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Windows Server 2008 One Year On — Hit Or Miss? 386

Posted by Soulskill
from the depends-what-you're-aiming-at dept.
magacious writes "Friday marked a year to the day since Microsoft launched Windows Server 2008, but did it have quite the impact the so-called software giant expected, or did it make more of a little squeak than a big bang? Before its arrival on 27 February 2008, it had been five long years since the release of the last major version of Windows Server. In a world that was moving on from simple client/server applications, and with server clouds on the horizon, Windows Server 2003 was looking long in the tooth. After a year of 'Vista' bashing, Microsoft needed its server project to be well received, just to relieve some pressure. After all, this time last year, the panacea of a well-received Windows 7 was still a long way off. So came the new approach: Windows Server 2008."
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Windows Server 2008 One Year On — Hit Or Miss?

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  • by Wovel (964431)
    Love them or hate them, Microsoft is a factual software giant...
  • whats it give us? (Score:5, Informative)

    by itzdandy (183397) <dandenson@@@gmail...com> on Saturday February 28, 2009 @01:24PM (#27023603) Homepage

    I run a few 2k8 servers and must say that there are very few features that distinguish it from 2k3. For me, those are the new remote-apps terminal server feature and hyper-v. not a whole lot has changed other than rearranging a bunch of stuff.

    • by bdsesq (515351) on Saturday February 28, 2009 @01:41PM (#27023705)

      2k3 just works.
      Does anyone have a compelling reason to use 2k8?

      • Re:whats it give us? (Score:4, Informative)

        by hudson007 (739981) on Saturday February 28, 2009 @01:53PM (#27023777)
        If you have a small branch office, 2008 offers a RODC option. The new Group Policy features reduce SYSVOL bloat (i.e. less data to replicate) and can fully leverage the new GP features in Vista, assuming you chose to deploy Vista in the first place.
        • ...and can fully leverage the new GP features in Vista, assuming you chose to deploy Vista in the first place.

          Yes that's true, but you can push a "Group Policy Client Side Extension" package (with WSUS if you have it setup) that gives you those features on XP and Server 2K3 as well...

          RODC seems like a good idea... your AD forest has to be upgraded to 2K8's schema though, right?

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by neoform (551705)

        2k3 is good, but I have having to restart every week or so when MS puts out updates..

    • Re:whats it give us? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Shados (741919) on Saturday February 28, 2009 @01:57PM (#27023815)

      The main things is the ability to do a "core" (minimalistic) install, hyper-v, the terminal service enhancements as you mentioned, IIS7 (thats actually a very, very big deal for .NET shops) and souped up Active Directory. The rest is mostly enhanced management (incremental upgrades and some new features here and there to make stuff faster/easier) and incremental improvements on most things, and support for Vista specific features. Its also decently faster overall.

      The first things i mentioned are actually pretty major, if you need them, but obviously are irrelevant if all you're using it for is a file server, of course :)

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Bert64 (520050)

        I would say a minimal install is very relevant for a file server... Who wants tons of crap on a machine thats only acting as a file server?

        • by Simon80 (874052) on Saturday February 28, 2009 @02:42PM (#27024109)
          Not costing you money (lots of it, as far as I can guess) is also relevant when choosing a file server, especially when you can get Linux distributions for free that have had the capability to do a "minimal install" for as long as they've existed. Surely even a very Windows-centric company can manage to meet their file serving needs using Samba.
          • by dave562 (969951)
            I might be wrong here, but I was just looking at Samba because I wanted to try it out in my environment. From what I read, it seems that it does not integrate with Active Directory and requires manually duplicating user accounts and passwords onto the Samba box in order for Windows clients to access it. They promise to have that fixed in Samba 4.0, but there isn't a release date for that software yet.
            • by Rutulian (171771)

              No, it handles AD just fine. I use it every day for that. To map UIDs properly you need one of: a replicated /etc/passwd file, schema extensions for AD, or an LDAP server. Depending on what you are doing, I think those are acceptable solutions for most situations, the first one being the most common for one or two file servers hanging out on a Windows domain. But, like you say, Samba 4 will eliminate the need for this and make it that much easier to integrate.

