In-Depth

Microsoft Ships Windows Server 2003 SP2

Dubbed Service Pack 2, or SP2, the second service pack for Windows Server 2003 will be the last service pack for the aging Windows Server 2003 before the company ships its putative replacement at the end of the year.

Microsoft has begun shipping the second service pack for Windows Server 2003.

Dubbed Service Pack 2, or SP2, it will be the last service pack for the aging Windows Server 2003 before the company ships its putative replacement—Windows Server "Longhorn"—at the end of the year.

The company shipped the release candidate for SP2 in late November 2006 so the final release had been expected .

Versions of SP2 for both 32-bit and 64-bit releases of Windows Server 2003 are available. Additionally, SP2 supports all editions of Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 Release 2 (R2), Windows Storage Server 2003 R2, and Windows Small Business Server 2003 R2.

SP2 provides fixes for a myriad of bugs in Windows Server 2003, including many related to the .NET Framework and Com+, as well as a half dozen clustering issues. It also adds some new functionality such as Microsoft Management Console 3.0, which provides new and improved command line management tools. And it provides support for improved security, including Wireless Protected Access 2 (WPA2).

In addition, SP2 features performance improvements when running SQL Server 2005, as well as for network scalability and virtualization, company statements said. A new firewall per port authentication capability is meant to secure traffic between extranet environments and internal assets that are protected using IPsec domain isolation.

SP2 is the first service pack that patches both Windows Server 2003 and Windows XP Professional x64 via a single update. In addition, it also updates Windows Server 2003 Release 2 (R2) with a single install experience.

Windows Server 2003 SP2 for 32-bit systems is available here.

The 64-bit release can be found here.

About the Author

Stuart J. Johnston has covered technology, especially Microsoft, since February 1988 for InfoWorld, Computerworld, Information Week, and PC World, as well as for Enterprise Developer, XML & Web Services, and .NET magazines.

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