Microsoft Windows Server 2003 R2 makes it easier and more cost-effective to extend connectivity and control to identities, locations, data, and applications throughout and beyond your organization. Windows Server 2003 R2 is an update release of the award-winning Windows Server 2003 operating system. Built on Windows Server 2003 with Service Pack 1 (SP1), Windows Server 2003 R2 takes advantage of the stability and security enhancements of a proven code base while extending connectivity and control into new areas. Windows Server 2003 R2 offers all the benefits of Windows Server 2003 with SP1 while greatly improving identity and access management, branch server solutions, storage setup and management, and application development inside and outside your organization’s traditional boundaries. Use Windows Server 2003 R2 to:
Simplify Branch Server Management: Windows Server 2003 R2 allows you to maintain the performance, availability, and productivity benefits of a local branch office server while avoiding issues typically associated with branch office server solutions such as connectivity limitation and management overhead.
Improve Identity and Access Management: Windows Server 2003 R2 includes Active Directory Federation Services, designed to help administrators address identity management challenges by making it possible for organizations to share a user’s identity information more securely across security boundaries. R2 also provides UNIX password synchronization which helps integrate servers running Windows and UNIX by simplifying the process of maintaining secure passwords.
Reduce Storage Management Costs: Windows Server 2003 R2 includes new tools designed to provide a centralized view of storage, simplified storage planning, provisioning and maintenance, and improved monitoring and reporting.
Provide a rich Web Platform: Windows Server 2003 R2 enables businesses to extend their infrastructure over the Web while reducing development and management costs through the enhancements delivered with SP1, x64, Windows SharePoint Services, .NET Framework 2.0, and Internet Information Services 6.0.
Provide cost effective server virtualization: Windows Server 2003 R2 Enterprise Edition will allow you to run up to 4 virtual instances of Windows Server 2003 R2 EE on one licensed physical server or hardware partition, thereby decreasing the costs for server virtualization.
Simplified Branch Server Management
Windows Server 2003 R2 delivers on the vision and provides the underlying technologies needed to simplify integration of branch office servers into a larger enterprise IT ecosystem. Windows Server 2003 R2 allows customers to maintain the performance, availability, and productivity benefits of a local branch office server while avoiding issues typically associated with branch office server solutions such as connectivity limitations and management overhead.
To achieve this vision, Windows Server 2003 R2 provides a branch office framework for the deployment and management of key server roles that are conceptually comprised in the following modes:
Optional. Remote clients can failover from the local branch office server to another server — determined by closest site selection — if local services become unavailable. Clients automatically failback to a preferred server when services are restored.
Disposable. The branch office server performs as a service cache that does not hold a unique state and does not require system backup. If the server fails, there is no impact on branch office functionality.
Replaceable. If the branch server fails, it can be replaced, re-provisioned, or redeployed — server roles are well-adapted for branch offices and varying roles can be deployed as one. The recovery of data is automated.
Windows Server 2003 R2, the first in a wave of upcoming branch office technologies from Microsoft and industry partners, offers functionality that streamlines operations for remote file and print servers. Windows Server 2003 R2 features deliver distinct advantages for branch office integration through:
Robust File Replication — Windows Server 2003 R2 includes a completely rewritten replication engine for the Distributed File System (DFS). DFS Replication (DFS-R) provides a robust multimaster file replication service that is significantly more scalable and efficient in synchronizing file servers than its predecessor, File Replication Services (FRS). DFS-R schedules and throttles replication schemes, supports multiple replication topologies, and utilizes Remote Differential Compression (RDC) to increase WAN efficiency. If WAN connections fail, data can be stored and forwarded when WAN connections become available.
Advanced Compression Technologies — Remote Differential Compression (RDC) is a WAN-friendly compression technology that replicates only the changes needed to ensure global file consistency. RDC thus provides significant WAN efficiencies, including enhanced performance with replicated file size, an area of primary importance for branch office servers based on customer feedback.
Enhanced Management Tools —
The Print Management Console (PMC) provides a richer view of a network’s printer topology, enabling an IT administrator to monitor and react quickly to printer situations and thus allow seamless productivity for branch office print users. Ultimately, PMC allows branch servers to perform as print servers, due to the manageability benefits it provides.
Microsoft Management Console (MMC) 3.0 has been expanded to include an enterprise-wide administration framework for managing file and print services. Administrators will benefit from the familiar look and feel of Microsoft’s standard management interface. Businesses can mitigate the need for on-site administrators or third-party consultants for resolving local issues.
The enhanced DFS Namespaces (DFS-N) user interface allows for easier management of file system roots within a network infrastructure, presenting shared folders to users as a grouping called a “Namespace.”
In addition, Microsoft Operations Manager 2005 (MOM) Management Pack for DFS provides more granular management functions than FRS.
Centralized Data Stores — Centralized data stores reduce the management costs of geographically disbursed mini data centers. The replication of branch office data is automated to a central location at specified intervals when there is available bandwidth. In this way round trips are minimized.
