Skip navigation

Windows IT Pro UPDATE--R2-O-Rama--December 13, 2005

Windows IT Pro UPDATE--R2-O-Rama--December 13, 2005

Subscribe to Windows IT Pro:


Make sure your copy of Windows IT Pro UPDATE doesn't get mistakenly blocked by antispam software! Be sure to add [email protected] to your list of allowed senders and contacts.

This email newsletter comes to you free and is supported by the following advertisers, which offer products and services in which you might be interested. Please take a moment to visit these advertiser's Web sites and show your support for Windows IT Pro UPDATE.




1. Commentary
- R2-O-Rama

2. Hot Off the Press
- Microsoft Links Windows Live Messenger to MCI Phones

3. Peer to Peer
- Featured Thread: Move Roaming Profiles
- Tip: How do I install Microsoft Operations Manager (MOM) 2005?

4. New and Improved
- Create Automatic Backups of Your Data

==== Sponsor: Argent ====

Network Testing Labs, one of the world's leading independent research companies, concluded that "Argent's suite had a smaller footprint, was more scalable, supported more platforms, had a more responsive and intuitive user interface and gave us more useful reports," the report says. "Argent's suite of monitoring products emerged from our testing with flying colors."

Download this FREE Comparison Paper now:


==== 1. Commentary: R2-O-Rama ====
by Paul Thurrott, News Editor, [email protected]

If you haven't been paying attention to Microsoft's product roadmap lately, you might be surprised to see the name "R2" suddenly appearing all over the place. Originally, a code name used to describe only the recently finalized update to Windows Server 2003 (which was originally going to be accompanied by an aborted client release called D2, as in R2-D2), the R2 name has become part of the wider Microsoft nomenclature; it now refers to a second, interim release of any product. So R2, which stands for "Release 2," can appear just about anywhere in Microsoft's product portfolio. And increasingly, it will.

Oddly enough, Windows 2003 R2 isn't the first R2 release to ship, technically speaking. That honor falls to Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 R2, which I discuss a little later. But as far as the wider R2 concept goes--providing a predictable and stable way to introduce features between major product releases--the idea is sound and, I believe, something that businesses of all sizes will embrace with a few exceptions. Consider how Microsoft mucked up the original release of Windows 2003: Over the course of the first 2 years of the product's availability, the company placed on its Web site scores of downloadable Feature Packs for Windows 2003. The problem was that none of the Feature Packs were particularly discoverable. They weren't offered through Windows Update, and you had to know they were available and where to go to get them.

So now we have R2 versions, which don't change the core application (or OS) but do add new features. Because the core code is the same as the previous generation, however, compatibility is guaranteed and you don't have to retest. There's just one little rub: Although Software Assurance (SA) and Enterprise Agreement (EA) customers will likely get R2 releases for free as part of their subscriptions, customers who purchase Windows Server and other products that are later updated to R2 versions will need to purchase the new software version to get the new features. That requirement could cause some bad feelings if you don't know its coming. In any event, let's look at the R2 releases that Microsoft will make available in the weeks and months ahead.

Windows 2003 R2
Windows 2003 R2 is what I (and most of Microsoft) simply call R2 and was the basis for the entire R2 concept because of the aforementioned Feature Pack concerns. Windows 2003 R2 will ship to customers in early 2006 and offers three major new functional changes, all of which are aimed at large businesses. It offers a more efficient (and therefore less costly) way to communicate with remote offices (what Microsoft calls branch offices); it includes Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS--code-named Trustbridge) for authenticating users across corporate boundaries; and it offers dramatically simpler SAN management interfaces. But although these major features receive all the press, R2 is actually loaded with lots of much smaller improvements that truly make this release interesting. These features include an integrated Printer Management Console, the new Common Log File System (CLFS), Subsystem for UNIX-based Applications (SUA), and the new Microsoft Management Console (MMC) 3.0. And if you do roll out R2, fear not: You won't need new CALs.

However, only the non-Web Edition versions of Windows 2003 will be sold in R2 versions because Windows 2003 Web Edition can't take advantage of any unique new R2 features. For all other versions, the R2 variants will replace today's Windows 2003 versions in the channel.

