Will Vista and Windows Server 2008 really be better together?

Will Vista and Windows Server 2008 really be better together?

Summary: Microsoft's premise is that the combination of Vista Service Pack (SP) 1 on the desktop and Windows Server 2008 on the back-end will be preferable to running either product by itself. Here are some of the reasons the company is encouraging businesses to deploy and use the pair in tandem.

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Microsoft doesn't trot out its old "Better Together" marketing campaign much any more. But "Better Together" will be one of the messages Microsoft will be playing up in February, as it marches towards its big-bang Windows Server 2008 launch.

Microsoft's premise is that the combination of Vista Service Pack (SP) 1 on the desktop and Windows Server 2008 on the back-end will be preferable to running either product by itself.

As James Senior, a Microsoft Technical Specialist, noted on his blog recently, Microsoft is emphasizing that Vista and Server 2008 came from the same core. Senior points to a Windows Server 2008 Overview article that explains the shared heritage of the pair:

"Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 originally began as part of a single development project, and as such they share a number of new technologies across networking, storage, security and management. Although the development of Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 have branched into separate releases with different release cycles, many of these enhancements apply to both Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008. When organizations deploy both operating systems, they will see how the combined client-server infrastructure provides even greater advantages."

What are some of these "greater advantages" of using Vista and Windows Server 2008 together? On the aforementioned overview article's short list:

  • Maintenance is greatly simplified by the use of a single model for updates and service packs across client and server.
  • Client computers can monitor for specific events and forward to Windows Server 2008 for centralized monitoring and reporting.
  • Network Access Protection features on Windows Server 2008 ensure that Windows Vista clients connecting to the network are compliant with security policies and restricted from accessing network resources if not.
  • Clients can render print jobs locally before sending them to print servers to reduce the load on the server and increase its availability.
  • Server resources are cached locally so that they are available even if the server is not, with copies automatically updating when the client and server are reconnected.
  • Applications or scripts that need to run on both client and server can take advantage of the Transactional File System to reduce the risk of error during file and registry operations and roll back to a known good state in the event of failure or cancellation.
  • Policies can be created to ensure greater Quality of Service for certain applications or services that require prioritization of network bandwidth between client and server.
  • Windows Vista clients connecting to networks where Windows Server 2008 has been deployed can experience greatly improved communication speeds and reliability.
  • Searching Windows Server 2008 servers from a Windows Vista client avails of enhanced indexing and caching technologies on both to provide huge performance gains across the enterprise.
  • Native IPv6 support across all client and server services creates a more scalable and reliable network, while the rewritten TCP/IP stack makes network communication much faster and more efficient.
  • The new Server Message Block 2.0 protocol provides a number of communication enhancements, including greater performance when connecting to file shares over high-latency links and better security through the use of mutual authentication and message signing.
  • Terminal Services on Windows Server 2008 have many improvements, including providing Windows Vista clients with remote access to internal resources through an HTTP gateway and seamless remote applications that run as if on the local desktop.

To date, many customers have decided not to deploy at the same time Office 2007 and Windows Vista -- another pair of products Microsoft emphasized as being "better together." Many Office 2007 users are running the latest version of the suite on Windows XP.

What's your take: Will Microsoft convince business users that Vista and Windows Server 2008 are best when used in tandem?

Topics: Operating Systems, Hardware, Microsoft, Networking, Servers, Software, Windows

About

Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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29 comments
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  • Mission Accomplished...

    The release of Windows 2008 brings the vision of Better Together to its natural endpoint. The WOW of Vista + the unbridled power of Windows 2008 Server (W2K8) will lead enterprises to a level of productivity never before seen. I firmly believe that Windows 2008 and Vista, when deployed properly will bring us out of recession and end the housing crisis. We have been running Windows 2008 for ages already and all I can say is it has changed the way everyone works, plays and communicates here.
    Mike Cox
    • hello Mars

      <<it has changed the way everyone works, plays and communicates here>>
      Which planet are you coming from?
      I truly believe people should continue to speak as humans, not as machines. Technology should adapt to humans, not the opposite.
      Lewis J. Alba
      • Ah, Mikey just keeps reeling them in!

        Mike, aren't you tired of fish for dinner yet?

        You may want to stop hooking the newbies and just catch and release. They will eventually learn a painful lesson.
        Confused by religion
    • Mission Accomplished (almost)

      Our company is in deep trouble. RHEL has let us down. We know that only the incredible productivity that the synergies Windows Server 2008, Exchange 2008, Vista SP1 and SQL Server 2008 working together produce will save us.

      But SQL Server 2008 is late, we're doomed unless your rep can get us on the beta, just to tide us over until the SQL Server 2008 gold bits are released.
      andrewjg
      • Sigh...when will they learn?!

        It's not RHEL that let you down! You have to keep up with the latest bits! Everyone's going Ubuntu now. Of *course* your RHEL won't work! Duh! That's like expecting M$ Windows 3.1 to run IE 7. :)
        Techboy_z
    • "Mission Accomplished..."

