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Microsoft adds hypervisor support to Windows Server 2008 R2

Microsoft will increase hypervisor support in Windows Server 2008 R2 to 64 CPUs. It will also feature file classification and branch cache improvements for those running the OS with Windows 7.

LOS ANGELES – The upcoming version of Microsoft's server operating system, Windows Server 2008 R2, will add pumped up hypervisor support and granular enhancements to its file classification features.

At TechEd 2009 here this week, the company revealed plans to bolster the enterprise-worthiness of Windows Server 2008 R2 by upping its hypervisor support from 32 CPUs -- as had been promised -- to 64 CPUs.

"That should meet the needs of most enterprise work," said Ward Ralston, group product manager.

The upcoming server OS, now a release candidate, is expected out before the end of the year. The company said it will let IT shops mix nodes running different CPUs within a given Intel or AMD chip family. Up till now, all the nodes in the cluster had to run the exact same CPU type.

The company will also show off a new file classification infrastructure within the OS that will let IT organizations classify data based on its impact and value. "Every time someone creates a new SharePoint on the file server, they have to say whether it's high, medium or low impact…. High impact files may be backed up every day while low impact may be backed up once a month," Ralston said.

A U.S. Department of Defense entity might want to use Top Secret, Secret and For Official Use designations to set different levels of encryption and backup schedules, he said.

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Microsoft will also spotlight a new branch cache capability in Windows 7/ Windows Server 2008 R2 shops. Windows Server will cache files continuously, reducing the cost of data round trips between hub and spoke offices, which, Ralston said, should "radically reduce" overhead.

"When you reach milestones [like release candidates], a lot of times the focus is about features removed or on cutting room floors," Ralston said. "We're pleased to talk about what we're adding new as we reach this milestone."

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