As many of you may already know, Windows 2008 R2 recently RTM’d.
There are a ton of new features and capabilities such as web, security, virtualization/vdi, Active Directory, and more..
I wanted to focus on the Active Directory portion and let you know about some of the enhancements:
AD Recycle Bin – Be able to recover deleted objects
AD Administrative Center – Better manage domain(s)
Service Account Management – Forget about managing service account passwords
Active Directory Best Practices Analyzer – Know the health of AD based on best practices
Overall, I think these are great enhancements bu there some drawbacks over these initial releases. For example, some of the limitations with the AD Recycle Bin are that there is no GUI interface yet to recover objects. All recovery tasks are done through Powershell using cmdlets. Furthermore, once you enable AD Recycle Bin it cannot be disabled.
Regarding managed service accounts, it is a great feature. Service account passwords no longer need to be managed as they will automatically be changed in Active Directory. This is similiar to the computer secure password change that occurs on workstations and servers automatically within a domain. Some of the limiting factors of managed service accounts are that the client must be running Windows 2008 R2 ir Windows 7. Also, the managed service accounts can only be used on a per computer basis. They cannot be shared across computers in the domain.
I like the addition of the Active Directory Best Practices Analyzer. The Exchange Best Practices Analyzer has been around a while and has been well developed to produce meaningful checks to help administrators adhere to best practices. I’ve worked in many AD environments and have performed many health checks. This tool should be really helpful to administrators and consultants. Initially, I have heard through the community that it will be somewhat limited in its best practice checks. However, I expect this to improve with time just as the Exchange Analyzer did.
Of course, many of these enhancements are a first for MS. Third parties already have similar and better capabilities like these.
However, for those that don’t want to spend, these enhancements certainly add value.
Below is a link to a webcast to view at your leisure…