Although considered a “minor” release in the overall scheme, Microsoft is throwing in a number of goodies for developers into the latest release 2 of Windows Server 2003.
Topping the list is the .NET Framework 2.0, which includes goodies like ASP.NET that are able to take advantage of the full memory footprint of 64-bit (x64) architectures. It also includes Internet Information Server (IIS) version 6, which has improved security over its leakier predecessors. It also bundles the latest version of SharePoint portal services, which now provide support for Active Directory in federated mode.
Finally, Windows Server 2003 R2 also bundles a new security wizard that simplifies configuration of access rights for Internet Information Server (IIS) 6.
Admittedly, each of these features can be downloaded with recent versions of Windows Server. So, by being bundled with latest rev of Windows, it should make these features more widespread.
To get an idea of how these enhancements can make life better for web developers, Microsoft customer MySpace.com, a social networking site which claims to be the third most trafficked site on the ‘net.
With 40 million registered users, MySpace was hitting the wall with the database caching of ASP 1.1, because its 32-bit support translated to an upper limit of 4 Gbytes of addressable memory. With the OS claiming half of that, that left only 2 Gbytes left over for database caching. MySpace compensated by adding more servers so iot could brute force more memory, an approach that lead to server proliferation.
With ASP.NET 2.0’s x64 support, it is looking at procuring servers with 16 Gbytes of memory, 14 Gbytes of which would be available for caching. That means MySpace can start consolidating servers.
Significantly, while MySpace trumpets features like ASP.NET 2.0, it has not yet committed to upgrading to Windows server 2003 R2.