The base release of Windows Server 2008 came with upgrade functionality. The feature was unavailable, yet the button was there, so we knew it was coming. Among the Windows Server 2008 R2 beta's functionality improvements on Windows Server 2008 is that the upgrade functionality is now available.For most upgrade scenarios, the process would occur in a currently running version of Windows. The upgrade option is shown in Figure A. Figure A
Click image to enlarge.
In-place upgrades of Windows server systems are very rare, but they do happen. This functionality is currently only applicable to systems running an x64 operating system; the upgrade will not function on x86 editions of Windows Server. This effectively means that the base release of Windows Server 2008 was the last server operating system with an x86 option.
The upgrade functionality option fits well in the IT landscape right now. For new Windows Server 2008 installations, be sure to select the x64 edition during your initial build, so the migration to R2 will be rather seamless when it comes out. Many general purpose servers that are on x86 editions are not offered a native upgrade option.
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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.