PC-World’s Windows Server 2008 Revue

win Server 2008

Microsoft’s long-awaited Windows Server 2008 delivers advancements in speed, security, and management, but its virtualization and network-access control features come up short.

In Network World testing of Windows Server 2008 gold code — the product officially launches on Wednesday. Microsoft has made a number of improvements to its flagship server operating system.

For example, new server administrative role schemes boost security, the Server Manager program improves manageability, Internet Information Server (IIS) Web management functionality is revamped, Active Directory is easier to control, and Windows Terminal Services has been redesigned. Windows Server 2008 is also significantly faster than Windows Server 2003, especially when client machines are running Vista.

Unfortunately, a highly anticipated feature of Windows Server 2008, the Hyper-V server virtualization tool, is missing also compatibility between non-Windows (and older Windows) clients and Microsoft’s Network Access Protection (NAP) scheme, Microsoft’s version of NAC. Microsoft includes a beta version of Hyper-V with Windows Server 2008 editions, but it will not release final code until the third quarter of this year.

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