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How Microsoft does IT: Windows Server 2008

How Microsoft does IT: Windows Server 2008

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There's some great examples on the web around how Microsoft is reaping the benefits of implementing Windows Server 2008, and I thought it would be worth sharing.

Microsoft IT’s Top Five Management and Operations Features in Window Server 2008

Microsoft IT manages one of the largest network infrastructures in the world in addition to being the first and best customer of Microsoft. Being an early adopter of Windows Server 2008 has provided Microsoft IT the opportunity to learn firsthand how some of the new and enhanced features have made significant impacts in its day-to-day operations.

Read the full article here

Microsoft IT's Benefits of a Server Core Installation of Windows Server 2008

Server Core is a minimal installation option for the Windows Server® 2008 operating system that does not provide a fully integrated graphical user interface (GUI) or other components and applications that are not required for supported server roles and features. A Server Core installation helps reduce the attack surface and allows for easier installation and configuration management.

Read the full article here

How MSIT Uses Terminal Services as a Scalable Remote Access Solution

Like many large organizations, Microsoft has a geographically dispersed work force. With more than 78,000 employees in 78 countries worldwide, Microsoft faces continual challenges with making corporate information easily available to workers from remote locations and with ensuring that important internal company information is as secure as possible.

Microsoft IT wanted to test the scalability and performance of Windows Server 2008 Terminal Services. This deployment was so successful that the pilot project was rolled into the production environment at Microsoft IT. This environment acts as an SSL-based remote access solution.

I'd strongly recommend reading this one - there's a great deal of information not only on TS, but also the components that make up a strong TS solution, such as the Session Broker, RemoteApp, Easy Print, and the Terminal Services Gateway.  The article, at the end, also highlights best practices for Enterprise deployments, including:

Limit computer-based NLB implementations to TS Gateway deployments that experience 1,500 or fewer simultaneous connections. The team calculated that Windows NLB would work best with a maximum of approximately 1,500 simultaneous connections. Adding more load-balancing servers would not appreciably increase the number of connections that the TS Gateway farm can host. For TS Gateway farms that experience more than 1,500 simultaneous connections, using a third-party load-balancing device is the best approach.

Deploy three or more NLB nodes to support TS Gateway in an NLB cluster. The maximum number of connections that a single NLB cluster node can support is limited by the CPU resources of that node. Depending on the CPU speed and other hardware resources of each cluster node, the team determined that three or more cluster nodes may be required in an NLB environment with a maximum of 1,500 connections for the whole NLB cluster.

Install TS Session Broker on a separate computer. The team found that to have the most flexibility in a load-balanced terminal server farm, the TS Session Broker component should run on a separate server. This type of installation enabled the team to take any terminal server offline for maintenance or upgrade purposes without affecting the availability of the terminal server farm. The team found that the hardware resources that the TS Session Broker computer requires are very light. Therefore, the team determined that the TS Session Broker role could be installed on a less capable computer, or the role could be combined with other roles in the organization.

Read the full article here

Watch the webcast here

There are also a number of other useful webcasts doing the rounds:

How Microsoft Does IT: Enhancing High Availability with Server Core in Windows Server 2008

In this webcast, we explain why Microsoft Windows Server 2008 is the next generation of the Windows Server operating system that helps information technology (IT) professionals maximize control over their infrastructure while providing unprecedented availability and management capabilities, leading to a significantly more secure, reliable and robust server environment than ever before

Webcast Link

How Microsoft IT Managed Windows Server 2008 Network Security

Discover the networking advancements and policy-driven network security features in Windows Server 2008. In this webcast, Microsoft IT explains the next generation of networking features in Windows Server 2008 and describes the network security solution scenarios these features enable

Webcast Link

How Microsoft IT Deploys Windows 2008 Clusters for File Services

Join this webcast to find out how Microsoft IT leverages clustering included in Windows 2008 Server to support users worldwide.  The solution is easy to plan, deploy and migrate from previous releases of Microsoft Cluster Server to Windows 2008 clustering technologies, leveraging built-in migration tools to quickly and simply upgrade.  The result is a set of Windows 2008 clusters deployed worldwide that support more users through increased reliability and features.

Webcast Link

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