Just released to the web is the a significant release for the Windows Server 2003 platform in the shape of Service Pack 1 for x86 and Itanium. SP1 adds many new features and enhancements primarily in the area of security. If you haven't had a chance to play with the release candidates in a lab environment yes, here's some of the really great features
- The PSSU (Post Security Setup Updates) on clean builds and NT4 upgrades ensures that servers are secured from network vulnerabilities by being secured with the latest security patches at the time of initial installation.
- The SCW (Security Configuration Wizard) configures server security based upon existing server roles. It uses XML based templates to close un-necessarily open ports and services - akin to boarding up open doors. Being XML based, you can "roll your own" if servers have additional specific roles within your environment.
- The Windows Firewall builds on the Internet Connection Firewall and is now present in the server platform. Of course, it can configured through group policy which is a great advantage.
There's several other changes which increase security such as IIS 6 Metabase audition, and the addition of Network Access Quarantine Control components out of the box to isolate out-of-date VPN assets.
Of course, for those of you like me who run Windows Server 2003 on your primary "workstation", having Windows Media Player 10 is also a great bonus...
The home page for SP1 on Microsoft.com is here
SP1 Itanium: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=890C5C44-815C-45BD-8B08-4FE901BB8FDF
SP1 Checked Build Itanium: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=C45F733E-A206-432A-87E2-65A08276FB43
In addition, if you have any questions about SP1, I'll be doing a webcast on 10th May at 14:30 GMT. You can register for this event at https://msevents-eu.microsoft.com/cui/WebCastEventDetails.aspx?culture=en-GB&eventid=118758410.