              • by paganizer (566360) <thegrove1@hotmai l . c om> on Saturday February 28, 2009 @04:51PM (#27024993) Homepage Journal

                I don't disagree with what your saying, but I don't think thats the main reason people should go for a NT based solution.
                I really, seriously think its the Trained Chimp factor.
                If you set up a NT network properly, lock it down, and make sure someone with a clue looks in on it every once in a while, you can have a much lower pricepoint trained chimp fix the day to day problems; sure, there will be more day to day problems, but your chimps are a lot cheaper, and easier to find.
                Also, I had a lot of problems trying to work with earlier versions of Samba; I imagine a lot of other people did, as well, it's going to take a while to get over the distrust.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by rabbit994 (686936)

            Actually no, I'm a busy admin and I don't have time to follow these instructions for getting Samba hooked up to Active Directory: http://wiki.samba.org/index.php/Samba_&_Active_Directory [samba.org]

            Then I have to install ACL support and headache that goes with that, hoping something doesn't scramble my file system. In most businesses, Windows Server is not terribly expensive and allows the admin to get more done in less time.

            Note, there are distros that offer GUIs for getting this done but they generally cost $$$.

            • This is all true... the best admin advice I can think of was when Scotty (from Star Trek lore) fairly yelled at a young engineer "How many times do I have to tell you, the right tool for the right job!"

            • by Niten (201835) on Saturday February 28, 2009 @03:45PM (#27024581)

              I'm a busy admin too. Fortunately it doesn't take long at all to install Ubuntu Server, apt-get install likewise-open, and then type "domainjoin-cli join my.domain my-username" in the command line.

              When you use being "busy" as an excuse for being ignorant of your options, you do your employer a disservice. That page you linked to hasn't had a major edit in two years or so, and it does not reflect the current best practices for setting up a simple Linux/Samba file server with AD integration. And no, no extra $$ is required for Ubuntu Server.

              • When you use being "busy" as an excuse for being ignorant of your options, you do your employer a disservice

                Not necessarily. They hired a windows admin, they should expect to have a windows admin. Seeing as they made that decision, they're fine with him using Windows options that cost money, and it's almost certainly worth more to the employer to have him save time using Windows. Is it worth it to the employer to pay him to learn to use samba? Maybe, but that's their decision, not his. It's entirely possible, even likely, that when all is said and done, the cost of training and the extra support time will easily

              • by bjourne (1034822)
                It doesn't bode well for the Samba option when the first google hit for "Samba Active Directory" is an outdated wiki page on the official samba site...
              • by Kjella (173770) on Saturday February 28, 2009 @06:34PM (#27025591) Homepage

                That page you linked to hasn't had a major edit in two years or so, and it does not reflect the current best practices for setting up a simple Linux/Samba file server with AD integration.

                Then what the fsck is it doing on the samba.org site? Why isn't it removed if not updated? You know, this IS one of the real pitfalls of Linux, whenever you're looking for a guide you're likely to find something that's two years old and may or may not be valid. If documentation sucks, documentation re-verification on newer versions suck even more. I bet that's 99% of the reason Ubuntu got their code names down the way they do, if you search for "active directory hardy", "active directory intrepid", "active directory jaunty" you're much more likely to get relevant hits than "active directory ubuntu" or worse yet "active directory linux".

            • by tobiasly (524456) on Saturday February 28, 2009 @04:17PM (#27024785) Homepage
              Wow, you must work for my employer; we also have a bunch of clueless, lazy admins who would rather stick their fingers in their ears and shout "LA LA LA, sorry too busy" instead of keeping abreast of current technology and trying to find innovative ways to do more with less. Instead it's the guys who actually figure out ways to save their company money -- even though that isn't in their job description -- that will be moving up the value chain.
            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by zx-15 (926808)

              Oh please, in Debian installer, at the stage formatting disks before copying base system, installer offers you choose mount options, which include mounting with acls, anyway as far as I know, any modern distro comes with acls installed and any moder file system supports acls, you just need to enable them by adding a mount option in fstab, so I wouldn't call this the most difficult step in configuring linux file server, may be that was true 10 years ago, but not now.

