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Windows Server 2008 R2
A version of the Windows NT operating system
Screenshot of Windows Server 2008 R2 Datacenter Service Pack 1
Source model
  • Source-available (through Shared Source Initiative)
Released to
July 22, 2009; 9 years ago
October 22, 2009; 9 years ago[1]
Latest release6.1 (Build 7601: Service Pack 1) / February 22, 2011; 8 years ago[2]
Update methodWindows Update, Windows Server Update Services, SCCM
Platformsx86-64, Itanium
Kernel typeHybrid
LicenseCommercial software (Retail, volume licensing, Microsoft Software Assurance)
Preceded byWindows Server 2008 (2008)
Succeeded byWindows Server 2012 (2012)
Support status
Mainstream support ended on 13 January 2015.[3]
Extended support will end on 14 January 2020 along with Windows 7 (for Windows Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1).
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Windows server 2012 r2 iso download 64 bit free windows 7

Windows Server 2008 R2 is a serveroperating system produced by Microsoft. It was released to manufacturing on July 22, 2009[4] and became generally available on October 22, 2009.[5]

Enhancements include new functionality for Active Directory, new virtualization and management features, version 7.5 of the Internet Information Servicesweb server and support for up to 256[6] logical processors. It is built on the same kernel used with the client-oriented Windows 7, and is the first 64-bit–only operating system released from Microsoft.

Seven editions of Windows Server 2008 R2 were released: Foundation, Standard, Enterprise, Datacenter, Web, HPC Server and Itanium, as well as Windows Storage Server 2008 R2. A home server variant called Windows Home Server 2011 was also released. It was succeeded by Windows Server 2012.


Microsoft introduced Windows Server 2008 R2 at the 2008 Professional Developers Conference as the server variant of Windows 7.

On January 7, 2009, a beta release of Windows Server 2008 R2 was made available to subscribers of Microsoft's TechNet and MSDN programs, as well as those participating in the Microsoft Connect program for Windows 7. Two days later, the beta was released to the public via the Microsoft Download Center.[7]

On April 30, 2009, the release candidate was made available to subscribers of TechNet and MSDN.[8] On May 5, 2009, the release candidate was made available to the general public via the Microsoft download center.[9]

According to Windows Server Blog,[10] the following are the dates of the year 2009 when Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 has been made available to various distribution channels:

  • OEMs received Windows Server 2008 R2 in English and all language packs on July 29. The remaining languages were available around August 11.
  • Independent software vendor (ISV) and independent hardware vendor (IHV) partners have been able to download Windows Server 2008 R2 from MSDN starting on August 14.
  • IT professionals with TechNet subscriptions were able to download Windows Server 2008 R2 and obtain product keys for English, French, German, Italian, and Spanish variants beginning August 14 and all remaining languages beginning August 21.
  • Developers with MSDN subscriptions have been able to download and obtain product keys for Windows Server 2008 R2 in English, French, German, Italian, and Spanish starting August 14 and all remaining languages starting August 21.
  • Microsoft Partner Program (MPP) gold/certified members were able to download Windows Server 2008 R2 through the MPP portal on August 19.
  • Volume licensing customers with an existing Software Assurance (SA) contracts were able to download Windows Server 2008 R2 on August 19 via the Volume License Service Center.
  • Volume licensing customers without an SA were able to purchase Windows Server 2008 R2 through volume licensing by September 1.

