Enterprises are regularly challenged by growing business needs, including the need to ensure that business operations are available around the clock and a constant demand for greater security and compliance—all while trying to control ever-increasing server sprawl, resources, and budgets.
Windows Server 2008 R2 provides powerful features that help businesses maximize the flexibility, availability, and control of their servers while reducing costs and enhancing IT performance.
- High Availability
The high-end editions of Windows Server 2008 R2 support several advanced strategies to help keep vital server workloads available to customers, partners, and employees—both around the world and around the clock. These range from built-in failover clustering in the event of a node failure to the ability to change memory and processors without rebooting the server.
Server virtualization technology can help your business optimize resources and realize significant infrastructure and management cost savings, by consolidating underutilized physical servers onto virtual servers running on fewer physical hosts. With Windows Server 2008, virtualization becomes a unique, high-availability strategy for businesses.
- Branch Office
Driven by the challenges of reducing the costs and complexity of Branch IT, organizations are seeking to centralize applications. However, as organizations centralize applications, the dependency on the availability and quality of the wide-area network (WAN) link increases. The increased utilization of the WAN link is a direct result of centralization, as is the degradation of application performance. Recent studies have shown that, despite the reduction of costs associated with WAN links, WAN costs are still a major component of enterprises’ operational expenses.
- Remote Access
One common problem facing most organizations is remote connectivity for their mobile users. One of the most widely used solutions for connecting remote users is a virtual private network (VPN) connection. Depending on the type of VPN, users may need to install VPN client software on their mobile computer and then establish the VPN connection over the Internet. The DirectAccess feature in Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 allows Windows 7 client computers to directly connect to intranet-based resources without the complexity of establishing a VPN connection.
Scalability is a central concern to IT organizations seeking to meet spikes in demand on essential applications or planning headroom for the future—essentially providing insurance for growth needs. Windows Server 2008 R2 provides numerous avenues for scaling, including support for tremendous memory and processor loads.
- Migrating to Windows
Historically, the primary line-of-business applications were run on mainframe, midrange, and UNIX/RISC platforms. With Windows Server 2003, the deployment of mission-critical workloads to Windows Server accelerated. Now, with the release of Windows Server 2008 R2, the largest, most complex tasks are now handled with improved reliability, scalability, and manageability.
- Identity and Access Management
In addition to the identity management features and improvements to security features available in all editions of Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise and Windows Server 2008 R2 Datacenter provide unique functionalities, like Active Directory Federation Services (AD FS) and Advanced Certificate Services, that maintain employee productivity while enhancing the security features of IT operations.
- Better Together—Application Scenarios
Microsoft SQL Server is used for database applications, where scalability and high availability are important.
Microsoft Exchange Server e-mail is considered a mission-critical application, since any downtime affects productivity. Implementing high-availability solutions for messaging is important. Scalability is a crucial benefit, enabling you to provide more mailboxes or to increase mailbox size with a smaller server footprint.
Microsoft Office SharePoint Server provides a platform for collaboration—a key enabler for better response and speed to market. The AD FS–based identity management features are critical for making collaboration highly secure across employees, vendors, and partners. The high–availability of Office SharePoint Server, supported by the high-end editions of Windows Server, makes cross-team collaboration effective and productive.
Windows 7 client has many features that are designed specifically to work with Windows Server 2008 R2. These include simplified remote connectivity for corporate computers by using the DirectAccess feature, secured remote connectivity for private and public computers, improved performance and security for branch offices, and many others.