              Then it takes about a whole afternoon to f

    • I mostly agree. The rearranging stuff is a bit of a pain.
      NTBackup in 2008 can no longer backup data located on a remote share which is a PITA (at least I can't do this, does anyone know different?). I need this because I backup several servers onto 1 backup device. So today my backups are still done on a 2003 server.
    • by Bert64 (520050)

      Remote apps instead of a full desktop - already done by X11 and citrix for many years.
      Hyper-v - already done by xen, kvm, vmware and a whole load more, most linux distros already had some kind of vm shipping by default.

    • by jamstar7 (694492)
      One of my customers was running Win2K3 server with a mix of XP & 98SE clients, and had serious problems when they bought some new workstations running Vista. The server bogged down bigtime. Upgrading the server to 2k8 & upgrading the entire network to XP Pro fixed the problem. Their 'grocery app' (some collection software) haddn't been ported to Vista yet, so XP was the OS of the day.

      Been trying to talk them into a *nix back end with the app on a Samba share, but they ain't buyin it...

    • by glitch23 (557124)
      Be that as it may, there is one that stands out in my mind as being very different from any version of Windows which is the capability to only use a CLI to manage the entire system. MS made Win2k8 modular and even separated the GUI from the CLI finally so you don't need to have a GUI installed if your application does not require it.
  • Excellent improvements and additions behind the scenes (such as the new group policy controls) but the usability has dropped considerably. "Roles" and "Features" are terribly silly and incongruous.
  • by VampireByte (447578) on Saturday February 28, 2009 @01:25PM (#27023611) Homepage

    I've installed Win2008 a few times and it always surprises me that I have to dig up the driver disks for the storage controllers... never have to do that when I install Fedora or Debian.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by fm6 (162816)

      Basic Open Source versus Proprietary issue. It's a lot easier for a hardware company to get drivers added to Linux distros than to Windows install disks.

      • by mysidia (191772) on Saturday February 28, 2009 @01:48PM (#27023749)

        This is really an about face... 10 years ago, Linux was the platform you often couldn't get running due to missing hardware drivers -- you really had to be very careful about what hardware you chose.

        Also, Windows 2000 was the easy-to-use OS.. Linux was the server OS with usability issues..

        Is it starting to change, so that Linux is actually more usable than Windows server?

        That would be the day...

        Now if only we could get a true match for Windows Active Directory. So that the software on Windows Desktop machines, works EXACTLY as if the environment was powered by Windows servers, Exchange for e-mail, etc.

        • Absolutely. Linux has been easier to install configure and use than Windows for a number of years already. Mandiva and Suse and both far easier to use and has better wizards than Win2003.
        • by jaseuk (217780)

          >This is really an about face... 10 years ago, Linux was the platform you often couldn't get running due to missing
          hardware drivers -- you really had to be very careful about what hardware you chose.

          Nothing has really changed here, if your hardware is not supported on Linux out the box then the chances are it won't work at all. In Windows land you expect to have to provide a driver disk, this option doesn't really exist on Linux.

          This is really caused by the infrequent releases of Windows vs the yearly o

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Cyberax (705495)

          Samba4 is excruciatingly close to true AD support. I'm now using it for my own network for a handful of WinXP computers. I think in about 1 year Samba4 will be ready for production.

          OpenChange is also moving at a fast pace.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        That's a very unfair comparison. Servers need to be extremely cautious with drivers in order to provide the sort of 99.999% uptime expected for industry. Fedora and Debian are more comparable to MacOS or Windows XP this way, where it's easier to update and support oddball hardware configurations.

        No, install CentOS or run Oracle or VMware servers on it, something with commercial support expected on it, and you're going to run into driver limitations because they've not had a year or more to test it under ser

        • by SuperQ (431) * on Saturday February 28, 2009 @02:14PM (#27023929) Homepage

          You don't get 5 nines out of a single server install, sorry. The only way you get that is with HA clustering and automatic failover.

          PC hardware, even expensive stuff, is not reliable enough no matter what $VENDOR's sales pitch is.

          You might get lucky and get a single reliable box, but if you deploy a non-trivial number of servers you will need to plan for hardware/software failures.

        • by Simon80 (874052)
          You don't get five nines out of a machine that can't access its storage, either, so I don't see what your point is, unless your suggestion is that the machine in question should be left to gather dust.
        • Nope... (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Junta (36770)

          RHEL 5.3 still has tons more drivers than Win2k8. I know from very painful experience.

