Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 is the latest Windows Server operating system from Microsoft. R2 SP1 is the right foundation for today’s businesses to design tomorrow’s automated, secure datacenters and cloud computing solutions. And for today’s datacenter concerns, it can immediately reduce operating costs and increase efficiencies via featureslike enhanced management control, improved energy efficiency, and enhanced workload performance through full support for 64-bit computing. It also provides improved branch office capabilities, exciting new remote access experiences, streamlined server management, and a powerful new in-box virtualization solution spanning both clients and servers.
#1. Powerful Hardware and Scaling FeaturesWindows Server 2008 R2 was designed to perform as well or better for the same hardware base as Windows Server 2008. In addition, R2 is the first Windows Server operating system to move solely to a 64-bit architecture. Windows Server 2008 R2 also has several CPU-specific enhancements. First, this version expands CPU support to enable customers to run with up to 256 logical processors. R2 also supportsSecond Level Translation (SLAT), which enables R2 to take advantage of the Enhanced Page Tables feature found in the latest AMD CPUs as well as the similar Nested Page Tables feature found in Intel’s latest processors. The combination enables R2 servers to run with much improved memory management. Components of Windows Server 2008 R2 have received hardware boosts as well. Hyper-V in WindowsServer 2008 R2 can now access up to 64 logical CPUs on host computers. This capability not only takes advantage of new multicore systems, it also means greater virtual machine consolidation ratios per physical host.
#2. Reduced Power Consumption
Windows Server 2008 introduced a 'balanced' power policy, which monitors the utilization level of the processors on the server and dynamically adjusts theprocessor performance states to limit power to the needs of the workload. Windows Server 2008 R2 enhances this power saving feature by adding more granular abilities to manage and monitor server and server CPU power consumption, as well as extending this ability to the desktop via new power-oriented Group Policy settings. Active Directory Domain Services Group Policy in Windows Server 2008 alreadygave administrators a certain amount of control over power management on client PCs. These capabilities are enhanced in Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7 to provide even more precise control in more deployment scenarios for even greater potential savings.
#3. Hyper-V in Windows Server 2008 R2
Windows Server 2008 R2 also holds the much-anticipated update to Microsoft’s virtualizationtechnology, Hyper-V. The new Hyper-V was designed to augment both existing virtual machine management as well as to address specific IT challenges, especially around server migration. Hyper-V is an enabling technology for one of Windows Server 2008 R2’s marquee features, Live Migration. With Hyper-V version 1.0, Windows Server 2008 was capable of Quick Migration, which could move VMs betweenphysical hosts with only a few seconds of down-time. Still, those few seconds were enough to cause difficulties in certain scenarios, especially those includling client connections to VM-hosted servers. With Live Migration, moves between physical targets happen in milliseconds, which means migration operations become invisible to connected users. Making this even easier is a new feature calledprocessor compatibility mode, which allows administrators to migrate machines between different generations of same-brand CPUs. Customers employing System Center Virtual Machine Manager for Hyper-V will also enjoy additional management and orchestration scenarios, including a new VM-oriented Performance and Resource Optimization feature and updated support for managing failover clusters. The new Hyper-V...