 Edition"

But what's new with SP2 (I'm not listing all of them!)?

  • Remote Installation Services is replaced by Windows Deployment Services
  • Simplify the creation and maintenance of Internet Protocol security (IPsec) policy
  • The default storage limit for message queuing has been changed to 1 gigabyte (GB).
  • Data access components - XmlLite is new with Windows Server 2003 SP2. XmlLite is a fast, low-level, native XML parser with a small memory footprint.
  • SP2 includes the Microsoft Management Console 3.0 (MMC 3.0) which is also found in Vista, and Longhorn Server.

So, about these top 10 reasons...well, I'm not going to just copy and paste them from one site to another, instead, you can find them over here with the obvious ones being improvements in security, deployment, networking and manageability, however, flying in at number 9, is 'Performance Improvements', but the statement doesn't suggest that the performance improvements are on the physical machine, but in a virtual environment, for when you are running WS2003 under Virtual Server.  This improvement, along with an improvement in SQL Server performance under intensive workloads, lead to more efficient data processing.  Great!

You can find all the different downloads of SP2 here, but I'd have a quick scan of the release notes before you install, just to be sure.  For those of you wanting to update Small Business Server 2003 R2,it's important that you read Knowledge Base Article 932600 before installing SP2.


  • On the roadshow I've been saying how great the Microsoft IT build of Vista is. The sheer simplicity of

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