Windows Server 2003 Reliability Innovations Set High Standard

REDMOND, Wash., Feb. 5, 2003 — Microsoft Corp. today introduced a broad set of innovations in its technology, programs and services for Microsoft® Windows®
Server 2003 — all aimed at helping ensure that customers from the smallest to the largest experience the highest possible levels of computing reliability. Among the new services and technologies are the Datacenter High Availability Program, hundreds of engineering innovations in Windows Server 2003, and the Microsoft Reliability Service.

“Our goal is to cut customers’ downtime by 50 percent,”
said Bill Veghte, corporate vice president of the Windows Server Group at Microsoft.
“It has been reported that Windows 2000 Server customers have experienced three-nines levels of availability out of the box, and our goal is to build on that success and challenge ourselves to deliver an even more reliable, highly productive system in Windows Server 2003.”

“Server reliability is a critical issue for companies,”
said Donna Scott, vice president and research director at Gartner Inc.
“Downtime, whether it is planned or unplanned, equals lost time and money. Companies need new means and methods to monitor infrastructure reliability in order to make informed decisions that translate into business value.”

Datacenter High Availability Program

The Datacenter High Availability Program announced today builds on best practices of the inaugural Datacenter Program, launched in September 2000. Developed alongside Microsoft’s OEM industry partners, the new program targets five-nines levels of availability for Windows Server 2003 Datacenter Edition customers, and includes three key enhancements:

  • Certified, pretested OEM configurations provide greater flexibility, reliability and faster time to market for customers.

  • Support-center options now include support from any Gold Certified Datacenter Service Provider — OEMs, resellers and system integrators — in addition to Microsoft directly.

  • Microsoft’s High Availability Resolution Queue will provide Datacenter-dedicated proactive and reactive support services 24×7, worldwide.

“Reliability is a critical issue for us, and without it we won’t even consider a product,”
said John Bader, vice president of enterprise technology at Allstate Insurance Co.
“Through the Windows Datacenter High Availability Program and the engineering innovations and enhancements within Windows Server 2003, it is clear that Microsoft is addressing customers’ high-availability needs.”

Windows Server 2003 Reliability Innovations

Early reports from Microsoft’s Operations and Technology Group show more than 40 percent reduction in unplanned system downtime as a result of innovations in Windows Server 2003. The company has been running prerelease versions of the server platform companywide for nearly a year on more than 1,000 production servers.

Microsoft has enhanced how Windows Server 2003 handles device drivers — one of the leading causes of unplanned downtime. Windows Driver Protection blocks drivers with known problems from installing and directs customers to an updated version, while Driver Rollback enables Windows Server 2003 to get back to a working state more quickly when faulty drivers do affect performance.

Other technology innovations in Windows Server 2003 include these:

  • Application process isolation

    segregates applications from one another, so that one application crash does not interrupt the Web service uptime of other applications.

  • Application recycling for Internet Information Services (IIS) 6.0 alleviates application and systems failure due to memory leaks in poorly written application code.

  • Memory mirroring enables fast failover of fault-tolerant servers.

  • New clustering capabilities

    make it easy to set up and reconfigure Windows Server 2003 clusters remotely, without rebooting.

“With over 200 enterprise VPN networks being managed by our datacenter platform and customers demanding 24×7 availability, reliability is an extremely critical issue for us,”
said Greg Moore, CEO and president of SmartPipes Inc.
“The engineering innovations and enhancements that Microsoft has built into Windows Server 2003 make it clear the company is taking the reliability of customers’ systems quite seriously.”

Microsoft Reliability Service

Microsoft also announced today plans for the Microsoft Reliability Service (MRS). The Reliability Service will monitor event data from customer datacenter servers, analyze the data, and produce customer-tailored reliability and availability reports. MRS will enable customers to monitor the availability of software and hardware components within their systems, identify root causes of both planned and unplanned downtime, and take preventive measures to improve system availability.

