I was lucky enough to attend the Microsoft New Efficiency event for Windows Server 2008 R2 on Monday. It was a limited capacity technical briefing aimed at IT Professionals. They also had an Exchange 2010 and Windows 7 track at the same time but I chose to attend the Server 2008 R2 track. It was divided into 4 sections and was hosted by Kevin Saye (email@example.com) who is the Pre-sales technical support specialist for Windows Server in this region. I’ve heard him speak at events before but never had a chance to actually do a QA session with him till now.
So, on to the new stuff in Server 2008 R2 that I found interesting! This is not a comprehensive list by an means, just the stuff I thought was very useful. I’ll go over each in detail in the coming days and how it will fit into your enterprise environment.
-Active Directory Administrative Center (ADAC)
-Managed Service accounts
-Active Directory Recycle Bin
-Turning off CPU cores to conserve power
-Group policy can now execute Powershell scritpts
-Group policy granularity through item level targeting
-FCI to classify data and take actions on it
-.NET now runs on Server Core installs
-Remote Desktop Services now has multi-monitor support (up to 8 monitors), bi-directional audio (useful for VOIP), and enhanced multimedia support using your local graphics card instead of “screen painting” as it was before.
-DirectAccess with Windows 7 and Server 2008 R2 – Extends the network to include remote users instead of just a remote user dialing in via VPN. Uses the Teredo protocol. Was able to access the Microsoft intranet site (http://msw) without ever having to dial in and from behind a corporate firewall. It uses IPsec and it only works with Windows 7 machines which are on the domain.
-Branch Cache – Caches only the requested data unlike DFS. Means a lot less space is required unlike DFS which is an exact duplicate.
Kevin says expect to see more componentization in MS products. Expect to moved vhds around on servers like OS, Apps, & Data vhds interchangeably on your VMs.