Some of the major new features included in Windows 2008 Server are listed below.
Windows 2008 Server Core is a new installation option that was introduced in Windows Server 2008. Server Core installation is a minimal installation and only the services and components needed for the supported server functions are installed. Even the Windows GUI is removed and only command promt is avalable to interact with the Operating System.
Read-Only Domain Controller (RODC)
Windows 2003 Server Active Directory, all domain controllers have read/write copies of the Active Directory database that are kept synchronized through multi-master replication. Windows 2008 introduced a new type of Domain Controller, Read-Only Domain Controller (RODC), which is read only (Similar to Windows NT Backup Domain Controllers (BDCs) which had only a read-only copy of the SAM database). Read-Only Domain Controller (RODC) is useful for remote locations where there high physical security to place a read/write domain controller, or there is no skilled system administrators.
Windows Deployment Services (WDS)
Windows Deployment Services (WDS) is the successor to Remote Installation Services with many new improvements. Windows Deployment Services is useful for performing network-based installation of Windows operating systems.
If an NTFS file system was corrupted in old versions of Windows, the volume is marked as dirty to correct errors on the volume and it had to be taken offline. With self-healing capability, NTFS now self-heals in an event of volume corruptions.
Network Access Protection (NAP)
Network Access Protection (NAP) is a technology which controls access to network resources based on a client computer’s identity and compliance with corporate governance policy.Network Access Protection (NAP) requests a statement of health (SoH) from each connecting computer’s, and checks the statement of health (SoH) against corporate health policies. If the connecting machine does not meet the health level, Windows Server quarantines it and, optionally, sends updates to bring it up to required health levels.
Internet Information Services (IIS) 7
IIS 7 has a number of new or enhanced features. IIS 7 is more modularized. IIS 7 provides a unified server platform for web hosting, ASP.NET, SharePoint Services, and WSF (Windows Communication Foundation). Also there are enhancements in the areas of security, reliability, administration, and scalability.
Initial Configuration Tasks (ICT)
The Initial Configuration Tasks (ICT) window will open after you logon to a clean install of Windows Server 2008. Initial Configuration Tasks (ICT) will help you to configure few tasks that are required once a server is installed, such as identifying the computer to other computing resources on your network, date and time securing the computer etc.
Server Manager MMC snap-in is a single point tool to view and administer a Windows 2008 Roles and Features.