Software giant Microsoft is busy working behind the scenes on the upcoming release of its server operating system Windows Server 2008, formerly known under the codename Longhorn.
The announcement was made during Microsoft chairman Bill Gates’ keynote speech at the 16th annual Windows hardware engineering conference last month. The keynote could be Gates’ last, as he looks set to retire next year.
The server edition has run through three beta stages, and has been well received by the beta-testers.
Tovia Va’aelua, Server and Tools marketing manager at Microsoft New Zealand, says one of Windows Server 2008’s strengths is that it was developed by the same team as the company’s client operating system, Vista.
“Having the same development team working on both editions has been very good for Microsoft. Unlike Server 2003, which had a separate team, we have now been able to learn from Vista and make the two systems more interoperable.”
Va’aelua says Microsoft has been helped along the track by acquisitions.
“Acquisitions have definitely helped us develop this product. One example is Softgrid. Technology like [Softgrid] really fits in with our greater strategy.”
Other companies, like Juniper Networks, have already taken steps to make sure its products will work with the new server edition.
The network company has announced interoperability between Microsoft network access protection (NAP) and Juniper’s unified access control (UAC).
Matt Kolon, vice president of Juniper’s Asia Pacific technical operations, says the interoperability, based on open standards, further enhances perimeter security.
“UAC now ties in authentication with NAP allowing users access, either to certain segments or general access. The idea of local network security joined with perimeter security makes for a better proposition.”
Henry Sanders, Microsoft’s US-based general manager of Windows networking, says the interoperability means customers can feel more confident when making investments in unified access control.
“Interoperability of NAC infrastructures enable customers to quickly and effectively adapt to changing business and network environments, especially now that companies can leverage Vista and XP as their NAP or UAC clients.”
Some benefits from the interoperability include access and threat control, simplified deployment and support for heterogeneous network environments. Jan Birkeland