          It's a natural consequence of
          a) as mentioned before, the nature of the licensing, but probably more importantly...
          b) the release cycle. RHEL is pretty good about timely major updates compared to eternities for MS service packs.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      The problem isn't that it's difficult to get storage drivers into Windows -- Microsoft actively solicits all the major IHV's to provide them. The problem is that the cutoff date for submission can be a year or more in advance of when Windows finally ships. This guarantees that drivers for the latest hardware won't be included.

    • by dave562 (969951) on Saturday February 28, 2009 @03:00PM (#27024231) Journal
      Most large OEMs provide install disks that load all of the drivers for you. For example at the place I work, we use HP Proliant boxes. The Proliant install DVD handles all of the disk partitioning, setting the RAID/disk controllers as primary, driver support, etc. HP has a whole slew of great system tools for the enterprise.
  • because none of the businesses I see have adopted 2008 server.

    Very few have any Vista desktops either.

    • by zappepcs (820751) on Saturday February 28, 2009 @01:41PM (#27023709) Journal

      To add a voice: I'm seeing more Linux installs than Win2k8 and Vista combined. This many mean nothing, or may mean I'm seeing what the average person is seeing. Consolidation and cost are driving what I'm seeing. When you see a row of several hundred blades running RHEL (replacing Windows in some cases) it's fairly convincing.

    • Our software (Dental Office Management, Kodak, Practice Works)is certified to run on W2K for the sever and XP pro only, we are actually running on W2003 and a collection of XP pro and one XP home machines for the client and are getting away with it. I don't see W2008 happening for years and Vista will be skipped. Our last system ran on Xenix originally and later on SCO Open Server!

  • No news is good news (Score:5, Interesting)

    by LibertineR (591918) on Saturday February 28, 2009 @01:29PM (#27023633)
    Bottom line: It just works. Nice new GPO features, Hyper V is fine, but overall, nothing to get terribly excited about other than the fact that there have been few negative issues.

    Outside of removing ISA Server from the Small Business suite, I've read very few negative opinions on 2K8. If you dont need 64-Bit goodness, it might not be worth upgrading from a stable 2K3 environment.

    • by TheBracket (307388) on Saturday February 28, 2009 @01:51PM (#27023769) Homepage

      I recently setup a client of mine with two Win2k8 64-bit servers (in a larger virtual VMware setup). So far, it's worked out very well. It's fast, stable (uptime is exactly equal to the number of days since we last had to reboot for a patch), and played nice with everything already present. Active Directory and Exchange 2007 migrated from the previous Win2k/Exchange 2k setup without a hitch. In other words: no complaints at all, other than the price (which wasn't too bad, since the client received non-profit pricing - but most of what I setup is Linux or FreeBSD and I greatly prefer that pricetag!).

      Things I noticed that have improved:
      * The group policy editor is a bit easier to use, and less confusing.
      * The Vista performance/health monitor is actually pretty good, and provides a really handy ntop-like interface for seeing which service is doing what with the network (not as fine grained as I'd like, but it's a good starting point).
      * The old Services-For-Unix services are more tightly integrated, and it was very easy to get NFS up and running.
      * Less is installed by default, and adding just the required services was very straightforward.
      * The scheduler seems to have improved, because processes distribute over CPUs more widely, and throughput/responsiveness "feels" better.
      * The new role-based manager for file serving is a bit easier to find, but is really similar.
      * A couple of new diagnostic wizards have appeared, including one for Group Policy - it helped me find a couple of problems I hadn't thought about.

      Items I wasn't so fond of:
      * Activation. It doesn't matter if you have a charity volume license anymore - you still have to activate. That bugs me, because this server has to last for years, and I worry that if I have to restore a backup in 5 years time the activation wizard may make my life difficult.
      * Volume shadow copies are STILL not configured to my liking by default.
      * If you want to use some of the new active directory features, you need a pure Win2k8 domain on the server side. It works with "legacy" Win2k/2k3 systems around, but only if they aren't domain controllers.
      * The start menu/icons are straight from Vista.
      * License management makes less sense, since the license control tools are now hidden away - checking CAL status is a pain.

