Windows Server 2008, which is launched on 27 February, will be implemented by General Motors (GM) Tube Lines, Newham Borough Council and frozen food supplier Windrush this year after succesful pilots.
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Analysts expect most IT directors to delay upgrading until 2009, but people who have started using Windows Server 2008 have said the operating system offered improved network administration and IT management.
Tube Lines is deploying Terminal Services, a function in Windows Server 2008 that enables users to access Windows applications remotely from thin client PCs. Adrian Davey, head of IT at Tubelines, said, "The challenges as we upgrade the Piccadilly, Northern and Jubilee lines is providing our engineers at remote sites with access to applications." Windows 2008 Terminal Services is used to provide engineers with remote access to Tube Lines' Windows applications.
By using HP blade servers to run Windows Server 2008 Terminal Services, Davey said Tube Lines would be able to reduce the number of servers it runs by 90% and support the company's green efficiency drive. The software will replace Citrix Metaframe. Davey said, "We will not require a Citrix licence and the support costs associated with it anymore."
Newham Borough Council also plans to benefit from the Terminal Services function in Windows Server 2008. Geoff Connell, head of ICT at Newham borough council, said, "We will have a high proportion of our staff working part time from home so access to line of business systems through Terminal Services is crucial for us."
Robbie Roberts, IT manager at Windrush, a supplier of food for restaurants and hotels, has been using a pre-release version of Windows Server 2008 for the past six months. The company has found it no longer needed to run a third-party network authentication products to provide detailed control over who can access IT systems.
Car and lorry maker General Motors plans to deploy the software's virtualisation feature to lower IT costs and speed up the time taken to deliver new IT services to the company, according to Brian Rice, services information officer at General Motors.