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What's New in Windows Server 2003 R2

Published: December 6, 2005 | Updated: March 1, 2006

Windows Server 2003 R2 extends the Windows Server 2003 operating system, providing a more efficient way to manage and control access to local and remote resources while easily integrating into your existing Windows Server 2003 environment. Windows Server 2003 R2 provides a scalable, security-enhanced Web platform, seamless interoperability with UNIX-based systems and enables new scenarios including simplified branch server management, improved identity and access management, and more efficient storage management. Windows Server 2003 R2 Enterprise Edition also delivers dynamic new licensing that allows customers to get even more value out of server virtualization. This page provides an overview of benefits, new features, and improvements in Windows Server 2003 R2.

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Benefits

Building upon the increased security, reliability, and performance provided by Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 (SP1), Windows Server 2003 R2 extends connectivity and control to local and remote resources. Organizations can benefit from reduced costs and increased efficiencies gained through enhanced management and control over resources across the enterprise.

Simplified Branch Server Management

Windows Server 2003 R2 allows you to maintain the performance, availability, and productivity benefits of a local branch office server while avoiding issues typically associated with branch office server solutions such as connectivity limitation and management overhead.

BenefitDescription

Simplified
Branch Office
Server Management

Extends connectivity and reliability to and from the branch office while controlling the total cost of ownership of branch IT infrastructure.

More centralized management. Provides centralized management tools for file and print functions.

Reduced remote administration. Minimizes local administration and local back up.

Better WAN efficiencies. Enables faster data replication over wide area networks.

Improved Identity and Access Management

Windows Server 2003 R2 includes Active Directory Federation Services, which is designed to help administrators address identity management challenges by making it possible for organizations to share a user’s identity information more securely across security boundaries. Windows Server 2003 R2 also provides UNIX password synchronization, which helps integrate servers running Windows and UNIX by simplifying the process of maintaining secure passwords.

BenefitDescription

Improved Identity and Access Management

Extends value of Active Directory deployments to facilitate secure access across organizational and platform boundaries, to allow organizations to manage a single identity across partner, Web, and UNIX applications.

Greater user efficiency. Fewer user passwords, for both internal and partner-hosted web applications, through extranet Single Sign-On and identity federation.

Enhanced IT efficiency. Centralized administration of extranet application access, fewer password resets, and the ability to delegate user management to trusted partners.

Better security. Automated "shut off" of extranet access based on disabling a user's Active Directory account.

Better regulatory compliance. Log user access to partner applications in external security domains.

Improved interoperability with heterogeneous systems. Cross-platform Web Single Sign-On and identity federation using Web Services interoperability specifications and tools to manage and dynamically update user accounts and passwords across Windows and UNIX systems using Network Information Service (NIS). Also performs automatic synchronization of passwords between Windows and UNIX operating systems.

Reduced Storage Management Costs

Windows Server 2003 R2 includes new tools designed to provide a centralized view of storage; simplified storage planning, provisioning and maintenance; and improved monitoring and reporting.

BenefitDescription

Reduced Storage
Management Costs

Provides better control over storage setup and lower management costs due to improved storage management features.

Better storage utilization. Provides storage utilization information through detailed storage reports.

Better quota management. Monitors and controls disk space usage with directory quotas.

Better file screening. Limits types of files allowed on servers with file screening.

Simpler SAN configuration. Easily configures and provisions storage area networks (SANs).

Rich Web Platform

Windows Server 2003 R2 enables businesses to extend their infrastructure over the Web while reducing development and management costs through enhancements delivered with Windows Server 2003 SP1, x64 Editions, Windows SharePoint Services, .NET Framework 2.0, and Internet Information Services 6.0.

BenefitDescription

Rich Web Platform

Better performing web platform. Latest 64-bit and .NET technologies double the Web performance.

Windows SharePoint Services delivers a cost-effective collaboration solution that can be deployed, configured, and managed quickly.

ASP.NET enables fast development of rich, Dynamic Systems Initiative-ready Web Services and applications using the .NET Framework.

IIS 6.0 delivers a more secure, high-performance Web server.

x64 support enables better performance at lower cost.

Cost Effective Server Virtualization

Windows Server 2003 R2 Enterprise Edition (EE) will allow you to run up to four virtual instances of Windows Server 2003 R2 EE on one licensed physical server or hardware partition, thereby decreasing the costs of server virtualization.

BenefitDescription

Cost Effective Server
Virtualization

Better virtualization value. Windows Server 2003 R2 Enterprise Edition provides better value in server virtualization. Licensing policy changes now allow customers to run up to 4 virtual instances of Windows Server 2003 R2 Enterprise Edition on one licensed physical server or hardware partition.

Seamless UNIX/Windows Interoperability

UNIX Interoperability components in Windows Server 2003 R2 allow you to reduce costs by integrating UNIX and Windows systems to deliver a complete solution. The integration of security and directory services, file and printer sharing and re-use of UNIX code and IT skills across platforms delivers a simplified infrastructure and allows UNIX or Windows IT staff to manage both systems from one place.

BenefitDescription

Seamless UNIX/Windows Interoperability

Integrate UNIX and Windows systems and leverage existing IT skills using the components included in Windows Server 2003 R2.

Enable Cross Platform Management. UNIX administrators can manage both UNIX and Windows systems using many tools, utilities and scripts that you are using today with the Utilities and SDK Web Download, which includes shells and SVR-5 utilities. Windows administrators can use familiar Windows commands to manage UNIX systems, users, permissions and passwords.

Integrate UNIX Applications. The Sub-system for UNIX-based Applications (SUA), is a source-compatibility subsystem for compiling and running custom UNIX-based applications on Windows Server 2003 R2. SUA allows for some parts of a UNIX application to be run on Windows, for instance building a Windows-based Graphical User Interface (GUI) for an existing UNIX-based application.

Migrate UNIX Applications. SUA enables the phased migration of UNIX-based applications by allowing most custom applications to be re-compiled and run natively on Windows. Applications can be converted or re-written one component at a time, without significant end-user downtime or extensive cut-over times.


 

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