MS touts Windows 7 integration with Windows Server

Microsoft Windows Server offers security, network upgrades

Only a handful of companies are running IPv6. The US Department of Defense

has said it is adopting IPv6 but have yet to roll it out.

IPv4 networks could provide translation services to IPv6, Microsoft said. R2 server will support the Teredo Server, Teredo Relay, ISATAP Router, and 6to4 router transition technologies. Six months after R2 ships, Microsoft will add to the list its own Forefront Intelligent Access Gateway. (Read one of the 50 biggest arguments in networking: IPv4 vs. IPv6.)

Laing said a company's entire network does not have to be IPv6 for DirectAccess to work. The client nodes and some of the network nodes for tasks such as authentication have to support IPv6. But he did add that users will also need to support IPSec.

"DirectAccess is a compelling feature, but there is infrastructure work you need to do and it will take time to roll this out," Laing said.

Other Windows 7 integration points with R2 include Branch Caching, which caches on a branch-office network frequently used content; a read-only Distributed File System (DFS) to improve branch office security, power management via Group Policy, BitLocker drive encryption for USB drives referred to as BitLocker To Go, and an Offline Folders feature for mobile users.

Unique to the server, the R2 release includes support for Live Migration, a much anticipated feature add-on to Hyper-V. Not only will the feature help Microsoft match similar tools already available from VMware and open-source hypervisor platforms, Live Migration is key for availability and scalability in the Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) support coming in R2 server.

Another key VDI component is Remote Desktop Services (RDS), formerly called Terminal Services, which allows users outside the intranet to connect to desktops and application running inside virtual machines on a server.

RDS includes the Remote Desktop Connection Broker, an upgrade to Windows Server's Session Broker, an administrative set-up tool for both server-based virtualized desktops and traditional Terminal Services remote desktops.

Microsoft is building its VDI infrastructure on the back of the Connection Broker, Hyper-V and Virtual Machine Manager.

RDS fits in a loose grouping with Microsoft's other virtualized desktop software that is part of its popular Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP), which includes App-V and Enterprise Desktop Virtualization.

Microsoft is also working on application virtualization for the server, but it will not be part of R2 server. Also not in the release is technology Microsoft acquired when it bought Calista Technologies, which delivers 3D graphics, such as Vista Aero Glass, and multimedia support to virtualized desktops.

Microsoft next week will continue with server announcement when it launches its servers for small and midsized businesses -- Windows Small Business Server 2008 and Windows Essential Business Server 2008.

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John Fontana

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