About Windows Server 2003

Windows Server 2003 is a comprehensive, integrated and secure infrastructure designed to help customers reduce costs and increase the efficiency and effectiveness of IT operations. Building on Windows 2000 family strengths, the new server platform helps customers extend existing resources while laying the foundation for building a new generation of connected applications that improve business productivity. More information is available at

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software — any time, any place and on any device.

Microsoft and Windows are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at on Microsoft’s corporate information pages. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may since have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at

Windows Server 2003 Reliability Innovations

Quote Sheet

“Microsoft’s reliability and availability developments around Windows Server 2003 are essential to meeting today’s IT requirements, especially as we see enterprises adopt industry standards over proprietary systems to run their businesses. Dell continues to work side by side with Microsoft to ensure that customers have fully integrated and tested systems that fit easily into existing network environments and provide the highest possible return on investment.”

Linda Hargrove
Vice President
Worldwide Enterprise Systems Marketing & Product Management
Dell Computer Corp.

“We are pleased and proud to join the Datacenter High Availability Program. Fujitsu provides a wide range of industry-leading mission-critical platforms and solutions to our enterprise customers. Microsoft’s Windows Server 2003 Datacenter Edition will be a key platform for our enterprise customers. Together with Fujitsu’s premier products, such as PRIMERGY servers and Interstage middleware, services and solutions, we are committed to maximize our customers’ business success.”

Chiaki Ito
Corporate Vice President
Fujitsu Ltd.

“Hitachi welcomes the announcement of Windows Server 2003 Datacenter Edition and Datacenter High Availability Program. Cooperating with Microsoft, Hitachi has been developing and providing the high-availability solutions based on the Windows Server operating system. High availability and high reliability are the keys to the success of our customers’ businesses, and we believe our PC-server products, HA8000/HA8500 series and Windows Server 2003 Series are suitable for such customer needs.”

Shiro Oishi
General Manager, Internet Systems Platform Division
Ubiquitous Platform Systems Group
Hitachi Ltd.

“IBM looks forward to the release of the Windows Server 2003 operating system. The new reliability features of Windows Server deliver to the operating system what the xSeries Enterprise X Architecture has been providing to Intel-based server hardware — improved performance, platform reliability, availability, serviceability and manageability features. IBM has been a leading partner of Microsoft in delivering Windows Server 2003 Datacenter Edition with xSeries hardware, allowing customers to reduce costs, increase productivity and improve the effectiveness of their business operations.”

Deepak Advani
Vice President of High Performance Server Marketing
IBM eServer xSeries
IBM Corp.

“The Datacenter Service Provider program is an excellent means for enterprise customers to receive support for their mission-critical servers running Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Datacenter Edition. Microsoft’s new program allows customers who require high-performance servers, like NEC’s 32-way Itanium2-based Express 5800/1000, to maintain their established support structure directly with Microsoft. NECSAM is pleased to work with Microsoft to meet the support needs for large scale-up servers in North America.”

Dave McAllister
Director, 64-Bit Systems
NEC Solutions America

“NEC is extremely pleased with Microsoft’s announcement of the Datacenter High Availability Program today. Microsoft has listened to customers and OEMs to create a Datacenter Program that is responsive to the demands of enterprise computing. Offering choice in service providers allows enterprise customers to incorporate Windows Server 2003 Datacenter Edition into their current support structure. The end result will be even higher levels of availability than customers enjoy today.”

Tadao Kondo
Associate Senior Vice President of NEC Solutions
NEC Corp.

“Unisys is delighted with the Datacenter Program enhancements that build on the proven scalability and reliability of the Unisys Enterprise Server ES7000 and the Windows Datacenter Server. Unisys fully supports the improvements to the Datacenter Program, which will further enhance not only our mutual clients’ experience but also the experience of their clients, constituents or partners. The reliability improvements announced today will result in wider adoption of the technology and accelerated maturation of an already first-rate enterprise-class support experience.”

Pete Samson
Vice President and General Manager,
Enterprise Server Market Development

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