Additionally, qualifying students have been able to download Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard edition in 15 languages from the Microsoft Imagine program (known as DreamSpark at the time).[11]

Microsoft has announced that Server 2008 R2 will be the last version of Windows supporting the Itanium architecture, with its extended support ending earlier than for the regular non-Itanium edition or 'until July 10, 2018.'[12][13][14]

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New features[edit]

A reviewer guide published by the company describes several areas of improvement in R2.[15] These include new virtualization capabilities (Live Migration, Cluster Shared Volumes using Failover Clustering and Hyper-V), reduced power consumption, a new set of management tools and new Active Directory capabilities such as a 'recycle bin' for deleted objects. IIS 7.5 has been added to this release which also includes updated FTP server services. Security enhancements include encrypted clientless authenticated VPN services through DirectAccess for clients using Windows 7, and the addition of DNSSEC support for DNS Server Service. Even though DNSSEC as such is supported, only one signature algorithm is available:[16] #5 / RSA/SHA-1. Since many zones use a different algorithm – including the root zone – this means that in reality Windows still can't serve as a recursive resolver.

The DHCP server supports a large number of enhancements[17] such as MAC address-based control filtering, converting active leases into reservations or Link Layer based filters, DHCppP Name protection for non-Windows machines to prevent name squatting, better performance through aggressive lease database caching, DHCP activity logging, auto-population of certain network interface fields, a wizard for split-scope configuration, DHCP Server role migration using WSMT, support for DHCPv6 Option 15 (User Class) and Option 32 (Information Refresh Time). The DHCP server runs in the context of the Network Service account which has fewer privileges to reduce potential damage if compromised.

Windows Server 2008 R2 supports up to 64 physical processors[18] or up to 256 logical processors per system. (Only the Datacenter and Itanium editions can take advantage of the capability of 64 physical processors. Enterprise, the next-highest edition after those two, can only use 8.)[19] When deployed in a file server role, new File Classification Infrastructure services allow files to be stored on designated servers in the enterprise based on business naming conventions, relevance to business processes and overall corporate policies.[20]

Server Core includes a subset of the .NET Framework, so that some applications (including ASP.NET web sites and Windows PowerShell 2.0) can be used.

Performance improvement was a major area of focus for this release; Microsoft has stated that work was done to decrease boot time, improve the efficiency of I/O operations while using less processing power, and generally improve the speed of storage devices, especially iSCSI.

Active Directory has several new features when raising the forest and domain functional levels[21] to Windows Server 2008 R2: Two added features are Authentication Mechanism Assurance and Automatic SPN Management. When raising the forest functional level, the Active Directory recycle bin feature is available and can be enabled using the Active Directory Module for Powershell.[22]

Service Pack[edit]

On February 9, 2011, Microsoft officially released Service Pack 1 (SP1) for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 to OEM partners. Apart from bug fixes, it introduces two new major functions, RemoteFX and Dynamic Memory. RemoteFX enables the use of graphics hardware support for 3D graphics in a Hyper-V based VM. Dynamic Memory makes it possible for a VM to only allocate as much physical RAM as is needed temporarily for its execution. On February 16, SP1 became available for MSDN and TechNet subscribers as well as volume licensing customers. As of February 22, SP1 is generally available for download via the Microsoft Download Center and available on Windows Update.[23]

System requirements[edit]

System requirements for Windows Server 2008 R2 are as follows:[24]

1.4 GHz x86-64 or Itanium 2 processor
Minimum: 512 MBRAM (may limit performance and some features)
Recommended: 2 GBRAM
Maximum: 8 GB RAM (Foundation), 32 GB RAM (Standard), or 2 TB RAM (Enterprise, Datacenter and Itanium)
Super VGA (800×600) or higher
Disk Space Requirements
Minimum (editions higher than Foundation): 32 GB or more
Minimum (Foundation edition) 10 GB or more.
Computers with more than 16 GB of RAM require more disk space for paging and dump files.[24]
DVD drive, keyboard and mouse, Internet access (required for updates and online activation)


