The ongoing management of servers in the data center is one of most time-consuming task facing IT professionals today. Any management strategy you deploy must support the management of both your physical and virtual environments.
Another design goal for Windows Server 2008 R2 is to reduce the ongoing management of Windows Server 2008 R2 and to reduce the administrative effort for common day-to-day operational tasks. These administrative tasks can be performed on the server or remotely.
Management improvements in Windows Server 2008 R2 include:
Reduced administrative effort for administrative tasks performed interactively,
Enhanced command-line and automated management by using PowerShell version 2.0,
Improved identity management provided by Microsoft Active Directory® Domain Services and Active Directory Federated Services, and
Improved compliance with established standards and best practices.
Improved Data Center Power Consumption Management
With the proliferation of physical computers in data centers, power consumption is of paramount importance. In addition to the cost-saving associated with reducing power consumption, many data centers are constrained by the number of computers they can support in their data center by the actual power available to the data center. Therefore reducing your power consumption also allows you to support more physical computers while using the same amount of power, or less power, than before.
Window Server 2008 R2 includes the following improvements for reducing power consumption:
Windows Server 2008 R2 reduces processor power consumption in server computers with multicore processors by using a feature known as Core Parking. The Core Parking feature allows Windows Server 2008 R2 to consolidate processing onto the fewest number of possible processor cores, and suspends inactive processor cores, as illustrated in Figure 13.
Figure 15: Core Parking in minimal power consumption configuration
If additional processing power is required, the Core Parking feature activates inactive processor cores to handle the increased processing requirements, as illustrated in the following figure.
Figure 16: Core Parking with increased processing requirements
You can configure Core Parking by using the Group Policy settings in Windows Server 2008 R2 Active Directory Domain Services.
Reduced Processor Power Consumption
Windows Server 2008 R2 has the ability to adjust the ACPI “P-states” of processors and subsequently adjust server power consumption. ACPI “P-states” are the processor performance states within the ACPI specification. Depending on the processor architecture, Windows Server 2008 R2 can adjust the “P-states” of individual processors and provide very fine control over power consumption, as illustrated in the following figure.
Figure 17: “P-states” power management
You can configure how “P-states” are adjusted in Windows Server 2008 R2 by using Active Directory Group Policy settings.
Another key method for reducing power in data centers is by centralizing the storage, typically by using a Storage Area Network (SAN). Because SANs tend to have higher-capacity drives for the same amount of power consumption, the storage capacity–to–power consumption ratio in a SAN is higher than in a typical server computer. SANs also make more efficient use of the available disk space, as any server can have access to the available storage on the SAN.
The following figure illustrates a data center without efficient usage of centralized storage as provided by a SAN.
Figure 18: Data center with local storage in each server computer
Windows Server 2008 R2 supports the ability to boot from a SAN, which eliminates the need for local hard disks in the individual server computers. In addition, performance for accessing storage on SANs has been greatly improved. The following figure shows how booting from a SAN can dramatically reduce the number of hard disks and decrease power consumption as a result.
Figure 19: Centralizing storage to reduce power consumption
Improved Remote Administration
Remote administration of server computers is essential to any efficient data center. It is very rare that server computers are administered locally. Windows Server 2008 R2 introduces a number of improvements in remote administration, including the following:
Improved remote management through graphical management consoles. Server Manager has been updated to allow remote administration of servers. In addition, many of the management consoles have improved integration with Server Manager and, as a result, support remote management scenarios. For more detailed information about each management console, see “Management Console Improvements” later in this guide.
Improved remote management from command-line and automated scripts. PowerShell version 2.0 offers a number of improvements for remote management scenarios. These improvements allow you to run scripts on one or more remote computers or to allow multiple IT professionals to simultaneously run scripts on a single computer. For more detailed information about these remote management scenarios, see “Enhanced Remote PowerShell Scenarios” later in this guide.