Server 2008 Preview: Good News, Bad News
A first look and analysis of the newest version of Windows Server
|“... Rounds up Longhorn, from horns to hooves...”|
a one-day course by Mark Minasi, author of the upcoming Mastering Windows Server 2008 from Sybex/Wiley
It's been five years since Microsoft delivered Windows Server 2003. Soon, however, things will all change again when they release what has been known as Longhorn, but is now officially named "Windows Server 2008." Whether you intend to roll out Server 2008 immediately or in three years, you need to know exactly what benefits, challenges, and opportunities this latest version of Server offers. In one day, Windows expert, journalist, consultant and best-selling author Mark Minasi shows you what's on the horizon — the good, the bad, the wonderful and the awful, and all in one day... with a chuckle or two thrown in.
Key Seminar Benefits
Windows 2000 Server brought new management tools in the form of the Microsoft Management Console (MMC), Windows Server 2003 built upon that with the Manage Your Server wizard, and Windows Server 2008 comes with its own management suite via a new application called Server Manager.
When comparing Server 2003 to Server 2008, you'll see a lot improvements that are quite useful, but that did not originate in Server 2008... instead, they debuted in Windows Vista. This section quickly reviews what Vista technologies comprise part of the reasons to upgrade.
Possibly 2008's most significant new technology is Server Core, a version of server that follows old notion that dictum "less is more." This section introduces you to this newest member of the Windows family.
Name Resolution Changes
The two big players in the operating system market, Windows and Unix in its many flavors (Sun, Linux, Mac OS, etc) are alike in many ways, but how they handle names is different. Windows supports an enterprise-level naming system in DNS, but is hobbled by the seemingly-inescapable limitations of WINS and NetBIOS. How does Server 2008 change this?
How to set up a 2008 based AD? Isn't it just DCPROMO? Well, yes, but...
Not only does 2008 deal a new sort of server in the form of Server Core, it also delivers a new and very interesting sort of domain controller -- a "Read-Only Domain Controller," or RODC. As their name implies, RODCs are domain controllers, but they're limited in two ways: first, they cannot make changes to the Active Directory database (so for example password changes and new account creation cannot happen on RODCs) and, second, they don't contain all of the domain database -- in fact, by default RODCs cannot perform any logons. What the heck good is a DC that by default can't do authentications? Join us for this section and find out why an RODC would be your third domain controller...
Ask an administrator what he or she would most like to do with AD, but can't, and you'll often hear, "more flexible password policies." 2008 answers that request with something that Microsoft calls "fine-grained password policies." Now you can require that Group A use complex passwords that they have to change every week, while letting Group B use five-character passwords that they needn't change more often than once a year. Neat, eh? Yes, it is, except actually creating those policies gets a little tricky...
Backing up domain databases has not changed since NT 3.1, to a certain extent. But Server 2008 changes all the rules with two new technologies (well, two and a half). 2008 also adds a new, easier-to-maintain approach to AD databases, as you'll see in this section.
Many computers want to get onto your network: consultant's laptops, employee machines that they've taken home and brought back, salespeople's machines... and you just know that they're all infested with worms, Trojans, and spyware, all waiting to pounce on your network. But what if you could make your network a bit smarter, and a bit more suspicious of new hardware? NAP lets you do that. Whenever a system tries to acquire an IP address from your network, the network requires that system to first undergo a series of "health checks," like "what Service Pack are you running?," "When did you last scan for malware?" and the like and, depending on the results of the checks, your network then may choose to refuse to issue an IP address to the new system.
While not precisely part of the product that ships as Server 2008, Microsoft's love affair with virtualization continues to blossom with some soon-to-arrive add-ons for Server 2008 that will make virtualization more and more "an offer you can't refuse"
Vista brought quite a number of changes to group policy, but Microsoft didn't get them all done in time for Vista... and so Server 2008 brings us some neat new group policy goodies, as you'll learn in this section
Windows Server 2003 R2 brought a replacement for the File Replication Service in a tool called DFS-R. (According to Microsoft, "DFS-R" doesn't stand for anything.) Vista brought a replacement for the engine that's allowed file sharing in Microsoft networking since 1985 -- Server Message Block 2.0 or SMB v2. Put 'em together and Server 2008 shakes things up just a trifle.
Terminal Services offers remote control, application serving and centralizing computer resources. But there's always been a feeling of a sort of incompleteness in Windows Terminal Services, inasmuch as, well, Citrix has always done a better job at application servers. Server 2008 takes some large strides, however, and, um, "borrows" some great ideas from Citrix, as you'll learn in this chapter.
One thing you can count on for every new version of Server is a bunch of big changes in Internet Information Server. In that department Server 2008 does not disappoint, as IIS 7.0 is one very different Web server.
The class works from PowerPoint presentations. Every attendee gets a printed copy of the PowerPoints. To make it possible to run this course in just one day, this runs in mainly lecture;/demo format. You'll see Server 2008 run through its paces in a series of interesting and explanatory demonstrations.
We offer this class as a public seminar occasionally; you can view the current schedule www.minasi.com/pubsems.htm. But you needn't wait — Mark can come to your organization to teach it on-site. On-site classes offer you the flexibility to lengthen or shorten the class, add hands-on labs, modify the course's focus and zero in on your group's specific needs.
Please contact our office at (757) 426-1431 between 12 Noon-5 Eastern time or email Assistant@Minasi.com to discuss scheduling and fees.