The Windows Server Notebook

Mar 18 2010   9:10PM GMT

First look at Windows 2008 R2 SP1 puts emphasis on virtualization

Bcournoyer Brendan Cournoyer Profile: Bcournoyer

UPDATE! (6/21/2010)

A lot more info has come out recently regarding the first service packs for Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7. This Q&A with Microsoft’s Justin Graham provides more details on dynamic memory, Remote FX, and what else to expect from SP1.

ORIGINAL POST (3/18/2010)

As it turns out, Microsoft’s much-publicized Desktop Virtualization Hour that took place earlier today included a little surprise – a first look at the upcoming service pack (SP) for Windows Server 2008 R2. Now I say “little” because the company didn’t reveal too much, but the first bit of info we have on the SP1 for both R2 and Windows 7 is all about virtualization.

Discussed first at the hour-long session and later in several Microsoft blog posts, Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 will include at least two new virtualization features. The first is geared specifically for Hyper-V R2, and is called Dynamic Memory. In a company blog post, Microsoft principal group program manager Jeff Woolsey described the feature as an effort to help customers use memory more efficiently without affecting performance. “So, what is Dynamic Memory? At a high level, Hyper-V Dynamic Memory is a memory management enhancement for Hyper-V designed for production use that enables customers to achieve higher consolidation/VM density ratios,” Woolsey wrote.

The other new SP1 feature is dubbed Remote FX, which is a collection of Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) technologies for Windows Server 2008 R2. It’s based on protocol Microsoft acquired from virtual software company Calista Technologies back in January of 2008. Microsoft’s Max Herrmann, formerly of Calista, provides a pretty in-depth explanation of what Remote FX means for Windows here.

Microsoft briefly demoed SP1 earlier today, but it’s unclear exactly when it will be pushed out. The company said it will make more information available in the coming months, but as of now, Dynamic Memory and Remote RX is all we have.

For more information on Windows Server 2008 R2, visit

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