This week I received a copy of Windows Server 2008, (formerly Longhorn Beta 3) at Tech-Ed 2007 in Orlando, Florida and I wanted to briefly share some of the enhancements the next major version of Windows Server has to offer.
The installation of Windows Server 2008 has been simplified and it mirrors the Windows Vista installation in ease of use: several screens, about an hour and I was booting into Windows Server 2008. You can view my gallery of the Windows Server 2008 installation if you are curious as well.
Once the installation of Windows Server 2008 is complete, you’ll notice an Initial Configuration Tasks window. In Windows 2003 Server, you had a similar screen that allowed you to download updates, specify an administrator password, and allow inbound traffic to your server.
In Windows Server 2008, this is taken much further. On this window, you can specify an Administrator password, time zone settings, networking, download updates, configuration of your firewall, and server role customization.
In Windows Server 2008, a role is defined as what primary purpose the server is being created for. For example, if you turn on the Domain controller role, this server will be a Domain Controller. You can have multiple roles as well. You could turn on the Domain Controller role as well as the DHCP serve role. It all depends on the requirements of your infrastructure.
Windows Server 2008 offers you a vast amount of roles but you have the flexibility to choose only the roles that apply to your organization. Examples of roles include: Active Directory (AD) Certificate Services, AD Domain Services, Application Server, DHCP server, DNS Server, Fax Server, Web Server, Terminal Server, and a host of others.
By choosing only the applicable roles, you have a slim, streamlined Windows server running which increases security and decreases risk.