Extending Functionality

 
 
By Dennis Fisher  |  Posted 2004-06-14 Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


In addition to finalizing the new security features in SP1, Microsoft has been working with customers to find ways to extend some of the functionality to enterprises that havent yet migrated to Windows Server 2003. One idea gaining ground inside the company is the use of virtual machines to set up separate compartments running Windows 2000, or even Windows NT 4.0, and Windows Server 2003 on a single server.

In this scenario, an administrator could run particularly sensitive applications in the Windows Server 2003 environment while continuing to run applications in the other partition.

Server roles and virtual machines receive a warm reception from some users, many of whom have yet to get Windows Server 2003 after spending numerous hours locking down their servers.

"This all sounds very positive, and I think all of it will be useful," said Patrick Flanagan, network administrator at Phoenix-based CFS Mortgage Corp. "Im particularly in favor of the backward-compatibility features for 2000 and NT, given that a lot of us wont be upgrading any time soon."

Read more here about the security updates on tap for Server 2003. Microsoft officials said they are still deciding what other security functionality will make it into SP1. The most likely candidate is the companys ACI (advanced client inspection) technology, Microsofts Charney said. This system allows the server to check the security configuration and overall health of any PC that connects to a network and deny it access if it doesnt meet the existing corporate policies, he said.

"Even if we build resilient products, they have to be managed well," Charney said. He said Microsoft is considering adding a feature to the Windows client that would automatically download and install updated drivers for third-party devices and applications. By analyzing customer data provided after system failures, Microsoft officials said they have found that conflicts with outdated drivers cause most of the crashes on Windows machines.

Check out eWEEK.coms Security Center at http://security.eweek.com for the latest security news, reviews and analysis.

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