Tuesday, December 5, 2006

New in Windows Server "Longhorn" - the next server OS from Microsoft

About a year ago both client and server upcoming operating systems were called Longhorn. A split was made, the client became Vista and the server part is still called Longhorn. Of course, as the release will come closer the name will change. Longhorn will ba a major release and that means fundamental changes from the core to the interface. Here are my favorite new features:

Network Access Protection (NAP)
Provides a new framework that allows an IT administrator to establish health requirements for the network, and to prevent computers that do not meet these requirements from communicating with the network. NAP enforces administrator-defined policies that describe the health requirements in the given organization. For example, health requirements may be defined to include having all critical updates to the operating system installed, or having antivirus or anti-spyware software installed and operational. In this way, network administrators can control the baseline level of protection all computers carry when connecting to the network.

Internet Information Services 7, ASP.NET, Windows Communication Foundation
IIS version 7.0 is a major enhancement to the existing Windows Web server and plays a central role in integrating Web platform technologies. IIS 7.0 introduces some major improvements to the way configuration data is stored and accessed. One of the key goals of the IIS 7.0 release is to enable distributed configuration of IIS settings, allowing developers to specify IIS configuration settings alongside code and content.

Windows Server “Longhorn” core
Administrators can choose to install Windows Server “Longhorn” with only core server functionality and without any extra overhead. This limits the roles that can be performed by the server and does away with the server graphic user interface (GUI), but it can improve security and reduce management. This type of installation is called a Server Core installation. Because Server Core installs only what is required to have a manageable DHCP, DNS, file server, or domain controller, less software maintenance—such as updates or service packs—is required for the server. Moreover, since there is less installed and running on the server, there are fewer attack vectors exposed to the network, and therefore less of an attack surface. In addition, if a security flaw is discovered in a file that is not installed, a patch is not required. Finally, because less functionality is installed on a Server Core-based server, there is less for administrators to manage.

Windows Deployment Services
Is the updated and redesigned Windows Server "Longhorn" version of Remote Installation Services (RIS). Windows Deployment Services assists with the rapid adoption and deployment of Windows operating systems. Windows Deployment Services allows network-based installation of Windows Vista™ and Windows Server "Longhorn", deploys Windows Vista and Windows Server "Longhorn" to "bare metal" computers (no operating system installed), and supports mixed environments including Microsoft Windows XP and Microsoft Windows Server 2003.

Server Manager
Windows Server “Longhorn” provides simplified, centralized server management through a single Server Manager interface. Server Manager provides a centralized source for managing a server's identity and system information, displaying server status and health, identifying problems with server role configuration, and managing all roles installed on the server. The Server Manager console is a new Microsoft Management Console (MMC) snap-in that allows administrators to view and manage virtually all of the information that affects server productivity and health.

Transactional NTFS
Windows "Longhorn" uses the kernel-mode transaction support to provide a transactional version of the NTFS file system, which allows transacted file-system operations within the NTFS file system—and the Transactional Registry—which allows transacted registry operations. NTFS and the registry have been enhanced to be able to coordinate their work with a transaction. Because transactions are necessary to both preserve data integrity and handle error conditions reliably, administrators can use Transactional NTFS to develop robust solutions on the Windows platform.

Terminal Services Remote Programs
Terminal Services enables organizations to provide access to programs running on a Windows Server "Longhorn" terminal server to users running Windows Vista or Microsoft Windows XP, Service Pack 2, with the newest Remote Desktop client. The remote program is completely integrated with the user's desktop and behaves as if it is running on the user's local computer. Users can run programs from a remote location side-by-side with their local programs.

Terminal Services Web Access
TS Web Access is a new Windows Server "Longhorn" feature that lets administrators make Terminal Services Remote Programs (TS Remote Programs) available to users from a Web browser. With TS Web Access, users can visit a Web site (either from the Internet or from an intranet) to access a list of available Remote Programs. When they start one of these programs, a Terminal Services session is started on the terminal server that hosts the Remote Program.

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