Done: Windows Server 2008 in production

I’m working for Computacenter Germany. And – as you know – I’m a beta-junkie and try to stay up to date on newest releases as soon as possible. So this makes me really proud: at Computacenter we decided to deploy Windows Server 2008 already.

After testing the product very well we decided to update our schema to Windows Server 2008 and deploy our first servers in production. And … one of the reasons why we did this to have the great new feature of Active Directory Snapshots available as soon as possible.

We released an press-article last week which I freely translated into english

Source (German), freely translated:

Computacenter relies early on Windows Server 2008

Head start for migrations and planning for Active Directory disasters

Kerpen, 30th October 2007. The European IT-Serviceprovider Computacenter relies early on Microsoft’s Windows Server 2008. The new generation of the server operating system (OS) is announced to be released in the first quarter 2008. Computacenter, who is part of the Microsoft Technology Adoption Program (TAP), already deployed Windows Server 2008 into its production network. The TAP is a initiative of Microsoft where selected customers implement products prior to their release into production infrastructures. Computacenter is participating in two different roles in the current TAP: as customer (who’s deploying the product) as well as as consulting partner, where experienced Computacenter Consultants are supporting their internal Information Services. The IT-Serviceprovider is not only gaining experiences by early deploying the new technologies, but improves on stability and reliability of its infrastructure. Computacenter is using those experiences when consulting their customers, especially when talking about Windows Server 2008 migrations and planning for Active Directory disasters.

Migrations with Computacenter

With the ending support livecycle of Microsoft for Windows 2000 Server and the release of the new Windows Server 2008 with a lot of new possibilities many companies are considering migrations. Computacenter has many years of experiences when migration Microsoft-Infrastructures. More than 300 Experts in the Microsoft area rely on their experiences and broad knowlege, tools and procedures to drive migration-projects to a fast sucess while maintaining risks and costs at as low as possible.

Securing the hard of the Windows Infrastructure

Active Directory is the main component of a Windows Infrastructure by holding all informations about useraccounts, computeraccounts, passwords and groups of a company. Employees are using it daily to get access to their computers and their data, find printers and receive corporate settings. Experts of Computacenter were frequently helping companies to recover their Active Directory (usually due to human mistakes). To address this issue Computacenter developed preventive guidance to protect Active Directory. Windows Server 2008 provides additional control, prevention and auditing-functionality. The OS enables administrators to create Snapshots of the Active Directory-Database. As opposed to a backup it’s easy to create snapshots multiple times a day. Futher the snapshots can be started as their own, read-only LDAP-Service. Hereby it’s possible to gather information out of the Directory of different times. Additional the new product supports to prevent objects from accidential deletion or to accidentally move them. Computacenter is using those new functions and has added them to their portfolio around Active Directory-Recovery and its prevention. The IT-Serviceprovider is ├║sing those technologies in its production network since October 2007.

Those experiences are corporated into Computacenters three-part offer of a Active Directory Disaster Workshop, Guidance and Concept, which enables customers to preventively prepare informations for a possible recovery of Active Directory, to react on disasters and to keep the associated down-times at a minimum level. In the Active Directory Disaster Workshop the attendees get the know-how to prevent, troubleshoot and recover Active Directory. They are practicing which informations are necessary and which steps to take in certain disaster scenarios. The Active Directory Disaster Guidance bundles Computacenters experiences in this topic. It describes best practices and experiences out of real disasters as well as tested procedures. The IT-Serviceprovider additionally creates a AD Desaster Concept to prepare the individual company for an AD Recovery.

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