Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Better Remote Access with Windows 2008 Terminal Services

Terminal Services have been greatly enhanced in Windows 2008 from Windows 2003, adding functionality for single sign-on, better remote display options, reduced administrative complexity, web access, and plug-n-play device redirection. These services allow both hosting companies and their clients to more easily regulate remote services and offer remote users a smoother experience by increasing speed, reducing the need for multiple sign-ons, and providing a cleaner display.

Remote Access from Anywhere

Windows 2008 allows Windows users better access to standard Windows-based programs from virtually anywhere using RemoteApp and the Remote Desktop Connection (RDC). RemoteApp allows users to work with applications just as if they were operating in person on the remote computer, while maintaining a presence on the computer they access from–they can minimize and maximize the remote window. RemoteApp reduces complexity and administrative overhead. Branch offices, hoteling employees, support personnel, and multiple version application deployments can all benefit from this functionality.

A Better Display

Windows 2008 Terminal Services adds support for higher resolution ratios, up to 4096 x 2048, providing support for the latest displays. It also provides the ability to use multiple monitors, spanning one display over multiple monitors using a remote connection. Font smoothing is another aspect of the improved display. Windows 2008 supports ClearType, a technology that creates a more seamless experience for the remote user, allowing fonts to appear more clearly, especially on an LCD monitor. Most importantly, Windows 2008 Terminal Server has implemented display data prioritization, which automatically gives priority to the remote user's display, keyboard and mouse controls over other traffic, such as printing and files transfers, which do not require continuous bandwidth to provide a good user experience.

Reducing Log-in Time

Instead of logging on multiple times with multiple log-ins, as previously required, Windows 2008 offers an authentication method that allows a remote user with a domain account to log on once using one password.

Web Access to the Remote Desktop

Terminal Services Web Access enables users to connect from a Web browser to the remote desktop of any server or client, rather than by first starting the Remote Desktop Connection (RDC) client. With Web Access, users can visit an Internet or intranet Web site to access a list of RemoteApp programs. The benefits of Web Access include reduced administrative overhead, centralized program deployment, minimal configuration, and easier maintenance because programs run on the terminal server and not on the remote client computer.

Remote Access to Plug-N-Play Devices

Windows Server 2008 has expanded redirection, enhancing remote access to plug and play devices, specifically media players based on the Media Transfer Protocol (MTP) and digital cameras based on the Picture Transfer Protocol (PTP), providing rich remote experiences. Using Windows 2008 Terminal Services, applications can access PnP devices seamlessly, whether they run locally or remotely.

Better Remote Connections with Windows 2008 and Infinitely Virtual

To learn more about Windows 2008 Terminal Services and how they can help connect your remote and mobile users, contact Infinitely Virtual at (866) 257-8455 or go to www.InfinitelyVirtual.com. We can show you how enhanced Terminal Services can reduce your administrative costs while making work by remote access more productive.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Higher Productivity and Security with Windows 2008 Hosting

The upgrade to Windows 2008 from Windows 2003 can bring a hosting customer multiple benefits, including power savings, better remote access, higher security, and the capacity to deliver streaming media, in addition to comprehensive disaster recovery, versatile operating system support, and new administration tools.

Power Savings Offer Lower Hosting Costs

A hosting company that offers Windows 2008 will be able to offer more processing power for less based on lower power consumption. Tests show Windows Server 2008 using less power than Windows Server 2003 when running on the same hardware at comparable levels of throughput, achieving power savings of up to 10 percent. This is achieved partly through the power management policy in Windows Server 2008 that automatically reduces the performance levels during periods of reduced demand for processor resources.

Disaster Recovery with Enhanced Backup Capabilities

Get faster backup technology and better disaster protection with Windows Server Backup in Windows 2008, using Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) and block-level backup technology. This new technology offers faster backups, simplified restoration and recovery, ability to recover applications, and improved scheduling, while retaining support for manual backups. It also provides for the offsite removal of backups for disaster protection, remote administration, automatic disk usage management, extensive command-line support, and support for optical media drives and removable media.

Increased Security with a Low-profile Server Core Installation

If you have dedicated servers that aren't run through a GUI, or that require higher security, the Server Core installation option could serve your needs. The Server Core installation is a minimal installation (1 GB of disk space) for Windows 2008 server in which only the items required for the specified server roles are installed. That reduces software maintenance, management, and attack surface on the server. The Server Core installation provides an environment for server roles including Active Directory Domain Services, Active Directory Lightweight Directory Services, DHCP Server, DNS Server, File Services, Print Server, and Streaming Media Services. (Windows Server Backup is not available with Server Core installation.)

Rich Communications with Streaming Media Services

Streaming Media Services allow you to deploy a Windows Media server, a platform for streaming live and on-demand digital media content over networks. If your company manages network resources to deliver rich communications for online learning, marketing, and sales, Streaming Media Services can provide the platform you need to deliver the material efficiently, robustly, and at a reasonable cost. Other uses include wireless broadband entertainment, Internet broadcasting, secure audio and video content, and high-quality IPTV over LANs.

Improved Remote Access and Services through New Terminal Services Functionality

The upgrade from Window 2003 to 2008 will improve all aspects of your remote access service using Terminal Services. Windows 2008 includes improved functionality for core functionality and for Terminal Services RemoteApp, Web Access, Printing, Licensing, and Gateway.

Terminal Services core functionality has been greatly enhanced by the addition of services such as Remote Desktop Connection, monitor spanning, which displays a remote desktop session across multiple monitors, and display data prioritization to improve screen performance by giving display, keyboard, and mouse data priority over traffic like printing or file transfers.

RemoteApp and Web Access provide access to Windows programs from virtually any location through a company-provided installation using a remote desktop client or website.

Other enhanced Terminal Services include Printing, Licensing, and Gateway. Printing has been enhanced with the Terminal Services Easy Print driver. This feature enables users to reliably print from a RemoteApp program or from a terminal server desktop session to the correct printer on their client computer. Licensing simplifies Client Access License (CAL) management and helps ensure that you don't purchase more licenses than you need. Gateway enables users to connect to internal network resources over the Internet using a secure encrypted connection without the need to configure a VPN connection.

DNS Server Functionality, NFS Services and PowerShell

The DNS Server for Windows 2008 has been enhanced with several tools, including background zone loading to allow the DNS server to respond to requests while the Active Directory Domain Services zones are loading in separate threads, and support for IPv6 addresses to support present and future DNS clients designed to take advantage of the benefits of IPv6 addressing.

Services for Network File System (NFS) provide a file sharing solution for mixed Windows and UNIX environments. Support has been added for Active Directory Lookup, 64-bit version support, enhanced server performance, UNIX special device (the mknod function) support, and enhanced UNIX support, including Sun Microsystems Solaris version 9, Red Hat Linux version 9, IBM AIX version 5L 5.2, and Hewlett Packard HP-UX version 11i.

Windows 2008 has also added a new tool for system administrators called PowerShell. This command-line shell and scripting language can help your company achieve greater productivity with more than 130 command-line tools to enable easier administration and automation.

Upgrade to Windows 2008 Hosting with Infinitely Virtual

If you’d like to find out more about how Windows 2008 can improve your hosting service, call (866) 257-8455 or go to www.InfinitelyVirtual.com. We can show you how Windows 2008 can increase server security while enhancing your company’s productivity.