REDMOND, Wash. — Dec. 6, 2005 — Microsoft Corp. today announced the release to manufacturing of Windows Server™ 2003 R2. Based on Microsoft® Windows Server 2003 with Service Pack 1, Windows Server 2003 R2 delivers new capabilities and value for customers in the areas of branch-office management, identity and access management, virtualization, data storage and Web platform technologies. The product will be generally available to customers within 60 days.
“Windows Server 2003 R2 builds on the proven reliability and security of Windows Server 2003 and introduces new functionality and benefits in key workloads and scenarios,” said Bob Muglia, senior vice president of Server and Tools at Microsoft. “R2 presents our customers with an array of new ways to reduce cost and complexity, boost end-user productivity, and increase the strategic value of their IT systems.”
In a webcast today, Muglia discussed how Windows Server 2003 R2 represents significant progress for the five Windows Server customer promises, areas in which Microsoft is committed to making a fundamental difference in customers’ infrastructure over the next five to 10 years. He made several product and partnership announcements within the context of the promises.
The Right Server for the Right Job: Simplifying Branch and Small-Business Management
Remote locations connected to an organizational hub or headquarters over a network account for nearly 25 percent of the installed base of x86 servers in the United States. Such offices are largely reliant on Windows® infrastructure and typically require extra resources and management to achieve network and application performance equivalent to that at their headquarters’ facilities. Through faster data replication and advanced compression technologies, Windows Server 2003 R2 helps branch offices overcome wide area network bandwidth issues and limited IT resources, resulting in improved branch office server performance and employee productivity.
“We estimate that Windows Server 2003 R2 will eliminate the productivity losses caused by server downtime — worth an estimated $240,000,” said Craig Fletcher, IT operations manager for ARCADIS, a global engineering and construction company with 76 U.S. branch offices. “Companywide backup-related productivity savings amount to an estimated $222,383 per year.”
Microsoft Windows Small Business Server 2003 R2 (SBS 2003 R2) is scheduled for release in the second quarter of 2006. SBS 2003 R2 will help small businesses improve their productivity by providing automated, networkwide patch and update management, increased mailbox limits, SQL Server™ 2005 Workgroup Edition technology for SBS 2003 R2 Premium Edition customers, and expanded client access license rights for access to additional Microsoft Exchange 2003 and SQL Server 2005 Workgroup Edition servers in the SBS 2003 R2 network.
As part of a Technology Guarantee program, beginning March 1, 2006, for a limited time customers who purchase SBS 2003 from an original equipment manufacturer or a system builder will have the opportunity to obtain SBS 2003 R2 for a nominal shipping and handling fee, once the product is released.
Self-Managing Dynamic Systems: Virtualization and WS-Management
Virtualization is a key technology to help IT departments overcome physical infrastructure limitations, more nimbly deploy services, and progress toward dynamic systems that are more responsive to business requirements. When implemented with Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 R2, Windows Server 2003 R2 is a cost-effective platform for virtualization, enabling customers to improve operational efficiency through server consolidation, legacy application migration, disaster recovery, and software testing and development:
Until June 30, 2006, with the purchase of one license of Windows Server 2003 R2 Enterprise Edition, customers can license Virtual Server 2005 R2 Enterprise Edition for the reduced price of $99 (U.S., reseller prices may vary). In October, Microsoft announced that Windows Server 2003 R2 Enterprise Edition licenses will allow customers to run up to four virtual instances on one physical server at no additional cost.
Dell Inc. announced today that it will offer customers Virtual Server 2005 R2 and Windows Server 2003 R2 Enterprise Edition jointly with Dell PowerEdge Servers.
“Virtualization is a key enabling technology for the scalable enterprise strategy and the datacenter of the future,” said Paul Gottsegen, vice president of worldwide enterprise marketing at Dell. “To help customers get started with virtualization, Dell is providing a complete Virtual Server R2 offering, featuring our PowerEdge 2800 Server, Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 R2 and the Windows Server 2003 R2 operating system — all prepackaged and delivered as a complete virtualization platform, at tremendous value.”
Windows Server 2003 R2 also includes support for WS-Management, a Web services specification that addresses the cost and complexity of IT management by providing a common way for systems to access and exchange management information:
In 2006, HP is enhancing its new Integrated Lights-Out 2 (iLO 2) management processor to enable continuous remote management and control of HP ProLiant servers directly through WS-Management, irrespective of the server’s power or operating system state. This new out-of-band support builds upon previously disclosed support for in-band WS-Management delivered through Windows Server 2003 R2.
