Microsoft - Based Solutions
WINDOWS SERVER 2008/2008R2
WINDOWS SERVER 2012/2012R2
WINDOWS SERVER 2016
Security is vital when it comes to any business operation. And in most organizations, security policies are crafted to protect their valuable assets (exchange servers, laptops, Web servers, DNS servers, and so on). For your IT operation, you should consider Active Directory® (AD) as a resource for securing your assets. AD is a directory service developed by Microsoft®. Understanding AD helps you meet many enterprise goals such as information security, scalability, interoperability, administration based on policies, and so on. This blog discusses the importance and best practices of AD management.
If you are working in a Windows®-based organization, AD is necessary, no matter the size of your company. To keep AD running securely and use it to its full potential, you need to effectively manage it. There will always be change requests based on business demands, and AD will help you quickly and easily accommodate the needed changes.</>
DNS is like a phone book for the Internet. If you know a person’s name but don’t know their telephone number, you can simply look it up in a phone book. DNS provides this same service to the Internet.
DHCP is useful for automatic configuration of client network interfaces. When configuring the client system, the administrator chooses DHCP instead of specifying an IP address, netmask, gateway, or DNS servers. The client retrieves this information from the DHCP server. DHCP is also useful if an administrator wants to change the IP addresses of a large number of systems. Instead of reconfiguring all the systems, he can just edit one DHCP configuration file on the server for the new set of IP addresses. If the DNS servers for an organization changes, the changes are made on the DHCP server, not on the DHCP clients. When the administrator restarts the network or reboots the clients, the changes will go into effect.
If an organization has a functional DHCP server properly connected to a network, laptops and other mobile computer users can move these devices from office to office.
Group Policy is a hierarchical infrastructure that allows a network administrator in charge of Microsoft’s Active Directory to implement specific configurations for users and computers. Group Policy can also be used to define user, security and networking policies at the machine level.
Group Policy allows administrators to define options for what users can do on a network – including what files, folders and applications they can access. The collections of user and computer settings are referred to as Group Policy Objects (GPOs), which are administered from a central interface called the Group Policy Management Console. Group Policy can also be managed with command-line tools such as gpresult and gpupdate. In Windows Server 2008, setting extensions known as Group Policy preferences were added to provide administrators with better targeting and flexibility.
- Multiserver support in Server Manager—Windows Server 2008 features a completely redesigned Server Manager. It’s no longer oriented toward single-server management as it is in Windows Server 2008 R2. Because it embraces the cloud concept, the new Server Manager can manage multiple servers, and it provides an all-new dashboard that lets you drill down into local and remote servers.
- Server Core is the default—Windows Server 2008 uses the minimalist Server Core as the default server environment, marking a huge change away from dependence on the GUI for management. One super feature of this change is that the GUI is now considered a feature. Therefore, you can perform your initial server configuration through the GUI, then remove it when you’re ready to move into production. Unlike Server 2008 R2, there’s no need to reinstall the OS to get rid of the GUI.
- Ubiquitous PowerShell management—Going hand-in-hand with the move away from the GUI is the move to PowerShell as the primary management tool. Server 2008 R2 started this trend and provided more than 200 cmdlets for server management. Windows Server 2008 expands the available cmdlets to more than 2,300, providing cmdlets for managing all Windows Server applications. For instance, Server 2008 R2 doesn’t have built-in cmdlets for Hyper-V, but Windows Server 2008 provides a full set of PowerShell cmdlets for managing Hyper-V 3.0.
- Built-in NIC teaming—Another overdue feature is the capability to provide NIC teaming natively in the OS. VMware’s ESX Server has provided NIC teaming for some time. Prior to Windows Server 2008, you could get NIC teaming for Windows only via specialized NICs from Broadcom and Intel. The new built-in Windows Server 2008 NIC teaming works across heterogeneous vendor NICs and can provide support for load balancing as well as failover over NICs from different vendors.
- SMB 2.2—The Windows Server Message Block (SMB) file sharing protocol has also been significantly enhanced in Windows Server 2008. SMB 2.2 adds file server resiliency with no special configuration. In addition, server applications such as Microsoft SQL Server can now have their databases stored on SMB 2.2 shares, which gives them the benefits of SMB 2.2 with no configuration changes to the SQL Server databases.
- Data deduplication—Windows Server 2008 provides built-in data deduplication, a feature typically found in high-end SANs. Windows Server 2008’s data deduplication runs in the background, and it can automatically detect duplicate data, save the duplicated data in a separate system store, and replace the data in the original files with pointers to the system store.
- Expanded cluster scalability—Windows Failover Clustering has also taken a big jump in scalability. VMware’s vSphere supported clusters consisting of up to 32 hosts. Previous versions of Windows Server were limited to 16 nodes. Windows Server 2008 clusters can support up to 63 nodes and up to 4,000 virtual machines (VMs) per cluster, effectively leap-frogging VMware’s VM cluster support.
- Multiple concurrent Live Migrations—Live Migration was introduced with Hyper-V 2.0, which was part of the Server 2008 R2 release. Although it filled an important gap, it lagged behind VMware’s VMotion because Hyper-V 2.0 could perform only one Live Migration at a time; VMware’s ESX Server could perform multiple concurrent VMotions. Hyper-V 3.0 brings that same ability to Windows Server 2008 and the next release of Hyper-V Server as well.
- Storage Live Migration—The addition of Storage Live Migration to Hyper-V 3.0 really closes the feature gap with VMware. Like VMware’s Storage VMotion, Hyper-V 3.0’s Storage Live Migration lets you move a VM’s virtual disk, configuration, and snapshot files to a new storage location with no interruption of end-user connectivity to the VM.
- Live Migration without shared storage—Unexpectedly, Microsoft really carved out a clear advantage in the small-to-midsized business virtualization market by introducing the ability to perform Live Migration and Storage Live Migration without requiring shared storage on the back end. The ability to perform Live Migration without a SAN back end helps bring the advantages of virtualization and high availability to smaller businesses that can’t afford the cost or complexities of a SAN.