Windows Server Top 5 Benefits for Today’s Workforce


I’ve pubbed often on the feature benefits of Windows Server
2008 R2. But geek talk aside, what are the other benefits that the Windows
Server platform provides to businesses? Some think time brings out my Top 5
reasons listed below.


1.    
A pervasive
and open server platform
. Currently, of the Fortune
Top 100 Companies in 2009, 98% are using Windows Server products. With a
presence like that, companies looking to connect with
customers and partners via back-end applications, like e-commerce and
supply-chain apps, have a much easier time building such solutions. Such a
large presence also necessitates Windows Server be a platform that supports industry
standards for software development and hardware manufacture. Microsoft utilizes
these characteristics of Windows Server to provide useful tools for building
custom applications, including tight interoperablity with Microsoft SQL Server,
Internet Information Services and a rich
suite of development
tools
. Again, an easier time for customers looking to customize their IT
investments.

2.    
Windows Server
means mission-critical
. According
to IDC
, Windows Server 2008 is the number 1 server operating system
deployed for mission-critical workloads, and to keep that trend going, Windows
Server 2008 R2 includes a host of new reliability features that make it a solid
platform for your mission-critical applications. R2 supports up to 256 logical
processors and 2TB of RAM as well as full support for the latest server CPUs, including
the almost-here Intel Nehalem EX.
R2 also adds reliability features,
including improved multi-site clustering and Live Migration (for moving virtual
server between physical hosts with no perceived end-user downtime). That
engineering is allowing R2 to set new performance records such as a recent
world-record 2,012 tpsE score*, a #1 ranking, on the TPC-E online transaction
processing benchmark in conjunction with Unisys hardware.  All this adds up to a server platform
that can support powerful and redundant hardware configurations to keep your
mission-critical applications running smoothly.

*(Transaction Processing
Performance Council (www.tpc.org).  Results as of
2/3/10.  Unisys ES7000 Model 7600R Enterprise Server, 2012 tpsE, 958
$/tpsE, available 5/6/10.)

3.    
On a nittier grittier level, Windows Server 2008 R2 is the most power-efficient Windows Server to date,
leveraging both new power management capabilities in our operating system as
well as support for the latest power efficient CPUs and hardware from our
hardware partners. Leveraging capabilities like Power-Process Management, Core
Parking, Power Monitoring and Metering helps lower power consumption for your
company.

4.    
Windows Server 2008 R2 also gives you a complete virtualization platform out of
the box
. Move to Windows Server 2008 R2 and you’ll get the next generation
of our Hypervisor, Hyper-V R2, which now includes advanced business continuity
scenarios like the above-mentioned Live Migration. The new Hyper-V is also a
faster performer than its predecessor with support for the latest CPU
technologies as well as new network optimization features. Virtualization isn’t
just server virtualization either. The new Remote
Desktop Services
and the Virtual
Desktop Infrastructure
allow organizations to provide virtualized desktops
and applications to end-users with performance and rich-media support that can
make them indistinguishable from locally-run applications.

5.    
Easy
customized and automated management with PowerShell and System Center
. PowerShell
2.0
comes with Windows Server 2008 R2 and is significantly richer and more
pervasive than the well-received PowerShell in Windows Server 2008. Over 600
new cmdlets come in the box along with a new development environment for
building your own. For enterprises with large data center management needs or
small businesses with limited IT support, the System Center
product suite
offers powerful management tools in a variety of packages.

I’m only scratching the surface of benefits that Windows
Server has for your business, but you can view the above as my marquee
headliners. In my opinion, another key benefit, though less easily defined and
certainly not called out as often, is tomorrow’s innovation. With Windows
Server playing a key role in both Microsoft’s public and private cloud
computing scenarios, for example, customers will be in a great position to
leverage these new computing benefits as they become available. Keeping
yourself future-safe was always a key consideration during my IT pro days.

Again, however, this is just my two
cents. For those who want to drill deeper into Windows Server’s innards and
strategy, the February issue of Windows
IT Pro
magazine includes a broad set of interviews with Bill Laing (who
heads the Windows Server team) and Ward Ralston (group product manager on the
Windows Server team) on some of the deep dive details on the product.  The
Windows IT Pro Q&A with Michael
Otey and Ward can be accessed here, Windows IT Pro subscribers can access
all the articles online, or you can find them in the February hard copy issue
of the magazine as well.  Additionally, check out the video below of Ward on the evolution of
server computing over the years and some of the benefits of virtualization.


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