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Securing, Managing, and Recovering in a Windows Server 2008 Environment

April 1, 2008

Summary

Microsoft’s biggest server release in five years happened in February when Windows Server 2008 became available. Windows Server 2008 boasts many new features that expand beyond its predecessor (Windows Server 2003), and includes built-in Web and virtualization technologies and more.

Introduction

Microsoft’s biggest server release in five years happened in February when Windows Server 2008 became available. Windows Server 2008 boasts many new features that expand beyond its predecessor (Windows Server 2003), and includes built-in Web and virtualization technologies and more. These technologies will make it easier for Small and Mid-sized business IT admins to manage a complex IT environment. This article will discuss some of the new features within this OS, as well as some security considerations to keep in mind before migrating:

Favorable reviews

To date, reviews of Windows Server 2008 appear to be highly favorable, citing the new features that system administrators of small and mid-sized businesses will enjoy. Here are a few highlights of Windows Server 2008:
  • Windows Server 2008 is built on the same code base as Vista so there is a lot of functionality and architecture in common. Those who have used Windows Vista in the past will immediately recognize similarities in Windows Server 2008, easing the transition for new users.
  • The Server Manager utility provides a central control panel for all the important features and roles that the OS supports. Having everything you need to manage your server in a single place saves time and makes management easier.
  • Server Core strips the OS down to a single function, command line server OS. This pared down version of the OS has eight different roles—file, print, Web, virtualization, ADDS, Storage, DHCP and DNS – and dramatically cuts down patching time.
  • PowerShell provides an intuitive environment for IT admins and makes it easier to automate functions and extract information.

Protect your business

Industry analyst IDC forecasts that by the end of this year, there will be more than 3.5 million installations worldwide of Windows Server 2008. If your business will be among those making the upgrade, then you will need to find a way to ensure your new OS environment will be effectively managed, secured, and recoverable. Despite the fact that Microsoft has stated that Windows Server 2008 is the “most advanced and secure server operating system” that they have ever released, the burden still remains on Small and Mid-Sized businesses to:
  • Manage: Set up new software, manage the OS environment, monitor for and apply new patches.
  • Secure: Protect data against spam, virus and unknown vulnerabilities.
  • Recover: Employ tools to aid recovery from any type and size of disaster. Archival tools are also needed to keep new systems operating optimum levels.

Comprehensive solutions

Standardizing your business management, security, and recovery solutions is the best way to ensure that new and existing Windows systems are protected. Symantec has delivered certified solutions on the Windows Server platform for decades and is now releasing improved management, security, and recovery software for Windows Server 2008.

More than twenty Symantec products will support the new OS environment, including Backup Exec, Backup Exec System Recovery, NetBackup, Symantec Protection Network's Online Storage for Backup Exec, Symantec Endpoint Protection, Storage Foundation for Windows, Altiris Notification Server, Altiris Server Management Suite, and Altiris Management Suite. Here is a look at how Symantec solutions secure, manage, and recover Windows systems:
  • Manage: Symantec’s Management solutions enable SMBs to meet the growing demands on IT services and manage information growth and infrastructure complexity. Manual processes are automated throughout the entire data center lifecycle, lowering overall operating costs. Symantec’s Altiris Client and Server Management solutions help IT increase efficiency while reducing complexity, downtime, and costs. The solutions will help provision, manage, and ensure the availability of systems throughout a business.
  • Secure: Symantec’s Endpoint Security solution offers proven, world-class protection without added resource burden. The solution enables businesses to efficiently manage security for all its endpoints and gain confidence that assets and business operations are protected—all while controlling costs. The Messaging Security solution features industry-leading antispam, antivirus, and data management technologies, all integrated to protect against threats from inbound and outbound email and IM.
  • Recover: Backup and Recovery solutions from Symantec provide consistent, reliable protection of system and data while simplifying recovery. A SMB can be better prepared for and recover more easily from equipment failure, virus attacks, or the accidental loss of files. Symantec’s backup and recovery solutions scale and will be able to grow with any organization. Symantec Backup Exec 12 is the first backup product certified on Windows Server 2008 according to Microsoft.

Conclusion

If early reviews are any indicator, then Microsoft’s new Windows Server 2008 will become a popular OS environment for businesses in the coming months. While Microsoft has made great strides in the security of this new release, it is not a security solution, and you will need to find a comprehensive way to keep all systems managed, secured, and recoverable. If your small or mid-sized business is considering moving to this new platform, you can be confident that Symantec’s critical solutions are compatible with Windows Server 2008.

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