Increased End-User Productivity — Branch servers provide reliable and consistent access to the latest data that end users and applications rely on. The server employs local data to handle local requests or central servers in the event that a local server becomes unresponsive.
Simplified Identity and Access Management
Organizations today are taking advantage of Web services to integrate their disparate internal applications. Furthermore, they are moving towards providing external users access to these internal applications. This allows organizations to better connect and collaborate with their customers, partners, and suppliers, helping to increase revenue growth, improve end-user satisfaction, and reduce operational costs.
Extending internal applications to external users presents IT with security and administration challenges. Organizations must be confident that only appropriate external users are provided access to company data, and that the access granted is consistent with the user’s role. . In addition, they must manage the increased administrative workload that commonly results from dramatically expanding the infrastructure user base.
Active Directory® Federation Services (ADFS) is a new feature in Windows Server 2003 R2 designed to help administrators address identity management challenges by making it possible for organizations to share a user's identity information securely across enterprise or organizational security boundaries. ADFS extends the value of Active Directory deployments to facilitate collaboration with partners, resulting in increased user productivity, greater IT efficiency, and better security. It also extends the value of Windows Server identity services in internet-facing Web environments, enabling stronger authentication for extranet deployments, native delegated administration, and close integration with Microsoft technologies.
In addition to ADFS, Windows Server 2003 introduces enhancements to Active Directory Application Mode (ADAM), as well as UNIX identity management features such as Server for Network Information Services, which helps integrate Windows® and UNIX-based Network Information Service (NIS); and Password Synchronization, which helps integrate servers running Windows and UNIX by simplifying the process of maintaining secure passwords.
Efficient Storage Management
To help accommodate the widely varying storage management capabilities found throughout the IT industry, Windows Server 2003 R2 includes new tools designed to provide 1) a centralized view of storage; 2) simplified storage planning, provisioning and maintenance; and 3) improved monitoring and reporting. These benefits are captured in convenient new tools that enable administrators to more efficiently manage storage across IT resources and optimize storage space on those resources. Storage management extends to two key new features contained in Windows Server 2003 R2:
File Server Resource Manager – File Server Resource Manager (FSRM) enables system administrators to understand how storage is being used and to manage the use of their storage by generating storage reports, applying quotas to volumes and folders, and screening files on the server. Using FSRM you can better plan and optimize storage by creating quotas, creating file screens, and scheduling storage reports.
Storage Manager for SANs – Storage Manager for SANs enables customers to provision storage on one or more storage subsystems on a storage area network (SAN). Based on Microsoft Virtual Disk Service (VDS) technology, Storage Manager for SANs allows provisioning on Fibre Channel and Internet SCSI (iSCSI) storage subsystems.
Improved Web Platform
Windows Server 2003 R2 delivers on the vision and provides the underlying technologies needed to deliver a secure, scalable Web Platform. Windows Server R2 delivers on the promise to enable businesses to extend their infrastructure over the Web while reducing development and management costs through the enhancements delivered with Windows Server 2003 SP1, x64, Windows SharePoint Services, .NET Framework 2.0, and Internet Information Services 6.0.
As organizations seek to take advantage of the great potential of the web-enabled enterprise, they are challenged to extend their business infrastructure to deliver:
Effective collaboration across and beyond organizational boundaries.
Efficient development of rich applications that scale with their needs.
Lower cost of management and maintenance of Web infrastructure.
Windows SharePoint Services delivers a cost effective collaboration solution that can be deployed, configured, and managed quickly and at very low cost.
ASP.NET enables fast development of rich, DSI-ready Web Services and Applications using the .NET Framework included in Windows Server 2003 R2. .NET Framework 2.0 simplifies and accelerates configuration, deployment, and management of secure, scalable Web applications.
IIS 6 delivers a secure, high-performance Web server that is significantly enhanced by technology offered in Windows Server 2003 R2. Highest possible security is ensured by a built in security advisor. Downtime and errors are greatly reduced with improved debugging capabilities. Finally, x64 supportability allows IIS to deliver more performance for less money.
With Windows Server 2003 R2 Enterprise Edition, each software license allows you to run, at any one time, one instance of the server software in a physical operating system environment and up to four instances of the server software in virtual operating system environments. These new use rights enable customers to save costs by using virtualization to consolidate their servers. In order to run the additional instances in a virtual operating system environment, you must also license virtualization software, such as Microsoft Virtual Server 2005. The licensing change, allowing up to four instances, is specific to Windows Server 2003 R2 Enterprise Edition. For the Standard Edition of Windows Server 2003 R2, you may only run one instance in either the physical or virtual environment. For the Datacenter Edition of Windows Server 2003 R2, in addition to running one instance of the software in a physical operating system environment per hardware partition on a licensed server, you may run one instance of the software in a virtual operating system environment per licensed processor on that server. For more detailed information on the license terms for Windows Server R2, check the following resources on this page. For licensing questions on the Datacenter Edition of Windows Server, contact your OEM that licenses Datacenter Edition with your server hardware.