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Windows Server 2008 Thread, Why 2008? in Technical; Last summer we replaced our Servers with 2 new faster Servers (Evesham... but thats another story!) and upgraded to Win ...
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    aarono's Avatar
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    Why 2008?

    Last summer we replaced our Servers with 2 new faster Servers (Evesham... but thats another story!) and upgraded to Win 2003 from 2000.

    This was all an attempt to speed things up, increase storage, increase security etc...

    I am now thinking ahead to the future and wondering what benefits would come from upgrading to 2008. I am in no rush to upgrade but would like to know what main differences, improvements or additions I would find in 2008 server.

    Thanks for any info or advice on this matter.

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    torledo's Avatar
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    I'll tell you what we don't need......a zillion [well obviously, not literally] new group policies. We've got quite enough granularity with w2k3 r2 and the various adm's and cse's and what have you. Any more granularity and i'd rather just give everyone their own VM a la VDI and let them screw around as much as they want. Life's too short to spend 95% of the time administering, tweaking and probing vanilla windows server - whichever version. Any version that reduces that wasted energy is a good thing, couldn't tell you for sure if 2008 is THAT version.

    Hyper-v looks promising as a dip your toe in the water intro to server virtualization. Or for small scale virtualization

  3. Thanks to torledo from:

    aarono (30th September 2008)

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    Galway's Avatar
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    If you dont have any/many vista clients, then i doubt it would be worth the hastle of doing it for a year or so. I doubt I will be upgrading for the next few years, im quite happy with 2 DC's running 2003 Enterprise.

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    aarono (30th September 2008)

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    aarono's Avatar
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    Sounds like we aren't missing out on too much then, apart from some virtualization. Stick with what we've got then!

    Cheers

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    FN-GM's Avatar
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    We will be using Server 2008 Terminal Servers shortly. So to lock them down properly we are making our DC's Server 2008.

    I like the new group polices how you can map network drives by OU and you can also manage local user accounts, registry tweeks copy shortcuts and lots more

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    gshaw's Avatar
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    Evesham servers here as well (rebadged Supermicro Opteron jobbies, quick but not the best for management etc)... how I wish they were HP though! Looked at installing 2008 when we did our Exchange upgrade but none of the Evesham hardware had any driver support, plus being low profile PCI slots meant any chance of add-on RAID controller went down the pan as well

    I'm having to take a look at Vista as it's getting to the point where we're turning away students as we can't teach it... do you really really need 2008 to run it on a domain i.e. it won't work right otherwise?

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    SYNACK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gshaw View Post
    I'm having to take a look at Vista as it's getting to the point where we're turning away students as we can't teach it... do you really really need 2008 to run it on a domain i.e. it won't work right otherwise?
    Vista runs fine with 2003 servers, you just need to use a Vista SP1 computer with the managment extentions installed to manage the policies. I have not managed to get this setup to push prefferences properly though. You will also benifit from creating a central policy share in your SYSVOL which you can easily do manually.

    To the OP, 2008 adds a few features that can be handy like supporting multicast distribution of WIM images (Vista/XP or other). It can be installed without the GUI which makes it more secure and use less resources. You can push out single applications via terminal services enabling your users to have a terminally served application open as a normal window like any other local application on their pc.

    If you are using microsoft solutions for VPN access the new server also offers support for different VPN types like SSL tunneling allowing a much more seamless experience. This can be used in conjunction with a web page that allows you to offer TS applications over the internet from a browser. The 64 bit support is also much better and despite Torledos comments I think that the extra GPOs are a good thing as they let you centrally manage many more of the features without having to use many different methods ie scripts and policies and third party tools. You can also propperly resize partitions on a live system from the disk manager which is a very nice feature (included in vista as well) without third party tools. Password policies can also be applied at the OU level in 2k8 which allows for different rules applied to staff and students withou needing a seporate domain.

    There are deffinate down sides to it though as the guiless install still can't run some features as they are hopelessly tied into the gui. They killed off ntbackup in any remotely usable form and replaced it with an impotent version. Due to vendor lag there are still many bits of software that will not work with the enhanced security and even if they do work it is usually with a new version at a cost. Propper driver support is still limited especially as most of the installs are 64bit and in general most manufacturers are lazy, printers are some of the worst offenders. For the moment there is also much less information and experience avalible with 2008 server so answers can be much harder to find.

  10. Thanks to SYNACK from:

    gshaw (7th October 2008)

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    gshaw's Avatar
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    Yeah the Terminal Services stuff in 2008 looks really good, as does Hyper-V but can't test it at the moment as I haven't got anything spare that's good enough to do hardware virtualisation

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    matt40k's Avatar
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    Assuming the server supports it. Yes Hyper VM looks good.

    Just to make sure, Capita (SIMS) doesn't have support until Jan '09... something for most schools to thing about.

    SSL VPN looks interesting.

  13. #10

    elsiegee40's Avatar
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    We're on 2003 here, but the one thing that makes 2008 sound attractive (at leats in a primary school environment) is being able to have more than one password policy.

    Our 5 year olds need less complex passwords than the staff... unfortunately in 2003 one rule has to fit all.

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    ZeroHour's Avatar
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    We have hyper-v here and I have it clustered with high availability images. I think its brilliant tbh. Its not as powerful as VM's but for high available its a lot cheaper. The nice thing is disaster recovery will be a breeze when we are fully converted to hyper-v 2008 images as all you do is build a 2008 hyper-v base box and mount the image and your live again (assuming the problem was not part of the image itself)

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    wagnerk's Avatar
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    We use Hyper-V here and that works brillantly, next year we'll be upgrading to a 2008 domain (missed this year over summer due to too many jobs). One of the things I'm looking forward to, from a 2k8 domain, is the ability to implement different password policies on OU's instead of having just 1 password policy at domain level (in 2k & 2k3 environments).

    -Ken

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