Windows Server 2008 R2 includes several features that are designed specifically to improve the client experience for Windows 7 systems. Some of these "better together" features include:

  • DirectAccess—The new DirectAccess feature offers an alternative to VPNs for remote access. DirectAccess lets organizations provide secure remote connectivity for mobile workers. This feature uses IPsec to encrypt the connection between the Windows 7 client and Server 2008 R2. For a summary of the new DirectAccess technology, go to Microsoft's Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 DirectAccess Executive Overview page.
  • BranchCache—BranchCache allows remote branch office systems to access cached copies of files that are kept locally. The BranchCache feature lets you retrieve files from other branch office client systems or from a dedicated BranchCache server at the branch office site rather than always obtaining content from a remote server. The BranchCache server tracks file changes and ensures that all clients access the most current files.
  • New Group Policy Power Management—Server 2008 R2's Group Policy takes advantage of Windows 7's enhanced power management settings.