windows server 2008 r2 bl h Windows Server 2008 R2 provides new virtualization tools, Web resources, management updates, and Windows 7 integration reduces costs, and provide for a dynamic and efficiently managed data center.

Windows Server 2008 R2 is available today through your MSDN and TechNet subscriptions. You can also download various editions and languages of the Windows Server 2008 R2 evaluation.

Here’s a list of updated and new features in the Windows Server 2008 R2 release.

The server will be publicly available October 22.

Value for ISVs

Key features for developers for your Windows Server 2008 R2 application are:

  • Support for Server Core. Server Core lets you run applications on servers without a user interface and ideal for data centers.  ASP.NET applications can now run on Server Core because it includes subsets of the 2.0/3.0/3.5 .NET Framework
  • APIs and tools to help your tune your parallel applications using NUMA. Many high-end server-class solutions may need to be architected with NUMA awareness in order to achieve linear performance scaling on such systems. Parallel Computing and High Performance Computing solution developers may also find NUMA awareness essential for performance scalability.
  • PowerShell 2.0. PowerShell offers interesting scenarios for your customers include remote execution, an integrated graphical development and runtime shell with localization capability, transactions, and background jobs. You can enable PowerShell from your application.
  • Windows Web Services. The Windows Web Services API (WWSAPI) is a new "minimalist" web services endpoint library available on Windows.
  • Background Services and Tasks. Inefficient background activity has a dramatic impact on system performance, power consumption, responsiveness, and memory footprint. You'll want to use best practices for background process design and dives deep on the capabilities of the Service Control Manager (SCM) and Task Scheduler.
  • Background Intelligence Transfer.

Windows Server 2008 R2 is 64-bit only. You will, however, be able to run your x86 binaries on Windows Server.   32-bit binaries will be dependent upon the "WoW-64" emulation layer (actually just a thin thunking layer on x64, and a full instruction set emulation layer on ia64).  

For more details about each of the features, see How to Get Started Leveraging Windows Server 2008 R2 Features.

Customer Value

The major technology investment areas for Windows Server 2008 R2 are virtualization, web, and management, along with features that improve scalability and reliability and deliver a strong business value when combined with Windows 7 clients.  These features include:

  • Live Migration: enables customers to move virtual machines from one host to another, with no end-user-perceived down time. Live migration facilitates hardware maintenance and upgrades, manual failover, and the consolidation of workloads on fewer servers. With this level of automation in the datacenter, IT costs related to labor, power, cooling and maintenance can be decrease.
  • Hyper-V support for up to 64 logical processors: increasing the logical processor support from 16 to 64 enables customers to achieve higher consolidation ratios with new multi-core hardware and more scalable virtualization scenarios than before.
  • Hyper-V processor compatibility mode for Live Migration: allows Live Migration across different CPU versions within the same processor family, (e.g.”Intel Core 2-to-Intel Pentium 4” or “AMD Opteron-to-AMD Athlon”) enabling migration across a broader range of server host hardware.
  • DirectAccess: allows remote workers to securely and seamlessly connect to their work environment as if they were on the corporate network and lets IT administrators continually manage those PCs as they are always reachable, without the use of a VPN, resulting in greater flexibility for remote workers and reduced administration costs.
  • BranchCache: customers can reduce Wide Area Network (WAN) bandwidth consumption between the datacenter and branch offices by keeping a branch copy of frequently used data. The result is a significant reduction in networking costs because most organizations pay for such bandwidth by the byte.
  • Remote Desktop Services: enables customer to deploy a unified infrastructure for all their centralized desktop deployments, whether based on user session or on VDI architecture.
  • File Classification Infrastructure (FCI): provides customers with a built-in solution for file classification and management, saving them time and money. Administrators can automatically classify files based on content and location, generate reports and schedule file management tasks to manage data, helping manage and mitigate risk to their business.  FCI also enables partners to build on top of it.
  • Power Efficiency & Management: a rewritten processor power management engine, careful tuning of settings, and new features such as tick skipping, timer coalescing, and core parking all contribute to improved power efficiency out-of-the-box. Customers can now remotely measure power consumption, manage power management settings or establishing power budgets on supporting hardware.

For more information about Windows Server 2008 and the value it brings to customers, please visit http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2008/en/us/R2.aspx

You can learn more about the key features of Windows Server 2008 R2: Customer Value Proposition Resources for Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2

Application Compatibility

Software applications designed for Windows Server 2008 may not be automatically compatible with Windows Server 2008 R2. All software applications must be tested and evaluated for full functionality on Windows Server 2008 R2 prior to claiming compatibility and support to ensure they run without issue on the new version.

Microsoft made some changes to the kernel and APIs to support virtualization, scalability, performance and networking enhancements, such as LiveMigration, greater than 64 processor affinity, enabling scalability to 256 threads.

Your applications may run perfectly without any modification or may require a hotfix or more specific update, particularly if the application has kernel drivers. If you haven’t done so, test your server application and declare your support for Windows Server 2008 R2 today and register in the Compatibility Center. You can do that through Front Runner.

Front Runner

frontrunnerlogo Sign up for the Windows Server 2008 R2 Front Runner program. Front Runner is an early adopter program for ISVs in the US that helps you get your applications compatible with the latest Microsoft technologies. Once you tell us that your application is compatible, you’ll get a range of marketing benefits to help you let your customers know you’re a Front Runner, including customizable marketing and PR campaigns as well as listings in Microsoft directories that are viewed by millions of people.

For ISVs outside the United States, you can participate in ISV App Compat for Windows Server 2008 R2.

Developer Kit

You can get started getting ready for Windows Server 2008 R2 with the Windows Server 2008 R2 Developer Training Kit.  The kit was updated in July.

The kit consists of Developer-oriented content including:

  • Windows Server 2008 R2, What's New
  • Developing Applications that Scale
  • How to Develop .NET and ASP.NET Applications for Server Core
  • Develop Native-Code Web Services
  • Event Tracing for Windows
  • 9 Scripted Presentations
  • 20 Scripted Demos
  • 10 Hands-on-Labs with about 30 Exercises

Also, see Introducing Windows Server 2008 R2 series of videos for developers on MSDEV.

More information

For more information, see Windows Server Team Blog. Here are some additional links.

Getting Started

Videos on Channel 9

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Bruce D. Kyle
ISV Architect Evangelist | Microsoft Corporation

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