Beginning with Windows Server 2008, server virtualization using Hyper-VTM technology has been an integral part of the operating system. Windows Server 2008 R2 introduces a new version of Hyper-V TM.
Hyper-VTM in Windows Server 2008 R2 includes three core areas of improvement for creating dynamic virtual data centers:
- Increased availability for virtualized data centers
- Improved management of virtualized data centers
- A simplified method for physical and virtual computer deployments by using .vhd files
Integration of Live Migration and Failover Clustering
Live Migration requires failover clustering in Windows Server 2008 R2. Specifically, Live Migration can make use of the new Cluster Shared Volumes (CSV) feature contained in Windows Server 2008 R2.
The following are the requirements for performing Live Migration with a failover cluster:
- Live Migration can only be performed between cluster nodes within the same failover cluster. (Virtual machines can only be moved between cluster nodes.)
- Hyper-VTM must be running on the cluster nodes in the failover cluster and have access to the same shared storage.
- The .vhd files for the virtual machines to be moved by Live Migration must be stored on the same shared storage.
Management improvements in Windows Server 2008 R2 include:
- Improved data center power consumption management,
- Improved remote administration,
- Reduced administrative effort for administrative tasks performed interactively,
- Enhanced command-line and automated management by using PowerShell version 2.0,
- Improved identity management provided by Microsoft Active Directory? Domain Services and Active Directory Federated Services, and
- Improved compliance with established standards and best practices.
The following improvements to IIS and the Windows Web platform are included in Windows Server 2008 R2:
- Reduced effort to administer and support Web-based applications
- Enhanced security for Web-based applications
- Improved file-transfer services
- Ability to extend the functionality and features for Web-based applications
- Improved availability and performance for Web-based applications and services.
Windows Server 2008 R2 is capable of the unprecedented workload size, dynamic scalability and across-the-board availability and reliability. A host of new and updated features contribute to this pillar:
- Leveraging sophisticated CPU architectures
- Increased operating system componentization
- Improved performance and scalability for applications and services
- Improved availability for automated IP configuration services by using the DHCP failover feature
- Improved security for Domain Name System (DNS) services by using the DNSSEC feature
Windows Server 2008 R2 has many features that are designed specifically to work with client computers running Windows 7. Windows 7 is the next version of the Windows operating system from Microsoft. Features that are only available when running Windows 7 client computers with server computers running Windows Server 2008 R2 include:
- Simplified remote connectivity for corporate computers by using the DirectAccess feature
- Secured remote connectivity for private and public computers by using a combination of the Remote Workspace, Presentation Virtualization, and Remote Desktop Services Gateway features
- Improved performance for branch offices by using the BranchCache feature
- Improved security for branch offices by using the read-only Distributed File System (DFS) feature
- More efficient power management by using the new power management Group Policy settings for Windows 7 clients
- Improved virtualized presentation integration by using the new desktop and application feeds feature
- Higher fault tolerance for connectivity between sites by using the Agile VPN feature
- Increased protection for removable drives by using the BitLocker Drive Encryption feature to encrypt removable drives
- Improved prevention of data loss for mobile users by using the Offline Folders feature
More information can be found here.