Deploy Windows Server 2008 R2

Applies To: Windows Server 2008 R2

This collection provides guidance on determining whether your x86-based applications are compatible with Windows Server 2008 R2, deploying the Windows Server 2008 R2 operating system using a variety of automated deployment tools available – Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT), Windows Automated Installation Kit (Windows AIK), or Windows Deployment Services (WDS), and migrating your servers to Windows Server 2008 R2. It also describes a new feature to simplify management of operating system images – native boot virtual hard disks (VHDs). Finally, it provides links to the next steps in the deployment process: migrating your server roles to Windows Server 2008 R2 and activating your new operating system.

General Deployment Guidance

Windows 7 Deployment Frequently Asked Questions

Choosing a Deployment Strategy This topic outlines four recommended deployment strategies:

What is the Deployment Image Servicing and Management Tool? This document introduces this command-line tool, which can be used to service a Windows image or to prepare a Windows Preinstallation Environment image.

Application Compatibility

Microsoft Assessment and Planning (MAP) Toolkit The MAP Toolkit is an inventory, assessment, and reporting tool that allows you to easily assess your current IT infrastructure and determine the right Microsoft technologies for your IT needs, significantly simplifying the planning process for migrating to Windows Server 2008 R2.

Getting Started with Application Compatibility in a Windows Deployment This document explains the steps you should take to prepare for application-compatibility testing and evaluation during a deployment of a new Windows operating system.

Microsoft Application Compatibility Toolkit (ACT) Version 5.5 While ACT v5.5 does not officially support Windows Server 2008 R2, it provides tools and guidance to help you determine if your native x86-based applications are compatible with your Windows operating system.

Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT)

Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) is the recommended process and toolset to automate desktop and server deployment. Microsoft Deployment Toolkit technologies eliminate interaction time required to install desktop and server operating systems. Interaction at the targeted computer may take a few moments using the Lite Touch Installation (LTI) method or it can be completely automated using Zero Touch Installation (ZTI). Zero Touch Installation utilizes Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2007 or Systems Management Server 2003 with the Operating System Deployment Feature Pack. Lite Touch Installation can be used when software distribution tools are not in place.

While the tools in the MDT do not test application compatibility, the MDT includes extensive content resources to help you with application management (e.g., application inventory, prioritization, test, repackaging, and silent installation). MDT also enables application customization (i.e., you can specify which applications are installed as part of the deployment process).

Windows Automated Installation Kit

The Windows AIK is designed to help corporate IT professionals customize and deploy Windows Server 2008 R2 operating systems. By using the Windows AIK, you can perform unattended Windows installations, capture Windows images with the ImageX tool, and create Windows Preinstallation Environment (Windows PE) images.

Windows Deployment Services

Windows Deployment Services, the updated and redesigned version of Remote Installation Services (RIS), enables you to remotely deploy Windows Server 2008 R2 operating systems. You can use Windows Deployment Services to reimage computers using customized images.

Virtual Hard Disks

Windows Server 2008 R2 provides native support for the virtual hard disk (.vhd) file format in the core storage system and disk-management tools to simplify image management. The Windows Server 200 boot environment also supports physical boot of a Windows Server 2008 R2 image contained in a .vhd file without using a Hyper-V virtual machine. Using a common image format for Windows that boots in either a virtual or physical machine simplifies image management for enterprise environments.

Next Steps: Migration and Activation

After deploying Windows Server 2008 R2 to your server(s) you can use the content and tools resources below to a) migrate your server role configurations and settings from your source server(s) running your previous versions of Windows Server to your destination server(s) running Windows Server 2008 R2 and b) to activate your upgraded servers.

See Also

Other Resources

Changes in Functionality from Windows Server 2008 to Windows Server 2008 R2
Windows Server 2008 R2 Getting Started (Product Site)
Windows Server 2008 R2 General Forum (Covers Deployment and Migration Issues)