Earlier this year Microsoft announced plans for the first service pack release for Windows Server 2008 R2. Generally, these service packs contain roll-ups of cumulative updates and minor feature enhancements of no major significance. However, Microsoft surprised the IT community with the announcement of two major Windows capabilities that will be made available in the update (Dynamic Memory and RemoteFX). Microsoft made true on their promise and presented the first beta release to the public in July. Rumors of when the highly anticipated service pack would be released was kept under tight wraps until today when Microsoft officially released RC1 to the public with the final release expected within Q1 of 2011.
SP1 will include a new feature called Dynamic Memory which provides enhanced and efficient memory configurations on Windows Server 2008 R2 servers running the Hyper-V role. Unlike today where we have hard, static memory assignments to virtual machines, Dynamic Memory allows memory to be grouped in pools for dynamic distribution based on demand by virtual guest. The new memory configuration will allow better utilization of available host memory, improving VM density ratios and answering a need that many potential VMware switchers state is necessary.
Another feature that will be made available is RemoteFX, which introduces a cost effective enhanced audio/visual remote user experience that enables a rich media environment. RemoteFX also extends the capabilities of existing VDI and SBD environments to support a wide array of USB devices to improve user productivity.
To learn more about Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 and to download the release candidate, then visit the Windows Server 2008 R2 site found here.