Virtual Server 2005 R2
Although it started life as a service pack, Virtual Server 2005 R2 is, as its new name suggests, far more compelling, with several new features. Virtual Server 2005 R2 includes pervasive clustering support for both hosts and OS guests; native support for x64 versions of Windows 2003 (running on x64 hardware; it doesn't include support for x64 guest OSs, however); dramatic performance improvements for virtualized Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 with Service Pack 2 (SP2) and SQL Server 2005 environments; Preboot Execution Environment (PXE) support for easier deployment, and--get this--support for Linux and other non-Microsoft guest OSs. Some of Virtual Server 2005 R2's best features, however, concern pricing and licensing. Microsoft has reduced the cost of Virtual Server 2005 R2 Standard Edition to $99, and you can get the Enterprise Edition for just $199, when licensed for use on Windows 2003 R2 Enterprise Edition. And in a bid to make these two systems your best bet for virtualization, Microsoft is also allowing Windows 2003 R2 Enterprise Edition to run four additional virtualized instances of the OS for no additional cost. This benefit applies to Virtual Server 2005 R2 as well as competing products such as those that VMware offers.

Windows Storage Server 2003 R2
Microsoft's new NAS solution, Windows Storage Server 2003 R2, will be made available only through server makers in either appliance or rack-mounted form. Essentially a full version of Windows 2003 R2 that's been optimized for file server performance, Windows Storage Server 2005 R2 is a dramatic improvement over the earlier version thanks to three new features. The new single instance storage engine, which previously worked only with Microsoft Remote Installation Services (RIS), helps reduce disk consumption by transparently copying duplicate files to a single instance storage Common Store and replacing the originals with reparse points. A new full-text search feature leverages the Windows Server indexing engine and the client-search features in Windows XP and Windows 2000, providing instantaneous searching of network shares. And new low-level file server performance optimizations ensure that Windows Storage Server 2003 R2 is the fastest file server available; you can even optionally disable 8.3 file-name generation for even faster performance (although that option requires XP clients).

Small Business Server 2003 R2
Although Microsoft has been quiet about the R2 version of Small Business Server (SBS) 2003 until recently, the following information is now public. First, SBS 2003 R2 will ship by the middle of 2006. It will include an integrated version of Windows Server Update Services (WSUS), providing small businesses with an excellent security patch and software update-management system out of the box. It will include the latest versions of Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 with SP2, along with its new 75GB data store limit, and SQL Server 2005 Workgroup Edition. And it will run only on 32-bit servers. In mid-2007, Microsoft plans to ship a Longhorn version of SBS, code-named Cougar. This product will run only on x64 hardware.

That's a lot of R2 code, and it's all coming to you by the first half of 2006. Although much of this new technology is of interest only to specific markets, all of it is built to the same release logic. It's a new way of doing things that I think makes sense.


==== Sponsor: LinkTek ====
Automatically fix links when you move files!
Patent-pending LinkFixerPlus is the first application that automatically fixes broken links in Excel, Word, Access, PowerPoint, InDesign, PageMaker, AutoCAD and other files when performing data migrations due to: server consolidations, server name changes, path name changes or folder reorganizations! Detailed broken link reporting too!

Download the FREE trial version NOW at


==== 2. Hot Off the Press ====
by Paul Thurrott, [email protected]

Microsoft Links Windows Live Messenger to MCI Phones
Late yesterday, Microsoft and telephone service provider MCI announced that they're teaming up to link Microsoft's upcoming IM client Windows Live Messenger with inexpensive traditional telephones. The deal, which will let Windows Live Messenger users place PC-to-phone calls around the globe for as little as 2.3 cents a minute, is actually less expensive than MCI's traditional international phone rates. The service is called MCI Web Calling for Windows Live Call and it uses VoIP technology, Microsoft says. To read the entire article visit the following URL:

==== Events and Resources ====
(A complete Web and live events directory brought to you by Windows IT Pro: )

SQL Server 2005: Up & Running Roadshows Coming to Europe!
SQL Server experts will present real-world information about administration, development, and business intelligence to help you put SQL Server 2005 into practice and learn how to use its new capabilities. Includes one-year PASS membership and subscription to SQL Server Magazine. Register now for London, UK and Stockholm, Sweden at

Upgrade to Analysis Services 2005
Get the tips and tricks you'll need to upgrade to Analysis Services 2005, including possible upgrade and migration scenarios, pre-planning steps, running the new Analysis Services migration wizard, and more. Plus discover what steps need to be completed after the migration process is complete and explore some of the new features of Analysis Services 2005.

Are You Really Prepared for Disaster Recovery?
Join industry guru Liam Colvin in this free Web seminar and get the tips you need to validate your disaster recovery data. You'll learn if your backup and restore data is worth staking your career on, what type of geo-clustering is right for you, which response to use in crisis situations, and more!

The Successful Help Desk: Communicating with Customers
This live, online class focuses on helping IT Help Desk professionals use e-mail to communicate effectively with customers. It covers general e-mail guidelines, specific e-mail formatting rules, how to avoid common e-mail mistakes, and more. This Help Systems class starts 12/12-Find more info and register!