      ...that statement has come back to bite our "Rocket Scientist" of a President in the backside Mikey...just be sure the same doesn't happen to you.
      IT_Guy_z
    • tongue in cheek statement ? or being serious

      watch out this guy might be being facetious.
      kpthottam@...
  • RE: Will Vista and Windows Server 2008 really be better together?

    As access codes are finally released to some parties, e.g. Samba, other OS's should also be able to work together perfectly.
    For example Linux servers should gain full access compatibility and therefore challenge MS Server even more (although applications are still often tied to one OS).
    It is vital, for the market as for Windows itself, to have a level playing competitor.
    Lewis J. Alba
  • Came from the same CORE!?!

    WOW - talk about selling me out of something. I think Vista is a total turd - not about to set up an servers built on turd. Vista is the worst OS MS has released since Windows ME but at least MS knew enough to drop all SPs and stop trying to sell Windows ME - too bad they didn't learn from that fiasco.
    boed
    • Examples of the Turd, please

      Exactly what is it about the core of Vista you find to be such a turd? What experiences have you had where the core of Vista has failed you? Please elaborate on the problems you've encountered before dismissing an upcoming operating system out of hand.
      payton@...
      • Message has been deleted.

        Ole Man
  • Yes! Vista and Server 2008 should be better together!

    Windows XP SP3 will probably be better together almost as Windows Vista, but with Windows Vista, it sports a User Account Control, which is useful in order to help minimize the attack surface, in conjunction with users' common sense as they'll have to be complaint with the workplace policy when dealing with attachments in e-mails, including what websites a user visits (when it's not work-related and they are taking a break from their work).

    So, Windows Vista that works together with Windows Server 2008 is all about security, but of course, common sense from clients (users)
    Grayson Peddie
  • RE: Will Vista and Windows Server 2008 really be better together?

    Both Ultimate & 2008 are good, 2008 is much finer crafted piece of software, while Ultimate has better style & media. I fund Vista Ultimate is not good enough to stand on its own (circa June'7) so I added 2008. lastly I added partition of XP, it all runs well, each add on seemed to smooth over others.

    thomas s von drashek
    VONDRASHEK@...
  • Better together = monopolistic marketing

    Seriously, if Microsoft's strategy is to say that you should use all Microsoft products
    together for a better experience, then it's just as viable to use no Microsoft products,
    and just stick with other solutions that do work with variety of other products.
    ehwood
  • amazed that the illusion has not been broken

    Let me not try to disguise, I see Linux everywhere. So I am biased :-)
    But who in his wildest mind would go for VistaSP1 and Server2008 You need to buy new hardware all over, retrain all staff (end-users as well as administrators).
    Compare to throwing in Linux servers and desktops, Using the open products, there will almost be no need for training in the use of desktops (of course desktop needs to be custom crafted for client needs as well as a windows desktop) Administrators needs training ok but they need that anyway going to 2008;
    THEN lets look at the price :-)
    Installing Linux, you will need a LOT less investment in new hardware, and the products costs a fraction, and you have a LOT more control over versions, licenses etcetc
    Any questions??
    thsnielsen@...
    • New Hardware

      Where exactly will you need all new hardware? Any system that can run Server 2003 will handle Server 2008 just fine.
      payton@...
      • Linux is still cheaper...

        Even assuming you don't upgrade hardware....

        Linux is still a fraction of the cost, and you still have more control over versioning.

        We aren't even mentioning the fact that Linux can be stripped down or dressed up for each individual system, and offers unmatched stability on just about any hardware not matter what configuration is used.

        Server side Linux has always made more sense. Always has, always will.
        deuce63
  • RE: Will Vista and Windows Server 2008 really be better together?

    "Searching Windows Server 2008 servers from a Windows Vista client avails of enhanced indexing and caching technologies on both to provide huge performance gains across the enterprise." is an interesting comment considering that Vusta's search capabilities were reduced so severely from Windows XP.
    robert@...
  • RE: Will Vista and Windows Server 2008 really be better together?

    "Server resources are cached locally so that they are available even if the server is not, with copies automatically updating when the client and server are reconnected. "

    Holy crap are you kidding me? This is going to torture corporations!! Anybody rolling out Vista or Server2008 in corporations needs to disable that on day one. COrporate documents (regardless of security and intellectual property concerns) will be cached on disconnected laptops! And when they return they may overwrite existing copies on the server. I can see the nightmare now of people overwriting eachother's changes offline. Now every Vista Laptop may be caching corporate internal docs so they can be stolen or leaked.
    royalef
  • RE: Will Vista and Windows Server 2008 really be better together?

    There'll be a lot more info on Vista and Server 2008 compatibility at the Joint Launch Events starting at the end of February. Users will also get a free promotional copy of Windows Server 2008 so you can take a look and make up your own mind.

    --------------------
    Fred Reckling
    Microsoft Grassroots Manager
    www.microsoft.com\2008jointlaunch
    v-frerec@...