Remember a couple of years back, just before Windows Server 2008 launched? Well, for me, I knew this was going to be one of my focuses for that particular financial year, however, I also knew very little about 2008 as a technology! I was a Windows-Client boy! At that time, I was looking for a definitive resource that would provide me with some solid foundational knowledge about Windows Server 2008, without going into the deep technical side straight away. I found that resource, in the form of the ‘Introducing Windows Server 2008’ book, which I purchased when over at our internal technical conference in the US.
Fast forward (or should that be, FlashForward?) to present day, and R2 is here. Wouldn’t it be great if that same type or resource was available, for all those of you wanting to get up to speed on 2008 R2? Yeah it would! What about if it was free, as an eBook? Even better! :-)
In terms of the contents:
Chapter 1 What’s New in Windows Server R2 1 Chapter 2 Installation and Configuration: Adding R2 to Your World 9 Chapter 3 Hyper-V: Scaling and Migrating Virtual Machines 25 Chapter 4 Remote Desktop Services and VDI: Centralizing Desktop and Application Management 47 Chapter 5 Active Directory: Improving and Automating Identity and Access 65 Chapter 6 The File Services Role 91 Chapter 7 IIS 7.5: Improving the Web Application Platform 109 Chapter 8 DirectAccess and Network Policy Server 129 Chapter 9 Other Features and Enhancements 147
Windows Server 2008 R2, or simply R2 for short, is the second release of Windows Server 2008. It isn’t a completely new release, but rather adds additional features and refinements to the existing release. In this book, we focus on the new features and refinements in R2. We assume you have at least a general knowledge of Windows Server, and that you have some familiarity with Windows Server 2008, although we don’t assume you’re actively running Windows Server 2008. Where an R2 feature is a refinement of a feature that was new in Windows Server 2008, we provide background on the Windows Server 2008 feature to provide context.
Who This Book Is For
This book is targeted primarily at Windows server administrators who are responsible for hands-on deployment and day-to-day management of Windows-based servers for large organizations. Windows server administrators manage file and print servers, network infrastructure servers, Web servers, and IT application servers.
They use graphical administration tools as their primary interface but also use Windows PowerShell commandlets and occasionally write Windows PowerShell scripts for routine tasks and bulk operations. They conduct most server management tasks remotely by using Terminal Server or administration tools installed on their local workstation.
What This Book Is About
Covering every aspect of Windows Server 2008 R2 in nine chapters and approximately 200 pages is clearly an impossible task. Rather than try to cover everything, we’ve focused on what is new and important, while giving you the context from Windows Server 2008.
Chapter 1 - “What’s New in Windows Server R2” Provides a brief overview of all the new features and capabilities of Windows Server 2008 R2.
Chapter 2 - “Installation and Configuration: Adding R2 to Your World” Covers minimum system requirements, basic installation and configuration of R2, and what is involved in adding an R2 server to an existing Windows Server network. Configuration of the Windows Server Core installation option, added in Windows Server 2008, is covered, along with the steps required to add a Windows Server 2008 R2 domain controller to an existing Windows Server network.
Chapter 3 - “Hyper-V: Scaling and Migrating Virtual Machines” Covers the new Hyper-V features of Windows Server 2008 R2, including dynamic storage management and Quick Migration of clustered virtual machines (VMs). Covers creation and management of virtual machines using the Hyper-V Manager console, Windows PowerShell, and the Failover Cluster Manager console and discusses the features of System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 R2.
Chapter 4 - “Remote Desktop Services and VDI: Centralizing Desktop and Application Management” Covers Remote Desktop Services (the new name for Terminal Services) and the enhancements of Windows Server 2008 R2, including Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI), which uses the new RD Virtualization Host capability of R2 to provide desktop virtualization. R2 also includes an all-new Remote Desktop Services provider for Windows PowerShell.
Chapter 5 - “Active Directory: Improving and Automating Identity and Access” Covers the new features of Active Directory (AD), including an AD Recycle Bin, a new set of Active Directory Windows PowerShell cmdlets, and improvements in daily AD administration.
Chapter 6 - “The File Services Role” Covers the new File Services features, including BranchCache, Distributed File System–ReadOnly (DFS-R), and the File Classification Infrastructure (FCI).
Chapter 7 - “IIS 7.5: Improving the Web Application Platform” Covers the features of the new version of Internet Information Services (IIS), including the new Windows PowerShell management features.
Chapter 8 - “DirectAccess and Network Policy Server” Covers the Network Policy Server (NPS) and the new DirectAccess feature that allows Windows 7 computers to be transparently connected to internal network resources from anywhere without requiring a virtual private network (VPN) connection.