      Overall, for an MS operating system it's pretty good. I don't see a compelling reason to run out and upgrade any Win2k3 systems that are working well - but for new servers, it works great.

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by SIR_Taco (467460)

        uptime is exactly equal to the number of days since we last had to reboot for a patch

        So... last Tuesday?

      • by gordguide (307383) on Saturday February 28, 2009 @03:13PM (#27024353)

        Hello, this is Bob from Marketing here at FUD Advertising, and we've got this new account from these guys in Washington state called Microsoft.

        We've decided to move them into full page adds in Technology and General Media, with short TV spots in support later. We want to go with "Movie-Style" ads: brief quotes from professionals who use the product and speak to potential buyers (Edit from Boss: scratch that ... they want us to call them "users". Sounds like drug addicts to me, but whatever. They write the checks).

        We love the idea, because these short quotes are so meaningless, easy to manipulate, memorable and almost perfectly supportive. We think black background, big type with product name at the top, nice picture, and quotes with attributions below ... you know, like a movie ad in the paper.

        So, this is what we have so far.

        "Less confusing!"

        "Pretty good!"

        "A good starting point!!"

        "Seems to have improved!!"

        Send comments to my assistant by Friday.

        Thaaaaaanks. That would be Greeaaaaaaaat.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by VampireByte (447578)

      "64-Bit goodness" was available with win2K3 [microsoft.com] as well so even that's not a reason to go with win2K8.

  • A command line only Windows Server OS that is able to run on lower end hardware sounds good in theory, but the current implementation cannot provide most of the functionality of its non-Core counterparts. Is anyone using Windows Server Core 2008? If so, what do you use it for?
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by lukas84 (912874)

      We deployed internally (we're an IT consulting company).

      We use it to run our DC/DNS/DHCP primary infrastructure server. Works fine. I see no advantage right now though, and wouldn't deploy such a setup at a customers site.

      In WS08 R2, .NET support will be added to Server Core. This will make it a great option for big web server farms.

    • by Bert64 (520050)

      It's not really commandline only, it loads the gui components and then runs cmd.exe instead of explorer.exe, you still have a gui, can still use the mouse and move your cmd.exe windows around, and you can still load gui based apps... It's not like the pure text consoles offered by a unix based os.

  • TSGateway (Score:4, Informative)

    by sam0737 (648914) <sam@NOSPam.chowchi.com> on Saturday February 28, 2009 @02:05PM (#27023865)

    The terminal service gateway is also pretty good. A controlled way to allows TS from the Internet into the clients on the subnet.

  • by DigiShaman (671371) on Saturday February 28, 2009 @02:07PM (#27023885) Homepage

    Server 2008 has a much improved backup utility. It's easy to setup (I just make one backup job that repeats nightly), and will provide a BMR (Bare Metal Restore). The best part however, is the ability to assign multiple USB drives to a backup job. Which ever one is plugged in at the time, it will backup to it. This allows the admin or employee to swap drives before they leave office at night.

    My only major gripe is that the backup utility will only do a file level backup. Exchange 2007 is not supported. In theory, you could stop the Exchange Store prior to the backups taking place, be we all know that's just not feasible. Instead, Microsoft states you *must* use a 3rd party backup program or their DPM 2007 product for backup/restore of Exchange! Damn :(

  • I did test Win2003server for a year and I completely fail to grok the logic behind needing a special OS just to run a bunch of servers. Oh, I understand full well the need of MS to sell you a more expensive OS. But for me a server is an application. Win*server contains several, some more or less well written but that's not the point. The point is that this test convinced me to run Linux, where if I want a web server I just do "aptitude install apache" or "yum install apache", if I want an ssh server, I do "
    • by db32 (862117)
      Shhh! Those Windows only Admin boys don't understand that. They think because they dropped a few thousand dollars for the OS license (frequently more than what the hardware costs) that it has more features and capabilities than any of those dirty *nix systems. I have watched more than a few of those guys stare in disbelief as I showed them how trivial it is in Linux to add support for multiple cpus, higher memory, larger drives, etc. You know...all of those things MS charges you a goddamned fortune to a
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Vancorps (746090)

        Wow dude, you're out there! First of all, there are a lot of people out there that value the straight forward setup approach that Microsoft often gives you for that high dollar. Of course when I'm running Oracle and spend many thousands on it I install it on a free OS but I certainly can't apt-get install Oracle.

