Virtualization Technology News and Information
Windows Server 2003 and XP x64 Editions Service Pack 2

Looks like information about the private Windows Server 2003 SP2 beta is causing a stir.  People are wondering what the service pack is all about... what does it contain?  Speculation is running wild, so what exactly is it?

Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2 will update the following versions:

  • Windows Server 2003 Editions (32-bit x86)
  • Windows Server 2003 R2 Editions (32-bit x86)
  • Windows Server 2003 x64 Editions
  • Windows Server 2003 R2 x64 Editions
  • Windows Server 2003 for Itanium-based Systems
  • Windows XP Professional x64 Edition

Yes, it works with Windows XP Pro x64 Editions... interesting, isn't it?


My personal favorite addition?

Performance improvements under Windows Virtualization
Service Pack 2 improves the performance under high APIC access rate for Windows Server 2003 running as a multiprocessor guest operating system under Windows Virtualization. 

For those interested, the following are also on tap:

Windows Deployment Services
WDS is an updated and redesigned version of Remote Installation Services (RIS). WDS will be required to support the deployment of Windows Vista. WDS offers this functionality along with improved security surrounding image store, delegation of administration and better management story.

Microsoft Management Console 3.0
Microsofr Management Console 3.0 supports richer functionality in snap-ins designed for the MMC 3.0 infrastructure. In addition it allows users to add or remove snap-ins and provides improved error handling via the MMC console. Microsoft Management Console 3.0 replaces its predecessor (v2.1) for Windows Server 2003 customers. This feature is installed by default upon Service Pack 2 installation. 

Wi-Fi Protected Access 2 (WPA2)
Wi-Fi Protected Access enhances the wireless client software with support for the new Wi-Fi Alliance certification for wireless security. The update also makes it easier to connect to secure public spaces that are equipped with wireless Internet access. These locations are otherwise known as "Wi-Fi hotspots". This feature is enabled by default upon Service Pack 2 installation.

Scalable Networking Pack
Scalable Networking Pack supports new hardware that allows TCP offloading capability (aka TOE) to the OS. These changes will scale Windows networking to multi-gigabit link rates and across multiple CPUs. This feature is turned OFF by default and can be enabled only when the specific hardware is present.

Enabling ‘Firewall per port’ Authentication
‘Firewall per port; authentication secures traffic between the Extranet environment and internal assets that are protected via IPsec domain isolation. This feature is enabled by default upon Service Pack 2 installation. 

Performance improvements for SQL Server
Service Pack 2 provides performance improvement for SQL Server 2005 under intensive workloads . These improvements are installed by default upon Service Pack 2 installation.

Enhanced discoverability options in MSConfig
MSConfig now contains an additional tab which provide a single launching point for common support tools that will ease the discoverability of common diagnostic functionality This improvement is turned on by default upon Service Pack 2 installation.

Improved IPSEC Filter Management
Service Pack 2 reduces the filter set that needs to be managed in a Server and Domain Isolation using IPSEC scenario from ~400 filters to just 2 filters. It also removes the need for ongoing filter maintenance due to infrastructure changes. This performance improvement is turned on by default upon Service Pack 2 installation.

You can keep up to date with SP2's progress at our Service Pack roadmap website:

Thanks to Ward Ralston's post and Richard Cardona for sending it my way.

Check out the source article, here.


Published Wednesday, August 02, 2006 9:57 PM by David Marshall
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