R2 Inches Closer
The year is winding down, which means Windows Server 2003 R2 must
be close. The update to the server OS is Microsoft's last big deliverable
on the schedule for 2005. Microsoft left itself some fudge room
in the latest version of its public server roadmap. That schedule
calls for R2 around the end of the year, which could include early
2006, I guess.
Whether R2 ships this month or early next year, partners serving
enterprise customers will find some new opportunities baked into
Those serving customers with file-and-print servers in branch offices
will want to check out the new branch office management technologies
in R2. They include new tools allowing centralized admins to manage
remote servers and new technologies for getting the most out of
WAN bandwidth and WAN uptime.
Partners building single sign-on solutions, consumer-facing portals
or business-to-business connections will find food for thought in
the R2 release. A technology called Active Directory Federation
Services provides a number of ways to help an Active Directory-based
organization reach out with their AD infrastructure to other company
AD forests, to business partners or to consumers. By folding in
some of the tools that formerly belonged in Microsoft Services for
Unix, Microsoft is also giving Active Directory new ways to natively
connect with Unix-based systems and user credentials, as well.
R2 also teaches Windows Server 2003 some new tricks for blocking
pesky file types like MP3s, performing quota management and for
configuring and provisioning storage area networks.
column was originally published in our weekly
Redmond Partner Update newsletter. To subscribe,
For more detail on the R2 feature set, see the special report on
our sister site ENTmag.com.
Partners with small business customers will also have new opportunities
in R2, but those are a little further away. Microsoft plans an R2
version of Windows Small Business Server in 2006. The specialized
OS is planned for 60-90 days after the main Windows Server 2003
We'd love to hear about any plans you have for expanding your business
with Windows Server 2003 R2. Send me a note at [email protected].
Posted by Scott Bekker on December 05, 2005 at 11:53 AM