When Windows Server 2008 R2 is released in 2009 or 2010 (that is the current projected timeframe), there will be some important features about this release. The most prominent is that Windows Server 2008 will solely be an x64 platform with the R2 release. This will make the upgrade to x64 platforms not really a surprise, as all current server class hardware is capable of 64-bit computing. There is one last window of time to get a 2008 release of Windows still on a 32-bit platform before R2 is released, so do it now for those difficult applications that don't seem to play well on x64 platforms.
Beyond the processor changes, here are the other important features of the R2 release of Windows Server 2008:Hyper-V improvements: The Hyper-V is planned to offer Live Migration as an improvement to the initial release of Quick Migration; Hyper-V will measure the migration time in milliseconds. This will be a solid point in the case for Hyper-V compared to VMware's ESX or other hypervisor platforms. Hyper-V will also include support for additional processors and Second Level Translation (SLAT). PowerShell 2.0: PowerShell 2.0 has been out in a beta release and Customer Technology Preview capacity, but it will be fully baked into Windows Server 2008 R2 upon its release. PowerShell 2.0 includes over 240 new commands, as well as a graphical user interface. Further, PowerShell will be able to be installed on Windows Server Core. Core Parking: This feature of Windows Server 2008 will constantly assess the amount of processing across systems with multiple cores, and under certain configurations, suspend new work being sent to the cores. Then with the core idle, it can be sent to a sleep mode and reduce the overall power consumption of the system.
All of these new features will be welcome and add great functionality to the Windows Server admin. The removal of x86 support is not entirely a surprise, but the process needs to be set in motion now for how to address any legacy applications.
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Rick Vanover is a software strategy specialist for Veeam Software, based in Columbus, Ohio. Rick has years of IT experience and focuses on virtualization, Windows-based server administration, and system hardware.