Chapter 9 - “Other Features and Enhancements” Covers the enhanced version of Windows Server Backup included in R2, including the Windows PowerShell commands for backing up. Also covered is the new BitLocker To Go capability, which provides an important new protection for removable volumes such as backup disks.
Download the PDF here (11mb)!
22nd October was a pretty significant day for Microsoft. As most of you will be aware, it was the day Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 were launched, and both are monumental releases for a number of different reasons. Windows 7 is a fantastic opportunity for Microsoft to drive the love back into the client OS after Vista, and in Server 2008 R2, there are enough Enterprise-class features and capabilities, for this to be classed as a major release, not the minor release suggested by the R2 naming…
Anyway, for you management fans, another product had a significant release on the 22nd; System Center Configuration Manager 2007, hit SP2. Why’s that significant? Well, how about this:
You can grab SP2 here.
Combine SCCM, with the free Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2010, and you’ve got a very powerful platform for deployment within your infrastructure.
A couple of weeks back (seems like ages now, but I’ve been moving house so I have an excuse!!) I blogged about Service Manager, and how it could be the next big thing in automating IT processes, workflows, and more, within an IT environment. At the time, All I provided was a video and a link to an online virtual lab.
Now however, you can start to get your hands dirty with it, as the public beta 2 is available for download. Firstly however, let’s expand on what Service Manager actually is. I’m going to take this directly from the Microsoft site:
Microsoft System Center Service Manager is an integrated platform for automating and adapting your organization’s IT service management best practices, such as those found in Microsoft Operations Framework (MOF) and Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL). It provides built-in processes for incident and problem resolution, change control, and asset lifecycle management. Through its configuration management database (CMDB) and process integration, Service Manager automatically connects knowledge and information from System Center Operations Manager, System Center Configuration Manager and Active Directory. Service Manager delivers integration, efficiency, and business alignment of the datacenter IT services by:
Optimizing processes and ensuring their use through templates that effectively guide IT analysts through best practices for change and incident management.
Reducing resolution times by cutting across organizational silos, ensuring that the right information from incident, problem, change, or asset records is accessible through a single pane.
Extending the value of the Microsoft platform through automated generation of incidents from alerts and the coordination of activities among System Center products.
Enabling informed and cost-effective decision making through its data warehouse, which integrates knowledge from disparate IT management systems, delivering out-of-the-box reporting and flexible data analysis through SQL reporting services.
So, where can you get it?
Right Here. Make sure you check out the Service Manager 2010 Beta 2 System Requirements – they’re quite hefty – you’ve been warned!
For those of you who have been baffled by my title acronyms, WDS is Windows Deployment Services, which is a role of Windows Server, that enables network based deployment scenrios, and acts as a platform for the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit, and System Center Configuration Manager. SCOM on the other hand, is System Center Operations Manager, which is focused on monitoring a number of different aspects of an infrastructure, such as hardware, software, storage, and applications to name but a few.
These IPD guides, (of which I’ve blogged about previously) now include the features and functionalities of Windows Server 2008 R2 around WDS, and also, in a separate guide, System Center Operations Manager 2007 R2. The guides outline the critical infrastructure design elements that are crucial to a successful implementation of these deployment and operations products.
The Infrastructure Planning and Design Guide for Windows® Deployment Services guides the reader through the process of designing a Windows Deployment Services infrastructure in a logical, sequential order. Following the six steps in this guide will result in a design that is sized, configured, and appropriately placed to enable rapid deployment of Windows operating systems, while also considering the performance, capacity, and fault tolerance of the system.
The Infrastructure Planning and Design Guide for Microsoft® System Center Operations Manager outlines the critical infrastructure design elements that are crucial to a successful implementation of Microsoft System Center Operations Manager. The guide takes the reader step-by-step through the process of designing components, layout, and connectivity in a logical, sequential order. Identification and design of the required management groups is presented in simple, easy-to-follow steps, helping the reader to design and optimize management infrastructure.
Download the IPD Guides for Windows Deployment Services and System Center Operations Manager at http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/solutionaccelerators/ee382254.aspx.
Infrastructure Planning and Design streamlines the planning process by:
Useful reading I’d say!
A couple of weeks ago, I highlighted an improved service for Microsoft Partners and Customers, known as Pinpoint. For those of you not familiar with what Pinpoint is, have a quick read of the previous post, and come back (we’ll wait for you!).
If you’re a Microsoft Partner, and you’d like to know how to put yourself even more in the shop window, and how to make your business rank higher in the Partner search results, then this could be the webcast for you.
Profiling and optimising solutions in Pinpoint - 8th October 2009 15:00 (GMT) – Use invitation code AAEF4C
Best of luck!