Upgrading from Windows 2000 to Windows Server 2008 R2
Published: December 2009
The Microsoft® Windows® Server 2008 R2 provides significant enhancements over the Windows 2000 family of server products. This document provides an overview of the reasons to move to more recent versions of the operating system as well as information on the migration process, including references to various tools and resources.
Microsoft’s Support Lifecycle policy was originally announced on October 15, 2002 and the policy update went into effect June 1, 2004. The Support Lifecycle policy provides for at least 5 years of mainstream support followed by 5 years of extended support.
After 10 years of support, Windows 2000 Server will finally end support on July 13, 2010. As part of this retirement, updates – including security updates – will no longer available. While individual custom support agreements would enable customers to continue running in a supported environment after this date, most IT professionals would agree that the time has come to plan a migration to newer versions of Windows Server. In addition, Windows Server 2003 will be entering extended support at the same time as Windows 2000 end of life. More details on Microsoft’s Lifecycle policy can be found at http://support.microsoft.com/gp/lifepolicy.
Newer Microsoft® Windows® Server operating systems like Windows Server 2008 and R2 represent a significant advancement over the Microsoft Windows 2000 and 2003 families of operating systems. Each edition builds on the strengths of previous versions and leverages new innovations in technology to provide a platform that is more productive, dependable, and connected than ever before. New and improved file, print, application, Web, and communication services provide a more robust, comprehensive platform for your mission-critical business resources. Integrated features such as the Active Directory® service and enterprise-class security services allow you to provide secure yet flexible access to all the resources your users need. And new capabilities such as Microsoft’s server virtualization technology Hyper-V provide virtualization opportunities previously unavailable, and at no additional cost.
This document provides an overview of the migration process and provides information on some of the basic decisions you will make during the process. This document also provides pointers to the set of documents that provide more detailed instructions on moving from Windows 2000 to newer versions of Windows Server.
There have been hundreds, if not thousands, of improvements to Windows Server since the release in 2000. A complete and detailed comparison of newer versions of Windows Server to Windows 2000 Server is beyond the scope of this paper, but some of the advantages include:
Active Directory. The Active Directory service includes improved methods for finding and changing the location or attributes of objects, command-line tools, greater flexibility in working with the schema, application directory partitions and easier management. As directory-enabled applications become more prevalent, organizations can utilize the capabilities of Active Directory to manage even the most complicated enterprise network environments.
Application Server. Advances in Windows Server provide many benefits for developing applications, including simplified integration and interoperability, and increased efficiency, all of which results in lower total cost of ownership (TCO) and better performance.
Failover Clustering. Installation and setup is much easier and more robust and enhanced network features provide greater failover capabilities and higher system uptime. Clustering services have become increasingly essential for organizations deploying business-critical e-commerce and line-of-business applications.
Backup. Windows Server helps ensure higher reliability with features such as Automated System Recovery (ASR), making it easier to recover your system, back up your files, and maintain maximum availability. A faster, more scalable file system infrastructure makes it easier to utilize, secure, and store files and other essential resources. The Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) provides an infrastructure for creating a point-in-time copy of a single volume or multiple volumes.
Internet Information Services (IIS). Microsoft has completely revised the IIS architecture in Windows Server to address the demands of enterprise customers, Internet service providers (ISPs), and hosters.
Management Services.Easier to deploy, configure, and use, Windows Server provides powerful new remote management capabilities and Windows PowerShell which is both a command line environment and a scripting language which enables the automation of many management tasks.
Networking and Communications. Networking improvements and new features in Windows Server extend the versatility, manageability, and dependability of network infrastructures, expanding on the foundation established in Windows 2000 Server.
Security. Windows Server provides additional – and improved – security features, making it easier to secure a full range of devices. New security features include the Encrypting File System (EFS), certificate services, and Data Execution Prevention (DEP). The server core installation option can also help reduce attack surface and the need for updates.
Storage Management. Newer versions of Windows Server introduce new and enhanced features for storage management, making it easier and more reliable to manage and maintain disks and volumes, backup and restore data, and connect to Storage Area Networks (SANs).
Terminal Server – now Remote Desktop Services. Windows Server now offers new options for remote desktops, and enhances the value of legacy and “thin client” devices. Remote Desktop Services helps simplify remote connectivity, enabling rich applications to be accessed from a web page and seamlessly integrated with a local desktop, improving remote worker efficiency.
Windows Media Services. Windows Media® Services is the server component of Windows Media Technologies used to distribute digital media content over corporate intranets and the Internet. In addition to traditional digital distribution services, such as File and Web services, Windows Media Services delivers the most reliable, scalable, manageable, and economical solutions for distributing streaming audio and video.
Several areas entirely new to more modern versions of Windows Server include:
Virtualization. Whether consolidating underutilized servers through server virtualization or virtualizating the delivery of an individual application to desktop clients, the latest versions of Windows Server offer cost-effective virtualization capabilities unimagined in the Windows 2000 Server era.
Improved Power Efficiency. Over the past 10 years datacenters have grown, power costs have climbed, and environmental concerns have emerged as a significant influence on business choices – and the bottom line. Windows Server 2008 R2 is up to 18% more power efficient than prior editions of Windows Server.
Better Together with Windows 7. Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7 were developed in conjunction with one another, providing the opportunity to introduce features such as DirectAccess and BranchCache. DirectAccess allows users to connect to corporate resources without the need for a VPM – if you’re on the Internet you’re on the corporate network – securely. Administrators can manage remote systems connected through DirectAccess as well. BranchCache helps reduce WAN bandwidth usage in branch offices by enabling the automatic caching of files needed by multiple users – speeding users access to files and helping improve their network experience and productivity.