Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Released to Manufacturers
Microsoft released word yesterday that its Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 operating system was sent to equipment manufacturers (OEMs).
The milestone marks the final step before public release of new server products. Because the OS is sold preloaded on different manufacturers' servers -- including Dell, HP and NEC -- look for each vendor to set their own release date.
One new feature is the addition of Microsoft's iSCSI Software Target 3.3, which improves overall Hyper-V storage and allows for diskless boot of Hyper-V servers and high-performance clustering nodes. This addition will also support managing PowerShell scripts directly through the OS.
Also, on the virtualization front, the R2 release will reduce power consumption by 40 percent to 50 percent when the system is idle.
Network communication has been improved with the ability to access files using NFS and SMB protocols. The addition of the SMB 2.1 Protocol allows the server to speak natively to Windows 7 clients, which, according to Microsoft, will "almost double the SMB file-protocol performance" compared with the previous OS version.
To reduce the storage space taken by duplicate flies, R2 features a Single Instance Storage (SIS) filter system that will systematically delete redundancies, increasing the storage capacity and efficiency. A new File Classification Infrastructure also gives server managers the ability to assign business values to files. This allows for files to be automatically governed by user-defined classification rules.
Microsoft added a customizable Out-Of-Box-Experience (OOBE) with standalone or clustered configurations. This feature enables the customization of storage appliances with user-defined images. It also gives users a two-node failover cluster system, which avoids the server switching to a second node due to an error.
For a complete breakdown of what's new and what's changed for Windows Storage Server 2008 R2, visit the TechNet blog entry here.