Thursday, December 11, 2008

Changes from 2003 to 2008

Server Manager

This is probably the largest change between 2003 and 2008, with the ability to centrally manage and control all features and roles that your 2008 Windows Server is running.

The Windows Server® 2008 operating system eases the task of managing and securing multiple server roles in an enterprise with the new Server Manager console. Server Manager in Windows Server 2008 provides a single source for managing a server's identity and system information, displaying server status, identifying problems with server role configuration, and managing all roles installed on the server.

Server Manager replaces several features included with Windows Server® 2003, including Manage Your Server, Configure Your Server, and Add or Remove Windows Components.

Server Manager also eliminates the requirement that administrators run the Security Configuration Wizard before deploying servers; server roles are configured with recommended security settings by default, and are ready to deploy as soon as they are installed and properly configured.

Roles and Features

The next main change from 2003 to 2008 is the idea of Roles and Features, like in 2003 when you went to add a windows service, Add/Remove programs was your only option. Now in Windows Server 2008 you can add services via their separate Roles and Features section in the server management.

Just like in Add/Remove Windows components, each item in Roles and Features can be ticked to install, and ‘details’ can be clicked to add more specific items to the installation.

Each section, Roles and Features, can be viewed individually via the Server Manager Console. This enables administrators to quickly and more efficiently view what has been installed and configured so they can determine if they are on the server they want to be on.

Above: Roles viewed from Server Manager

Above: Features viewed from Server Manager

Windows Firewall

Windows Server 2008 introduces a new and improved firewall; the Windows Firewall with Advanced Security. The new Windows firewall introduces many improvements and is very similar to the firewall that was included with Windows Vista. Features included with the new Windows Firewall with Advanced Security include:

  • Granular inbound access control
  • Granular outbound access control
  • Tight integration with the Windows Server 2008 Server Manager, with automatic configuration of the firewall when services are installed using the Server Manager
  • Highly improved IPsec policy configuration and management, and a name change. IPsec policies are now referred to as Connection Security Rules
  • Improved monitoring of firewall policy
  • Improved monitoring of IPsec policies (now called Connection Security Rules)
  • Improved centralized monitoring of Main and Quick Mode Security Associations

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