Windows Server 2008 R2 review

Windows 7 may now be available at retail, but for larger businesses it will only come alive when used in conjunction with Windows Server 2008 R2. We take a look what the new server platform brings.

Editor's ChoiceWindows Server 2008
Price
£1,722

The release of Windows Server 2008 R2 marks a significant turning point in the history of the Microsoft server platform. It's as major a release as NT 4 back in 1996, and the Server 2000/2003 editions. With Windows Server 2008 R2, there is a clear set of business reasons to move forward to this version, and it lays the foundations for many years of productive work ahead.

Advertisement - Article continues below

Some of the tweaks can be seen from the hardware changes. This release is 64-bit only across the board, and it can support up to 256 logical processor cores, with the HyperV VM engine supporting 64 cores within a virtual machine instance, up from 24. Such a change should give a taster for the depth of the capabilities that have been engineered into the kernel. This is an OS release that's looking forward to the middle of the next decade and beyond, and is happy to shrug off the 32-bit era of its predecessors. Although there is a long list of new capabilities within Server 2008 R2 itself, the real power and value comes when you deploy multiple components of the surrounding family too. This is the first version of Windows Server where hypervisor virtualisation is truly built into the core platform, and the default install for most implementations will be into a virtualised environment, probably using the Microsoft HyperV technology.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below
Advertisement - Article continues below

With that comes the need for strong server management tools, and Microsoft's offering here is better than it has ever been. And this allows for a rich and deeply managed infrastructure of server-hosted application servers, from web servers through Exchange Server to Sharepoint Server and into client desktop provisioning and application virtualisation and streaming. Looked at in isolation, Server 2008 R2 brings much to the table which is worthwhile. But it is when deployed within such a rich and interconnected ecosystem that the true value will be achieved. Indeed, we would go as far as to say that it should only be considered if you are prepared to dive in with both feet. If you are, then this cohesive platform will provide a level of service infrastructure that previous server generations could only dream of, and which will clearly lay the foundations for five, even 10 years of business computing.

Featured Resources

Preparing for long-term remote working after COVID-19

Learn how to safely and securely enable your remote workforce

Download now

Cloud vs on-premise storage: What’s right for you?

Key considerations driving document storage decisions for businesses

Download now

Staying ahead of the game in the world of data

Create successful marketing campaigns by understanding your customers better

Download now

Transforming productivity

Solutions that facilitate work at full speed

Download now

Most Popular

Visit/business/business-operations/356395/nvidia-overtakes-intel-as-most-valuable-us-chipmaker
Business operations

Nvidia overtakes Intel as most valuable US chipmaker

9 Jul 2020
Visit/laptops/29190/how-to-find-ram-speed-size-and-type
Laptops

How to find RAM speed, size and type

24 Jun 2020
Visit/server-storage/servers/356083/the-best-server-solution-for-your-smb
Sponsored

The best server solution for your SMB

26 Jun 2020