        Aptitude is great and all, but you're forgetting apt-get install apache-modssl, mod_mysql, php and the myriad of other things that usually have to get installed too in order to do anything useful w

    • Actually, despite what MS will tell you, a server should be fundamentally different to a desktop, it should have a lot less software installed... MS's server versions are quite the opposite, they're basically desktops with additional server applications installed, they have a ton of desktop related functionality that is completely useless on a server sitting in a rack somewhere.

    • by forkazoo (138186) <wrosecrans&gmail,com> on Saturday February 28, 2009 @03:21PM (#27024415) Homepage

      I did test Win2003server for a year and I completely fail to grok the logic behind needing a special OS just to run a bunch of servers. Oh, I understand full well the need of MS to sell you a more expensive OS. But for me a server is an application. Win*server contains several, some more or less well written but that's not the point. The point is that this test convinced me to run Linux, where if I want a web server I just do "aptitude install apache" or "yum install apache", if I want an ssh server, I do "aptitude install openssh-server, likewise for vnc, sql, ftp, etc... And the rest of the OS continues to work the same.

      Yeah, I know what you mean. IME, Linux is much more valuable to me because it offers more flexibility over the life of a system. If the organisation grows and I need more concurrent users, I don't need to worry about the license. If I need to add a service on an existing server, I don't need to worry about whether Moderately Enterprisey Edition has what I need, or if I can only do it on one of the Really Quite Enterprisey Edition boxes. I can install a zillion times in different VM's, and not have to read the EULA with a fine toothed comb to know if it was legal. In many ways, I'd consider an expensive Linux preferable to a free Windows.

      That said, the Windows Server thing isn't that hard to grok. It's just market segmentation, plus a decision to only bundle the server and administrative application bundle with particular variations of the OS. If you prefer, think of it as buying the application bundle, and getting a free, tuned and tweaked version of Windows that is just there to run the expensive application bundle. Net result is that you don't need to worry about compatibility between the applications and your existing OS. MS comes to the table from a proprietary mindset. That's not inherently 100% terrible. And, more important than anything else, they bring some quite good tools. You can decide those tools aren't worth the headaches that come with MS for your situation. But, if you've ever set up NIS and NFS home directories on a bunch of Linux boxes, and you've joined Windows machines to a domain... You know that joining a Windows box to a domain is a heck of a lot more convenient than deploying NIS.

      I'm a UNIX admin who has worked with Windows servers, but even coming from my "UNIX 4 eva" side of the fence, I have to admit that the MS solutions make some things very convenient compared to the most analagous UNIX options. Just make sure you know which edition you need, so you install the Windows Server OS that will actually use all of your RAM. :)

    • by Jaime2 (824950) on Saturday February 28, 2009 @05:47PM (#27025309)
      The logic is simple... There is a special OS for a server so the cost can be different. There is no technical reason that Windows couldn't be like Linux and allow you to add every server component to a single base operating system, The only reason is that they want to charge people that buy servers with 256GB of RAM $3000 per server and those that run small companies $600 per server. Both companies get a good deal (of course, not as good as free).

      Where I work, a typical server costs $5,500, Windows costs around $600, physically putting the server in the datacenter costs $2,000, and labor for installing, configuring, and supporting the server costs $3,000 over the its life. At the end of the day, Windows servers cost around $11,100. Switching to Linux would save us $600, reducing our costs by 5%.

      A typical server with 256GB of RAM would run about $60,000. This server would require the Enterprise editions of Windows Server, so that would run about $3,000. The other costs would remain the same and at the end of the day, the OS is still only five percent of the total.
  • My .02 (Score:2, Informative)

    by JJman (916535)
    We just switched to 2k8 in my shop (not my choice, AD and Exchange are "mandatory") and I've gotta say, I don't like it.
    The only new feature that I've seen is DFS and even that is broken. The UI design team moved stuff for the sake of moving stuff and made everything bigger and chunkier. It also spams new windows that have a tendency to put themselves in the background like nobody's business. Also, the new DC's are giving all kinds of DNS errors.
    Now maybe the DFS and DNS problems will be worked out in tim
    • by Spad (470073)

      DFS isn't new, it's been around for years; the latest incarnation with delta replication appearing with 2003 R2. All 2008 adds is transparent Access Based Enumeration for DFS shares and the ability to have more than 5000 DFS targets in a single namespace.