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Windows Server 2008 R2 edition comparison chart[25]
Maximum RAM on x86-648 GB32 GB32 GB256 GB2 TB2 TB2 TB
Maximum physical CPUs144486464
Failover cluster nodes (Nodes)N/AN/AN/AN/A16168
Cross-file replication (DFS-R)NoYesYesYesYesYesYes[26]
Fault tolerant memory syncNoNoNoNoYesYesYes
Memory modules: Hot additionNoNoNoNoYesYesYes
Memory modules: Hot replacementNoNoNoNoNoYesYes
CPUs: Hot additionNoNoNoNoNoYesYes
CPUs: Hot replacementNoNoNoNoNoYesYes
IAS connection1050NoNoUnlimitedUnlimited2
Remote Desktop Services connections50250NoNoUnlimitedUnlimitedNo
RRAS connections50250No250UnlimitedUnlimitedNo
Virtual image use rightsForbiddenHost + 1 VM1 VMHost + 1 VMHost + 4 VMsUnlimitedUnlimited

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^Microsoft. 'Windows Server 2008 R2 Lifecycle Policy'. Microsoft. Retrieved 2012-09-01.
  4. ^Server and Cloud Platform Team (2009-07-22). 'Windows Server 2008 R2 Reaches the RTM Milestone!'. Retrieved 2011-06-15.
  5. ^'Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 Timelines Shared at Computex'. News Center. Taipei, Taiwan: Microsoft. June 3, 2009.
  6. ^'Windows Server 2008 R2 Datacenter Edition Overview'. Retrieved 2011-06-15.
  7. ^Emil Protalinski. 'Windows 7 public beta is available now'.
  8. ^'Announcing Windows Server 2008 R2 Release Candidate (RC)'. Microsoft TechNet.
  9. ^'Download Windows Server 2008 R2 RC .iso images (May2009)'. Microsoft.
  10. ^House, Crissy (22 July 2009). 'When to expect Windows Server 2008 R2 RTM'. Windows Server Blog. Microsoft.
  11. ^'Windows Server 2008 R2 on DreamSpark'. Microsoft.
  12. ^'Windows Server 2008 R2 to Phase Out Itanium'. Windows Server Blog. Why the change? The natural evolution of the x86 64-bit (“x64”) architecture has led to the creation of processors and servers which deliver the scalability and reliability needed for today’s “mission-critical” workloads.
  13. ^'Microsoft ending support for Itanium'. SQL Server 2008 R2 and Visual Studio 2010 are also the last versions to support Itanium.
  14. ^'Microsoft Dropping Itanium Support -- Redmond Channel Partner'. Redmond Channel Partner. Retrieved 2018-05-14.
  15. ^'Windows Server 2008 R2 Reviewers Guide'. Microsoft. November 2008. Retrieved 2009-08-31.
  16. ^'Understanding DNSSEC in Windows'. 2009-10-07. Retrieved 2011-06-15.
  17. ^'New features in DHCP for Windows Server 2008 R2 / Windows 7'. Retrieved 2011-06-15.
  18. ^'Windows Server 2008 R2: Scalability for the Enterprise Customer'. Retrieved 2011-06-15.
  19. ^'Windows7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 support more than 64 Processors in one System'. Microsoft. November 2008. Retrieved 2009-03-06.
  20. ^'R2: How Would You Manage Without It?'. MSDN Blogs. Retrieved 2009-04-30.
  21. ^'Appendix of Functional Level Features'. Microsoft Technet. Retrieved 2009-10-06.
  22. ^'Server 2008 R2: Active Directory Functional Levels'. Praetorian Prefect. Retrieved 2009-10-06.
  23. ^'Announcing Availability of Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1'.
  24. ^ ab'Windows Server 2008 R2: System Requirements'. Retrieved 2011-06-15.
  25. ^'Windows Server 2008 R2 Editions Comparison by Technical Specifications'. Archived from the original on 22 December 2010.
  26. ^Archiveddocs. 'What's New in Distributed File System'. Retrieved 2 April 2018.

External links[edit]

  • Windows Server 2008 R2 on Microsoft TechNet
  • Thurrott, Paul (6 October 2010). 'Windows Server 2008 R2 Preview'. Supersite for Windows. Penton.
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