I just got back from the Microsoft Windows7 Launch in Atlanta for developers – the IT Professional track was full.
There wasn’t much new to see since there were only 2 tracks for developers (8am-noon) and I decided to learn more about MS-Server 2008-R2, 08R2
Session 1 What’s New in Server 2008 R2 – Murray Gordon
The main things covered that interested me about 08R2
- Upto 256 CPUs supported
- Only 64-bit (32-bit Server OS is dead)
- Win7 and 08R2 share the same core OS
- IIS 7.5 is included
- PowerShell with remote execution
- VHD file support included
- Virtualization is built-in, not an add-on
- Boot from an OS install or a VHD (this is nice)
- During installation, you decide how much of the Server OS you want even to the point of ZERO GUI installs
Session 2 Parallel Programming – Glenn Gordon
Glenn talked about the differences in sequential, threaded, and parallel/task programming.
- Win7 and 08R2 are needed for the new “Task” APIs
- VisualStudio 2010 includes .NET v4.0 with parallel extensions
- It is unclear on any backward compatibility to prior OSes with .NET 4
- Parallel Extensions make it easier to use whatever CPUs, Cores, hyper-threading an OS can support.
- There are 3 parallel programming models – I didn’t bother writing them down since the programming examples seemed contrived and didn’t include any concern about data homogeneity. Scary.
Were I windows-only developer, they certainly made using multi-core systems much easier. The downside appears to be that only Win7+ and 08R2+ can use these extensions. I could be wrong. Let me know if there will be backward compatible solutions.
Session 3 IIS 7.x Features – Glenn Gordon
Basically, IIS 7.5 is a modular system (gee, like apache?) now and you can place your code almost anywhere in the pipeline, extending IIS with your code. He went on and on about some trivial examples that placed copyright notices into JPG files as the file was being served. You could, for example, tag every image with the authenticated userid, website and timestamp without touching the source image files.
The thing that really seemed neato to me was that MS finally is building a web application easy-installation community that makes it trivial to package solutions, deploy them or simply publish them for others to use. http://www.microsoft.com/web/ is the community portal and Web Platform Installer v2 is the enabler. It wasn’t clear whether these tools worked with any IIS older than 08R2 or not. The packager creates a ZIP with everything needed from the development machine and is a 1 file package provided to the IT production support guys for deployment. It modifies those settings that are different between developer and production servers during installation. Nice.
To make a good point, Glenn pulled both a DasBlog engine and MediaWiki from the community and deployed both to his server in real-time. The blog engine came right up and was ready for blogging. I didn’t see whether MediaWiki worked as easily – I run a mediawiki for the company. There were many well know open source projects in the list.
Of course, there were the normal give aways – Win7 Ultimate license and all the 180 day server stuff you can stand. the 180 day stuff you are free to download anyway.
Nice job from Microsoft and the Gordons who presented. I wish I could have attended the afternoon sessions that were more about enterprise deployments.
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