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Branch Infrastructure Implementation Solution for Windows Server 2008

May 7, 2008

Microsoft has released a "solution" document for branch office infrastructure (BOI) using Windows Server 2008.  The improvements in W2008 really can make thing better in a BOI.  Some of this actually started in Windows Server 2003 R2: Print Management Console and DFS Namespace/DFS Replication.  More improvements in TCP, SMB, Terminal Services, Active Directory, the Read-Only Domain Controller and Hyper-V have given us more options to reduce costs, simplify management and, most importantly, improve the businesses ability to collaborate and compete.

Overview

Windows Server 2008 includes several enhancements to the base operating system plus powerful new functionalities that make it valuable in a branch office environment. These include:

– Mitigated Security Risks: The Read-Only Domain Controller is a powerful new feature that enables organizations provide their remote branch office with local authentication servers, without having to increase security exposure to their Domain Database. The RoDC also provides a read-only copy of the DNS and receives uni-directional updates from the Central Office DataCentre. BitLocker technology provides hardware-based encryption for data on branch office server. The Server Core installation option helps significantly decrease the servers’ surface area of exposure and management overheads by reducing the operating system footprint.

– Improved Network Performance: Windows Server 2008 offers several new or improved network technologies that will improve the efficiency of WAN communications. The new TCPIP Stack and the Server Message Block (SMB 2.0) is redesigned for networking environments especially when connecting branch offices. The Distributed File System Replication service (DFSR) is a multi-master replication engine that increases data availability and gives users in remote sites fast, reliable access to files

– Improved Deployment and Administration: New management tools like the Server Manager Console provide a single, unified console for managing a server’s configuration and system information, displaying server status, identifying problems with server role configuration, and managing all roles installed on the server.

BIIS provides an understanding of the complex issues that affect branch infrastructure planning and design. This solution was designed using a modular approach that will support future releases and add-on guides to support core as well as extended branch infrastructure services. The service guides that are available with this release focus specifically on key Windows Server 2008 role services. Future releases will present a selection of “extended” services to detail branch infrastructure focused on solutions for roles and products such as Hyper-V, System Center Configuration Manager, and Forefront Client Security. This guidance helps IT Service designers and architects minimize the branch office design and implementation costs and provide the most efficient and effective management possible, while still providing the desired user experience for staff in branch offices.

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