PDC: Windows Server 2008 R2 coming in 2010
Microsoft is promising many detailed improvements in the forthcoming Windows Server 2008 R2, which is expected in 2010. As already stated, the current Windows Server 2008 will be Microsoft's last 32-bit server OS: R2 will only be available in 64-bit form. R2 is the server version of Windows 7 and the company says that the development teams are working in close partnership, and that R2 will be the best server OS to support Windows 7 clients. This suggests there may be features in one or the other that will only work with the corresponding edition on the other end – a standard tactic to encourage site-wide upgrades. The Redmond roadmap provides for the release of a new Server product every two to four years – Windows Server 2003 was refreshed as Windows Server 2003 R2 in 2005.
In 2008 R2, Microsoft's Hyper-V hypervisor should catch up with one of VMware ESX Server's most powerful features – VMotion, the live migration of VMs from one host to another. This allows a guest server to be moved to another host machine while it is still running, so users see no interruption. To further blur the difference between locally-installed and remote applications, when using the R2 release of Terminal Server with Windows 7 clients, it will be possible to integrate applications located on a Terminal Server into the Start menu.
Microsoft plans to ease the work of administrators by providing new task-oriented interfaces. PowerShell, the new object-oriented scripting language, will be upgraded to version 2.0 and will come supplied with more than 240 useful "cmdlet" scripts. Both an editor and a debugger for PowerShell scripts are provided. It will also be possible to control IIS 7.0 via PowerShell. The new version integrates some expansions that were previously obtainable separately, such as the WebDAV interface. The new web server is supposedly also equipped for Silverlight – Microsoft's answer to Flash – and PHP.
A low-level kernel modification is aimed at saving energy in computing centres: "core parking". This kicks in at times of low system load and moves threads and processes onto the minimum number of CPU cores, allowing unused ones to be temporarily stopped. This will reduce both electricity usage by the server and heat output, so taking load off datacentre air conditioning units. The new edition will also support machines with up to 256 CPU cores – four times the current limit.
Microsoft PDC news:
- PDC: Microsoft puts modelling into concrete terms with "Oslo"
- PDC: Visual Studio 2010 gets a new WPF interface
- PDC: C# 4.0 will go dynamic
- Ballmer: Microsoft will provide the "platform for the next technology revolution"