Impact on Infrastructure
?"> Asked whether Microsoft was recommending that testers run this beta in production systems, Snell said that while there were already hundreds of servers running Windows Server "Longhorn" in production across Microsofts own IT department and in the data centers of its technology adoption program customers, beta 3 was not generally licensed for use in production environments. "So customers should restrict their beta 3 deployments to test environments. But, through programs like IIS7 Go Live and our upcoming Rapid Deployment Program, we will be offering supplemental license agreements that will allow customers to deploy in production," she said.Windows Server "Longhorn" also includes simplified failover clustering, dynamic partitioning and auto-tuning networking features to automatically manage system resources and help ensure that customers have uninterrupted and optimized access to their company network, she said. Asked about comments by analysts that features such as Network Access Protection and support for the IPv6 networking standard require users to make changes to their infrastructure, Snell said that while Windows Server "Longhorn" was a major operating system release with revolutionary, rather than evolutionary, enhancements, Microsoft had designed the product to be minimally disruptive to existing infrastructures. "Role-based installation and management allows customers to deploy it in specific roles and scenarios, such as Read Only Domain Controller, IIS7, Terminal Services Gateway and Network Access Services, without having to upgrade their entire infrastructure. In addition, the dual-layer IPv4 and IPv6 stack means that deploying the product in an existing environment will yield better performance between it and other IPv6-enabled systems, including Windows Vista, while offering complete compatibility and interoperability with IPv4 systems, including any previous versions of Windows," she said. Microsofts hardware partners have also welcomed the beta, which they describe as a next-generation operating system, and how it will take advantage of their chip sets. To read more about eWeek Labs first review of Windows Server "Longhorn," click here. "AMD encourages customers to download the beta and begin their evaluations today. As a next-generation operating system, Windows Server Longhorn is designed to take advantage of the innovative features of the AMD Opteron processor, including 64-bit, multicore, virtualization and power management," said Joe Menard, the corporate vice president of software strategy at AMD. For her part, Diane Bryant, the general manager of Intels server platforms group, said the beta was an important next step toward the future of IT infrastructure management in data centers. "The combination of multicore Intel Xeon processor technology and Intel Itanium2 processor technology and Windows Server Longhorn will maximize control for customers over their infrastructure while providing unprecedented availability, energy efficiency, flexibility and IT productivity," she said. The release of Windows Server Longhorn later this year follows those for Windows Vista and the 2007 Office system, while the next version of Visual Studio, code-named "Orcas," and Microsoft SQL Server, code-named "Katmai," also are under development. "These products will provide organizations with an advanced development and Web platform as well as streamlined data management and analysis, enabling infrastructure optimization," Snell said. Check out eWEEK.coms for Microsoft and Windows news, views and analysis.
Microsoft, which has added functionality to the beta, did not anticipate having to cut anything from the server software going forward, she said, adding that the final product name would be announced soon.