Today, the Windows Server Team announced that Windows Server 2008 R2 has reached the Released To Manufacturing (RTM) milestone, which means this latest release of Windows Server 2008 R2 is now blessed by engineering as ready for the manufacturing process.  This announcement comes on the same day as the announcement that Windows 7 RTM’s!  This truly marks a very exciting time for the Windows Server and Windows Client teams and all of our Partners and customers around the world!

According to the Windows Server Division Blog Post, there are many reasons to rejoice.  Here are just a select few:

For Administrators:

  • Hyper-V and Live Migration - still the big stars. R2's Hyper-V enables a complete server virtualization solution available out-of-the-box. Live Migration allows server administrators to migrate VMs between physical machines with no perceived downtime for current server connections and work streams. That means a more dynamic datacenter and more agility in meeting new business needs For more information on Hyper-V in R2, check out today's in-depth post on the Virtualization Team blog.
  • File Classification Infrastructure - FCI lets you manage your data based on its characteristics, including things like file type, user credentials and even content. Based on this kind of criteria, FCI can assign data different access restrictions, store it in different locations or simply push it into an entirely customized lifecycle scheme - all done automatically via policy. For me, this is one of the most exciting new features in R2.
  • Active Directory and Pervasive PowerShell - 240 new PowerShell cmdlets and several management consoles (including a new Active Directory interface) have been built on top of PowerShell. Active Directory has also been enhanced with the Active Directory Recycle Bin as well as AD Group Policy objects that give desktop administrators deeper capabilities when it comes to managing Windows 7 clients.
  • IIS 7.5 - The latest edition of Internet Information Server also sports updated management tools as well as application serving capabilities that now including support for PHP and .NET on Server Core installations.
  • Server Scalability - Not only is R2 Microsoft's first 64-bit-only operating system, it also supports up to 256 logical processors in a single server as well as all the latest CPU technologies. And, R2 has support for advanced storage technologies, including SAN management and solid state hardware.

    For Users:

  • DirectAccess, for example, provides secure, always-on access to corporate networks no matter from what network a client might be connecting. Better yet, it provides a two-way relationship allowing desktop admins to manage clients the same way whether they're local or remote.
  • BranchCache allows users in remote offices to cache corpnet data locally, providing a better work experience for remote workers while simultaneously lowering expensive WAN bandwidth costs.
  • Remote Desktop and Applications - Windows Server 2008's Terminal Services has now evolved into R2's Remote Desktop Services, and it integrates so tightly with Windows 7 that administrators will be able to roll out virtualized applications and even entire desktop environments without users being able to tell that these tools aren't running locally. It's fast and can even be managed via policy. Very cool stuff.

    One question I am sure will come up that the Windows Server Team has already addressed is, those of you already running Windows Server 2008 don't need new Client Access Licenses (CALs) when updating to Windows Server 2008 R2, which helps make for a very cost-effective upgrade.

    Thanks again to the Windows Server Division for posting this information up on their Team Blog and congratulations on reaching the RTM stage!

    Thank you and have a wonderful day,

    Eric Ligman – Follow me on clip_image001 clip_image002
    Global Partner Experience Lead
    Microsoft Worldwide Partner Group
    This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights

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