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Hosting Services, Security, and the Microsoft Drawbridge Project

This is a guest post by Zac Kenni.

Computers and innovative technology have reconfigured the way the world operates. The mannerin which government, business, health care, education, employment, religion, and socialization methods, procedures, interactions, and transactions are conducted have changed significantly inthe last quarter century. This hi-tech evolutionary trend will continue to provide improvements, advancements, and new capabilities to enhance individual lifestyles and global interaction.However, as the old saying goes, “every rose has its thorns.” Security or lack thereof, is a big thorn. The Microsoft Drawbridge Project is intended to enhance security and increase operating speed in Windows and hosting services.

The MS Drawbridge Project is focused on the operating system (OS), the user interface, and the hosting system. The project implements a separate library OS, codenamed Drawbridge. These components are enabled to use the most appropriate, efficient abstractions for any specific task using the Drawbridge approach. The aim is to avoid accessing unnecessary information and to avoid initiating extraneous applications providing a faster, more secure operating system and improved user experience. The phrases “just the facts” and “straight to the source” could be used in relationship to this MS project.

Although Drawbridge is, at this point, a research project with an uncertain final destination; it is evidence of Microsoft’s continued commitment and efforts to ameliorate Windows security
issues and OS component speed. The prototype has been successfully tested on Windows Server 2008, Windows 7, Windows 7 MinWin, a preliminary version of Windows 8, and on Hyper-V. Microsoft Drawbridge researcher, Jon Howell is part of another project, ServiceOS, which is focused on reducing security issues. In the ServiceOS research project, the operating system is isolated from the browser.

In 2007, Microsoft introduced Windows Server 2008. This award winning server operating system is designed to provide enhanced web services, virtualization technologies, and management tools for Windows hosting. The system features include IIS 7.0, Hyper-V virtualization, restartable ADDS, enhanced NTFS, NAP, and improved security features. The inclusion of BitLocker, an encryption program developed to protect files at startup, and a better
firewall placed Windows hosting among the most secure solutions for hosting services.

However, Microsoft didn’t stop there. Microsoft introduced Windows Server 2008 R2, as the server form, or variant, of Windows 7 at the Professional Developers Conference in 2008. In July of 2009, they released Windows Server 2008 R2 to manufacturing. The new server operating system was launched in October of 2009. According to a Window Server Team blog entry, it was, actually, available for retail on September 14, 2009. This updated version of Windows Server 2008 is built on the same core operating system as Windows 7, Windows NT 6.1.

Updates and improvements include increased functionality for Active Directory, advanced visualization features, new management features, the new IIS 7.5, and the capabilities to support up to 64 physical processors or 256 logical processors. Windows Server 2008 R2 is available in seven editions. Datacenter and Itanium are the highest editions and are the only two editions that can support up to 64 physical processors. The next highest edition, Enterprise, can support eight physical processors. Web, Standard, and Foundation editions are available to accommodate various server operating system requirements. HPC Server is the new edition specifically designed for high performance computing. The SP1, Service Pack 1, was released for general availability in February 2011.

To date, Windows Server 2008 R2 with SP1 is the most powerful Windows server application platform to be released. The combined SP1 provides around 500 fixes for the server and client. This OS includes a new version of Hyper-V with cloud computing capabilities, expanded remote desktop services features and Virtualization, improved administrative and client interaction, functionality, performance, and security.

Greater Application Pool security, better protection of Intranet Resources, and improved security for offsite, or branch, offices are valuable new security features. Updates to BitLocker ease deployment and enable protection of USB flash drives, also. Improved reliability, increased scalability, and reconstructed, more efficient management capabilities support a more secure environment. There are many beneficial enhancements to provide premium Windows hosting services and the best possible client experiences.

IT administrators and clients, or webmasters, can reap numerous benefits by taking advantage of the added features that are available when running Windows 7 on Windows Server 2008 R2 with SP1. In addition to the overall enhancements, improved performance for offsite offices, advanced desktop virtualization integration, and increased fault tolerance, Direct Access simplifies remote connectivity. These features are realized only when the two Windows systems are used together. Windows hosting services and Windows 7 operating systems combine to create an impressive web presence.


About the Author:

Zac Kenni is a business developer and a senior writer from a trusted hosting reviews company. Webhostingsearch.com, a leading provider of good quality webhosting reviews and web development resource. Lists and rates hosting services through a collaboration of thorough research and data analysis, performance and user feedback.

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