Scripting and codes don't have to be boring. Subscribe today to Scripting Central and get a down-and-dirty technical, yet lighthearted look at scripts. You'll also get tools for and tips on how to write scripts for a variety of Windows applications, like Exchange and SQL Server.
Sign up today!

==== Featured White Paper ====

Ensure Data Protection and High Availability for Microsoft Exchange
Having a mission-critical, data protection solution that is cost-effective, hardware independent and scalable is something every IT manager should consider. In this free white paper get all you need to know about ensuring data protection and high availability for Exchange. This is one paper you can't afford to miss! Get your copy today at:

~~~~ Hot Release: (Advertisement) ~~~~

Meet the challenges of Microsoft Exchange
Discover a unified solution to get a handle on the growth of your email and unstructured data and address compliance and government mandates. In this free white paper you'll learn to overcome the management and storage challenges that Microsoft Exchange can bring.

==== Instant Poll ====

Results of Previous Poll:
The voting has closed in Windows IT Pro's nonscientific Instant Poll for the question, "What has been your company's most challenging IT-related problem this year?" Here are the results from the 149 votes:
- 32% Lack of funding for hardware/software upgrades
- 40% Lack of funding for hiring/training IT help
- 13% Network security (viruses, hackers)
- 15% Other

New Instant Poll:
The next Instant Poll question is, "Is your IT department staff on call Christmas Day?" Go to the Windows IT Pro home page and submit your vote for a) Yes, b) No, we outsource IT help on Christmas, c) No, we provide no IT support on Christmas, or d) I don't know.

==== 4. Peer to Peer ====

Featured Thread: Move Roaming Profiles?
Forum user Mercurysis wants to know whether it's possible to move the existing roaming profiles of users from a share on an old server to a share on a replacement server and keep all the settings. If you can help, visit the following URL:

Tip: How do I install Microsoft Operations Manager (MOM) 2005?
by John Savill,

Find the answer at the following URL:

==== Announcements ====
(A complete Web and live events directory brought to you by Windows IT Pro: )

The Windows IT Pro Master CD has it all!
Get the Windows IT Pro Master CD and get portable, high-speed access to the entire Windows IT Pro article database on CD--that's a library of more than 9000 articles! The newest issue includes BONUS Windows IT Tips; sign up now, and you'll SAVE 25%. Offer ends 12/31/05, so take advantage of this holiday offer now.

Exchange & Outlook Administrator Newsletter - Holiday Special
Need answers to your tough Exchange questions? Subscribe to the Exchange & Outlook Administrator newsletter and SAVE up to $30 off the regular price. Each issue features tools and solutions you won't find anywhere else to help you migrate, optimize, administer, backup, recover, and secure Exchange and Outlook. Paid subscribers also get searchable access to the full online exchange article database (over 1000 articles). Order now:

==== 5. New and Improved ====
by Blake Eno, [email protected]

Create Automatic Backups of Your Data Centered Systems released Second Copy 7, an automatic backup utility that runs in the background of your OS. The product makes a backup of your data files to another directory, disk, or computer across the network and then monitors the source files and keeps the backup updated with new or updated files. New features for this release include 256-bit Advanced Encryption Standard (EAS) and File Transfer Protocol (FTP) support. The product also includes email notification by letting you send the log file via email. Centered Systems' Second Copy 7 supports Windows 2003/XP/2000/NT4.0/ME/98 and starts at $29.95 for a single-user license. Tell Us About a Hot Product and Get a T-Shirt!
Have you used a product that changed your IT experience by saving you time or easing your daily burden? Tell us about the product, and we'll send you a T-shirt if we write about the product in a future Windows IT Pro What's Hot column. Send your product suggestions with information about how the product has helped you to mailto:[email protected].

==== Contact Us ====

About the newsletter -- [email protected] About technical questions -- About product news -- [email protected] About your subscription -- [email protected] About sponsoring UPDATE -- [email protected]


This email newsletter is brought to you by Windows IT Pro, the leading publication for IT professionals deploying Windows and related technologies. Subscribe today!

Manage Your Account You are subscribed as %%$email%%

You are receiving this email message because you subscribed to this newsletter on our Web site. To unsubscribe, click the unsubscribe link:

View the Windows IT Pro Privacy policy at Windows IT Pro is a division of Penton Media, Inc. 221 East 29th Street, Loveland, CO 80538, Attention: Customer Service Department Copyright 2005, Penton Media, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

TAGS: Windows 7/8
Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.