Yesterday, Microsoft released Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2 (SP2), a cumulative service pack that provides the latest updates and security and stability enhancements, in addition to the newest features, to the Windows Server 2003 and Windows XP Professional x64 operating systems. Thousands of customers are already using the Release Candidate of SP2, which was made available in November.
SP2 enables IT professionals to secure their server and improve system reliability and stability, helping them better meet the needs of their organizations. Some of the new features and capabilities include:
- Windows Deployment Services is an updated and redesigned version of Remote Installation Services (RIS), allowing administrators to set up new computers through a network-based installation without having to be physically present at each computer and without having to install directly from DVD media.
- Windows Server 2003 Scalable Networking Pack enables customers to cost-effectively improve the performance and scalability of network-based Windows Server 2003 workloads, such as file storage, backup, Web servers, and media-streaming.
- Wi-Fi Protected Access 2 supports the new Wi-Fi Alliance certification for wireless security, making it easier for end users to securely connect to Wi-Fi hotspots.
- Improved IPSEC Filter Management reduces the filter set from 400 to 2 that needs to be managed in a Server and Domain Isolation using IPSEC. It also removes the need for ongoing filter maintenance due to infrastructure changes.
- “Firewall per port” authentication secures traffic between extranet environments and internal assets that are protected via IPsec domain isolation.
- Microsoft Management Console 3.0 supports richer functionality in snap-in management tools, allows users to add or remove snap-ins and provides improved error handling via the MMC console.
- Enhanced MSConfig provides a single launching point for common support tools that will ease server diagnostics.
For those of you that are preparing to update to SP2 for Windows Server 2003 I wanted to make you aware of KB 932132 which references post-SP1 hotfixes that will need to be updated to be compatible with SP2. Please review the KB below for complete instructions.
932132 Certain Windows Server 2003 hotfixes have been repackaged to be compatible with Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2 (SP2) http://support.microsoft.com/kb/932132
Additional Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2 links you may find useful are below.
Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2 (32-bit x86)
System Preparation tool for Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2 Deployment
Updated System Preparation tool for Windows Server 2003 SP1 and Windows Server 2003 SP2
Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2 32-bit Support Tools
926027 Descriptions of Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2 Support Tools
Toolkit to Temporarily Block Delivery of Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2
Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2 (32-bit x86) - ISO-9660 CD Image File
KB Analyzer Tool for Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2 Deployment
The Oobmig.exe tool is available to restore trust to out-of-band updates after you install Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2
SMS Template Files for Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2 Deployment