  • by regular_gonzalez (926606) on Saturday February 28, 2009 @02:51PM (#27024177)
    I'm actually really impressed with it as a workstation OS [win2008workstation.com]. It is as fast as XP due to the significantly fewer number of background services running as compared to Vista, with the prettiness and features of Vista (including Direct X 10 for gaming). Vista drivers work just fine. I installed it mostly as a joke after having received it at one of those Heroes Happen Here conferences, but now I don't even boot to my XP partition anymore.
    • by PRMan (959735) on Saturday February 28, 2009 @03:08PM (#27024301)

      I don't know whether to mod the parent or reply, but I second this sentiment wholeheartedly.

      I am running one as a replacement for my 2003 server/domain controller at my house and also as a Vista-like workstation and game machine. I absolutely love it!

      It's just like Vista except for no UAC, no DRM and no annoying slowdowns. In other words, it's everything that Vista should have been, and this is running on only $500 worth of hardware (quad 6600, 4GB RAM).

      The 64-bit Vista drivers were a bit difficult to find because my motherboard "doesn't support" Server 2008, but after crossing that hurdle (loading the network driver from a different motherboard with the same chipset because Asus locks out 2008), it's been the best computer I have ever owned.

  • by ljw1004 (764174) on Saturday February 28, 2009 @02:54PM (#27024197)

    I've been using Server2008 x64 on my t61p laptop since it first came out.

    It's great! It feels zippier than Vista. It has a smaller install footprint. (actually even wireless isn't installed by default: you have to add it manually). It's been completely rock-solid.

    I even use Hyper-V when giving demos at conferences. (unfortunately Hyper-V doesn't cooperate with wireless and disables sleep/hibernate, so I can't use it routinely.)

  • by jregel (39009) on Saturday February 28, 2009 @02:55PM (#27024207) Homepage

    Two position statements first: 1) I'm primarily a Unix sysadmin of multiple flavours and love it, 2) I've only used Server 2008 on my test VM network.

    Having setup a private network thanks to a company purchased Technet subscription, I now have two Active Directory Domain Controllers, a WSUS server and Terminal Server. My take on 2008 is that when approached the right way, it's actually a very nice operating system.

    I like the new Terminal Services seamless window capability, the default policy of only installing the minimum required services, the new look Server Manager, even IIS7 looks nicely moduler. In fact, I could imagine managing a network of 2008 machines in a way that I never could with 2003. Now that might be my lack of fundamental 2003 knowledge (I can use it, but wouldn't describe myself as a "Windows System Administrator").

    The reality, even for us Unix/Linux advocates, is that we're probably going to have to interop with Windows Server from time to time, and if it's Server 2008 that I'm having to work with, then I can live with that.

  • I have yet to see one, and I see a lot of servers. Seems like 2k3 is good enough and people run other OSs for bigger tasks and virtualization. So... I've seen way more recent deployments of RedHat, CentOS, Ubuntu LTS and W2k3 than 2k8. Maybe it's the Vista smell, I don't know.

  • Seriously, we haven't bothered.

    Sure we will have to someday as servers are retired and 2003 goes off MOLP but it doesn't seem like a big deal to me to start some push to do it.

    More of a quiet snooze then a dramatic miss.

  • by DraconPern (521756) <draconpern@hPASC ... m minus language> on Saturday February 28, 2009 @04:04PM (#27024713) Homepage
    Windows 2008's advanced firewall setting is now easier to use than iptables through webmin. I can finally configure an internet facing server securely!
  • ACTIVATION?? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by plazman30 (531348) on Saturday February 28, 2009 @06:06PM (#27025431) Homepage

    The fact that I have to activate my OS is annoying. With 2K3, there was a volume licensing option, but with 2K8, that option is gone, and I have to either allow my server to talk to a public Microsoft activation server, or run a KMS server in house.

    Sorry, Microsoft, If you don't trust me, I don't trust you.

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