Microsoft announced, even before the availability of Windows Server 2008, that the successor of Windows Server 2003 would in fact be the last 32-bit release of its server operating system. With the delivery of the first Beta of Windows 7 Server
, the company is making good on keeping up the pace with the evolution of CPU architectures, by scrapping x86 support. While when it comes down to the Windows 7 client
both x86 and x64 processors will continue to be supported as the Beta proved, Windows 7 Server is due to be exclusively 64-bit in order to stretch up to 256 logical processors.
“While the Windows 7 client is available in both x86 and x64 versions, Windows Server 2008 R2 is Microsoft's first 64-bit only OS. It also supports up to 256 logical processors, which opens up a whole new world of enterprise-class back-end processing power,” Oliver Rist
, technical product manager for Windows Server Marketing, revealed.
“Your existing servers will run faster, too, because Windows Server 2008 R2 takes advantage of the latest CPU architecture enhancements. You'll also get significant power management improvements via features like Core Parking.”
There are, of course, additional features specific to R2 that recommend the next iteration of the Windows server operating system over its precursor. Microsoft has already revealed the advantages that corporations would be able to enjoy because of features such as DirectAccess
. At the same time, Rist pointed out that the new New Group Policy object Windows 7 Server brought to the table would enhance the current level of client desktop management.
“Hyper-V in R2 now has Live Migration, allowing IT admins to move VMs across physical hosts, with no interruption of service or network connectivity and significant network performance improvements. VMs in Hyper-V for R2 also get greater access to physical resources, namely support for 32 logical processors. It all adds up to the most flexible virtual data center in Microsoft's history,” Rist added.
In addition, Windows 7 Server offers Remote Desktop Services replacing Terminal Services. Rist pointed out that one of the key elements of Windows Server 2008 R2's RDS was Virtual Desktop Infrastructure. The evolution of Terminal Services now permits the centralization of Windows desktops as virtual machines in the data center.
“Check out PowerShell 2.0. Next to Live Migration, 'more PowerShell' is the most consistent customer request we've had from Windows Server 2008,” Rist explained. “So, you'll find over 240 new cmdlets out of the box, along with new dev tools for building your own cmdlets that are not only more robust, but easier, too. The new PowerShell is so powerful, we're starting to build GUI-based management consoles that are based entirely on PowerShell in the background-check out the new Active Directory Administrative Center for starters.”