Finally, all the Longhorn pieces are falling into place

You can feel the excitement as all the pieces are coming together. It all started with the first release of Vista, not the real release, but the first. This was our first NT v6, code named Longhorn, to replace the older NT5 with its 5.1 and 5.2 – being Windows 2000, Windows XP, and Windows Server 2003. Longhorn has architectural changes, to improve security. Vista in Nov of ’06 was when Longhorn (Longhorn Client) got started with its unique security features such as UAC and IE in Protected Mode.

Then it got more exciting with the Beta 3 of Longhorn Server (LHS) in Apr ’07. The product was basically “feature complete” in its Beta 3, and because of that, Microsoft surprised everyone by allowing recertification on LHS in October ’07 – before the product RTMed. LHS received its formal name in June ’07 as Windows Server 2008. We didn’t know if it was going to be 2007 or 2008.

Then take it up a notch with the RTM of LHS (Windows Server 2008) in February of this year (2008) – February 4th was the date for history. LHS is significant, primarily because of the unique Longhorn (NT6) architectural security features – mentioned above, and as a bonus: Server Core, Server Manager, RODCs, BitLocker, major new Terminal Services, etc… One of the most exciting features is the newly named Hyper-V (was named WSv) – the next generation Virtualization from Microsoft. Final release of Hyper-V is promised within 6 months of the Feb RTM. The pleasant surprise is that a Beta Hyper-V shipped with the product and can easily be upgraded to the current RC0 of Hyper-V.

Plus, we now have the “real” Vista – Vista SP1. – the Vista that goes with Server 2008, like the matched pair of XP SP2 and Server 2003 SP1.

It’s always been recommended that you manage the environment (Desktops, Servers, and DCs) from a Desktop, not from the Server consoles. With XP SP2, you just installed the Administration Tools (ADMINPAK.msi) from any Server’s ADMIN$ or downloaded the latest Tools from Microsoft. But then with Vista as the latest Desktop, we had a problem: do not install ADMINPAK on Vista – so now what?

As I mentioned at the start, you can feel the excitement as the pieces are coming together. With Vista SP1, you can now download and install, RSAT – the new Remote Server Admin Tools to replace ADMINPAK. And, [drum roll], the final piece……… You can add the Hyper-V console to the RSAT on Vista SP1.