Universal Distributed Storage: Efficient Storage Management
Windows Server 2003 R2 provides new storage management tools to help customers understand and address storage utilization, monitor and control disk space usage with directory quotas, prohibit selected file types on servers, and easily configure and provision Internet Small Computer System Interface (iSCSI) or Fibre Channel storage area networks:
Windows Storage Server 2003 R2, based on Windows Server 2003 R2, was also released to manufacturing today. The product is a dedicated file and print server with new features including single instance storage, full text search and built-in document collaboration with Windows SharePoint® Services. In the first half of 2006, original equipment manufacturers including Dell, HP, Iomega Corp., LeftHand Networks Inc. and Tacit Networks Inc. will deliver network attached storage (NAS) products with Windows Storage Server 2003 R2.
The Standard Performance Evaluation Corp., a nonprofit benchmarking organization, released a new Network File System (NFS) performance benchmark of 22,416 operations per second for Windows Storage Server 2003 R2 Enterprise Edition running on a four-way HP ProLiant Storage Server. This demonstrates that HP hardware solutions with Windows Storage Server 2003 R2 will deliver better NFS performance than more costly proprietary NAS solutions for specialized applications, such as computer-assisted design. Windows Server 2003 is already the established leader in file server performance of the more commonly used CIFS/SMB (Common Internet File System/Server Message Block) protocol. Edison Group Inc. recently released NetBench testing results of 4.11 gigabits per second throughput for Windows Server 2003 R2 CIFS performance, which surpasses CIFS performance of any other operating system.
“HP is the market leader in Windows-based network storage, and we are building on the underlying improvements in Windows Server 2003 R2 in order to provide improved storage management and a better customer experience,” said Duncan Campbell, vice president of marketing for StorageWorks at HP. “The HP ProLiant Storage Server and ProLiant Data Protection Storage Server products are planned to be integrated with R2 in spring 2006, enabling HP NAS solutions that continue to provide customers with greater simplicity, agility and value.”
End-to-End Connected Systems: A Powerful Web Platform and UNIX Interoperability
Windows Server 2003 R2 helps customers efficiently extend their business infrastructure over the Web while reducing development and management costs. With Windows Server 2003 R2, customers get the Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 and ASP.NET 2.0, which when combined with Windows SharePoint Services and Internet Information Services (IIS) 6.0 offers a more secure, reliable, scalable and easy-to-manage Web platform:
Lifestyle portal MySpace.com was the third ranked Web domain, in terms of page views,* in October 2005, according to comScore Media Metrix. MySpace.com realized dramatic performance benefits utilizing an ASP.NET 2.0 system architecture. Running Windows Server 2003 x64 Edition and IIS 6.0, the site supports over
1.1 million concurrent users and delivers over 1.25 billion ad impressions a day, which roughly equals 15 percent of all ad traffic in the United States. Additionally, each week MySpace.com supports more than 1 million new users and their content — over 50 gigabytes of music uploads and 1.5 million image uploads per day.
Windows Server 2003 R2 also provides a full range of cross-platform services for connecting Windows and UNIX-based environments. Using this functionality, IT professionals can transfer UNIX-based tools and application code they are already familiar with to the Windows platform and provide cross-platform authentication, file sharing and identity management. As a result, customers will retain the value of their investments in UNIX applications, be able to update UNIX code with Windows technology, and avoid expending time and effort on application rewrites.
Secure, Anywhere Access: Simplifying Identity and Access Management
With technologies such as Active Directory® Federation Services (ADFS), Active Directory Application Mode (ADAM) and Identity Management for UNIX, Windows Server 2003 R2 delivers functionality that extends control of identity management for internal and external collaboration. As a result, customers can maintain more secure collaboration with partners, improve regulatory compliance, increase IT and end-user efficiency through single sign-on, and ensure heterogeneous system interoperability via Web services standards. Third parties are developing interoperability with ADFS to extend the role of Active Directory identity services in their organizations for Web single sign-on and identity federation:
Centrify Corp., Ping Identity Corp. and Quest Software Inc. are extending ADFS authentication to non-Windows platforms, providing federated single sign-on solutions for applications running in partner extranets or heterogeneous environments.
BMC Software Inc., CA, IBM Corp., Internet2 and other organizations are building interoperability with ADFS into their existing extranet access management and identity federation solutions, extending the Windows logon to provide the single sign-on experience for applications protected by those solutions.
Companies such as Citrix Systems Inc. and IntelliSafe Technologies are building support for ADFS into their applications to provide cross-domain single sign-on and federation, taking advantage of Windows Server identity services in their offerings.
Overall, more than 30 software vendors, hardware manufacturers and solution providers have already committed to building on or supporting Windows Server 2003 R2 with their products and solutions.
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* Among the top 2000 domains. comScore Media Metrix, October 2005. For more information on comScore Networks, please go to http://www.comscore.com.
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