Server Management

The server manager gives you an overview of the running system, it includes computer-, security information and also shows us which roles and features are installed. It's also the central location to manage each of those roles because this MMC based console makes also usage of the Software Definition Model and knows every dependency of each role we can now monitor each role within this console. The many wizards built into Server Manager streamline the task of deploying servers in your enterprise by cutting the time it takes to install, configure, or remove roles, role services, and features. Multiple roles can be installed in a single session by using the Add Roles Wizard.
Most importantly, Windows Longhorn Server performs dependency checks as you progress through the Server Manager wizards, ensuring that all the roles and role services needed by the role you selected are installed, and that none are removed that might still be required by remaining roles or role services.

 

Branch Office Management

Windows Server 2008 allows you to get more control over your server and network infrastructure, which can be a valuable server to put into a branch office, take the possibility to encrypt the hard drives with the Bitlocker technology into consideration and you have a secured server. This means no need to put this server into a secured room, drives are encrypted and not readable when accessed from another computer, most of the branch offices don't have any these server rooms.
Prior to this release, users who had to authenticate with a domain controller, but were in a branch office that could not provide adequate physical security for a domain controller, had to authenticate over a wide area network (WAN). In many cases, this was not an efficient solution. An RODC is a new type of domain controller in the Microsoft Windows Server 2008. RODC hosts a read-only replica of the Microsoft Active Directory database. An RODC makes it possible for organizations to easily deploy a domain controller in remote locations where they have relatively few users, poor physical security, relatively poor network bandwidth to a hub site, and little local information technology (IT) knowledge. A branch office like in this scenario can deploy an RODC because of its reduced management requirements that are provided by such features as unidirectional replication.
By placing a read-only Active Directory database replica closer to branch users, these users can benefit from faster logon times and more efficient access to authentication resources on the network, even in environments with inadequate physical security to deploy a traditional domain controller.

 

Desktop Deployments

Windows Deployment Services (WDS) is an updated and redesigned Windows Server 2008 version of Remote Installation Services (RIS), WDS assists with the rapid adoption and deployment of image-based Windows operating systems. WDS allows network-based installation of Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 to even computers that have no operating system installed, and even supports mixed environments including Microsoft Windows XP and Microsoft Windows Server 2003. Windows Deployment Services thus provides an end-to-end solution for deployment of Windows operating systems to client and server computers and reduces the total cost of ownership (TCO) and complexity of Windows Server 2008 and Windows Vista deployments.

 

Restartable Active Directory

One of the main improvements in windows server 2008 is Restart able Active Directory; Active Directory can be stopped and restarted in Microsoft Windows Server 2008 with Microsoft Management Console (MMC) snap-ins or from the command line. Active Directory can be stopped so that updates can be applied to a domain controller, or administrators can stop Active Directory to perform tasks such as offline defragmentation of the Active Directory database — without restarting the domain controller. Other services that are running on the server and that do not depend on Active Directory to function, such as Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP), continue to be available to service client requests while Active Directory is stopped.

 

Virtualization

Windows Server virtualization is Microsoft's new hypervisor-based virtualization technology available as part of Windows Server 2008 The Windows hypervisor is a thin software layer between the hardware and Windows Server 2008 operating system, and allows multiple operating systems to run unmodified, on a host computer at the same time. It provides partitioning functionality and is responsible for maintaining strong isolation between partitions. With virtualization built into the operating system and with simpler, more flexible licensing policies, it's now easier than ever to take advantage of all the benefits and cost savings of virtualization.

 

Remote Access

Windows Server 2008 introduces new functionality in Terminal Services to connect to remote computers and applications. Terminal Services RemoteApp completely integrates applications running on a terminal server with users' desktops such that they behave as if they were running on an individual user's local computer; users can run programs from a remote location side-by-side with their local programs. Terminal Services Web Access permits this same flexibility of remote application access via Web browser, granting an even wider variety of ways user can access and use programs executing on a terminal server. These features in conjunction with Terminal Services Gateway allow users to access remote desktops and remote applications via HTTPS in a firewall-friendly manner.