Monday, July 12, 2010

Difference Between Widows 2008 Server SP2 and Windows 2008 Server R2

The data center asked us if we wanted Windows 2008 Server SP2 or Windows 2008 Server R2 on our new hardware. While I should have read up on the differences a while back, it just never got to the top of my list.

From what I found, in layman’s terms, Windows 2008 Server is the server equivalent of Vista (junk!), while R2 is the server equivalent of Windows 7 (pretty solid in my mind). Meaning R2 is basically another full release of Microsoft’s server operating system. Microsoft marketing likes to confuse us with illogical names and numbers.

Other than a host of fixes (and new bugs I would bet), the major changes in R2 are more tools and functionality for vitalizing your OS and support for more logical processors. None of these are particularly important for my project, but since R2 is the latest and greatest, I suggested we go with it.

Here is some suggested community developed material that I found valuable.


Scooter said...

Memory limits.

David said...

They charge you more for a higher limit? WTF

Scooter said...

Yep. And it's why we went with 2008 R2 for one of my projects. Mac might enjoy this logic. We were originally going to use Linux, and we had quite a bit of memory, and then we switched to Windows because it more closely fit the app profile we were going to use on the box (third party - they weren't playing so well with Linux and I'm a Windows guy and had done a lot of prototyping on Windows because it was fast). So we had lots of memory left. Not really memory we needed. I told our configuration team we could just let it sit there, or give it away, it wasn't necessary because we'd run our capacity tests on a low-memory Win 2003 VM and hadn't seen much more than a blip in the monitoring. Instead we were strongly encouraged to upgrade to 2008 R2 so we could use all of it.

I didn't fight back too hard. It bulletproofs my project and, if I want to route another dozen processes through the box (and over the next two years we may, including some data for Mac's projects), I can, but temporarily we're paying for phantom need.

David said...

I don't understand how you Windows guys do it. The transparency is zilch, on UNIX I can tell exactly which system calls are taking place, which reads are being satisfied from file cache, and do it all on a few thousand hosts in parallel. This with all tools out of the box.

I quite literally would have to rewrite dozens of open source tools to do the same things I do on UNIX for my job.

Outside of scenarios where we are using a third party library which requires windows, I feel the support costs might be too high.