Windows introduces a new set of remote user-experience capabilities that enable a media-rich user environment for virtual and session-based desktops. RemoteFX can be deployed to a range of thick and thin client devices, enabling cost-effective, local-like access to graphics-intensive applications. RemoteFX also supports a broad array of USB peripherals to improve the productivity of users of virtual desktops. Microsoft RemoteFX leverages the power of virtualized graphics resources and advanced codecs to recreate the fidelity of hardware-assisted graphics acceleration, including support for 3D content and Windows Aero®. RemoteFX is a new set of technologies that will be integrated into the Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) to improve the remote end-user experience by building on the improvements Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 made related to bi-directional audio, Windows Media Player playback redirection to the client, and desktop composition (enabling remote Aero).
RemoteFX expands this rich end-user experience to other types of workloads, such as 3D applications, DirectX, WPF, Silverlight, and basically any media type, giving remote users an experience that’s equivalent to local execution. The exact technologies to be included are still being finalized and could change up until release time. RemoteFX builds on technologies Microsoft got as part of the Calista Technologies acquisition. RemoteFX will be available to users who connect to Server 2008 R2 SP1 Remote Desktop Services or Windows 7 SP1 virtual desktops using the SP1 Remote Desktop Connection client.
There are some new enhancements with Hyper v you should be aware of. Dynamic Memory- A new feature of Hyper-V™ introduced in SP1 for Windows Server® 2008 R2 that enables Hyper-V hosts to dynamically adjust the amount of memory available to virtual machines in response to changing workloads. The benefits of Dynamic Memory include higher virtual machine consolidation ratios and increased flexibility for managing virtualized workloads.
Microsoft RemoteFX– Introduces a new set of remote user-experience capabilities that enable a media-rich user environment for virtual and session-based desktops. RemoteFX can be deployed to a range of thick and thin client devices, enabling cost-effective, local-like access to graphics-intensive applications. RemoteFX also supports a broad array of USB peripherals to improve the productivity of users of virtual desktops. Microsoft RemoteFX leverages the power of virtualized graphics resources and advanced codecs to recreate the fidelity of hardware-assisted graphics acceleration, including support for 3D content and Windows Aero®. Multi-Site Disaster Recovery Automation for Hyper-V – not so new, but still important. For automated failover and recovery of Hyper-V workloads, organizations can combine StorageLink Site Recovery technology with Microsoft failover clustering to create a geographically dispersed (or multi-site) cluster. Together, StorageLink Site Recovery and Windows Server® 2008 provide a disaster recovery solution that automatically detects local application or hardware failures and responds with the appropriate failover measures.
Its official, Microsoft has announced that on February 22nd they are releasing SP1 for both Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2.
What the service pack includes:
All of the previous updates and fixes that have been released via Windows updates are included in the update, as well as some other improvements.
With the Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1, Microsoft has added two new features to enhance the capabilities of their virtualization platform. These two new features are Dynamic Memory and RemoteFX.
Dynamic memory is much like the name suggests, allows for dynamic allocation of the memory based upon the workload of the servers. It allows for greater virtual machine density especially for virtual desktop infrastructure setups. Each server or workstation gets only the memory it needs while it is running and all left over memory is allocated to the host and the other servers.
RemoteFX is the technology that Microsoft has implemented to give the end user of virtualized desktop infrastructure setups the feel that their graphics and sounds are being rendered at the workstation level when they are really not.
Get it via Windows update when it comes out February 22nd!
It’s now been over a year since the release of Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2, so that means it’s just about time for the first service pack. With the core operating system being based on the same code, the service pack release will be for both products. A release candidate for Service Pack 1 is available at the link below, but I highly recommend you read the FAQ’s in the link below also. Once you install the SP1 Release Candidate 1, there is no upgrade path to the released version of SP1. Consulting companies must either reinstall the operating system, or uninstall the RC version, which is likely not a clean process. As usual, this service pack is a colletion of security updates and hotfixes, but there are a few enhancements as well. The ones that caught my eye as I read through the notes are RemoteFX and Hyper-V Dynamic Memory. First, RemoteFX is an enhancement to the already revamped Remote Desktop Services in Windows Server 2008 R2. RemoteFX offers support for remote USB devices, 3D graphics and video, as well as enhanced encryption and management. The idea is to be able to provide high quality multimedia experiences in a Remote Desktop session that is similar to the experience that a user can have on their local Windows 7 computer.
Second, Hyper-V Dynamic Memory is a technology that allows a Hyper-V host to dynamically allocate memory to virtual machine guests as needed. VMWare supports overallocation of memory, which is allowing more memory to be allocated to guest virtual machines than there is physical memory. With Hyper-V, guest virtual machines could not be configured for more memory than what is available on the host. In my opinion, this was a critical shortcoming in Hyper-V and it appears that Microsoft has addressed this with Hyper-V Dynamic Memory in SP1.
It appears that we will have another 3 to 6 months before we can see SP1 released. You can use the links below to download evaluations, check out the FAQ’s and find out some more in-depth information about the new features in this release.
Hyper-V Dynamic Memory