IIS 7.0 Hits RC0 - Lots of cool new IIS7 Extensions Also Now Available

One of the products that my team builds that I am most proud of is IIS 7.  IIS 7 is a *major* update of our web-server stack, and introduces a significantly new and improved extensibility, configuration, and administration architecture.  I've blogged about some of its features in the past here and here

Doing a major re-architecture on a mature product is never easy.  Doing so on one that runs more than 40% of the web servers on the Internet is especially daunting.  The final product, though, is fantastic - and delivers an incredibly flexible, scalable, and robust server architecture that is going to enable us to-do really exciting things going forward. 

Earlier this week we shipped the RC0 build of Windows Server 2008 and IIS 7.0.  You can learn more about it and download the RC0 version from Mai-lan's blog post here.

IIS 7.0 Extensibility (and why it is cool)

One of the major changes we made to IIS 7.0 was to make the system radically more extensible than previous versions of the web-server.  This extensibility applies both to the core HTTP processing engine, as well as to the configuration system, health monitoring system, and admin tool architecture.  You can now write managed .NET classes to cleanly extend all of these sub-systems.

This is great from a customer perspective (since you can now replace and extend anything in the system).  It also enables us to easily ship web-server extensions and additions in a very agile way on the web.  Starting this week you are going to begin to see a number of really cool, fully-supported, free features start to be delivered this way.  Below are a few of them available this week:

IIS 7.0 FTP Publishing Service

We are delivering a new modern FTP service implementation that runs on IIS 7.0.  This FTP service offers a much improved administration and configuration experience (it uses the same web.config model as IIS7 and ASP.NET, and integrates into the IIS7 admin tool).  It now supports FTP over SSL, as well as UTF8 and IPv6.

The FTP server enables you to host both FTP and web content from the same web-site on IIS7 (just add a FTP binding to your existing web-site to enable it).  It now provides support for virtual host names, which means you can host multiple FTP sites on the same IP address.  It also has built-in user-isolation support, which makes it perfect for shared hosting scenarios.

The FTP server's authentication system is now pluggable - which means you can add your own username/password store to manage logins.  Best of all, you can use the existing ASP.NET Membership Provider model to plug-in your own credential system for logins and user management.

You can learn more about the FTP Server here and download it here (x64 here).

IIS 7.0 Media Pack Bit-Rate Throttling Module

One of the challenges when hosting large videos and audio files on the Internet is that bandwidth costs can be expensive.  What is worse is that you often end up having to pay for users to download videos that aren't fully watched.  Specifically, web-servers are by default designed to download content files as fast as possible.  So if a user visits your site and starts watching a 50MB video on it, the web-server will by default try and transmit the 50MB file as quickly as possible to them.  If the user closes the browser half-way through watching the video, you will end up having to pay for the remaining 25MB of content they had finished downloading - but which they never actually watched.

The IIS 7.0 Media Pack Bit-Rate throttler provides a much more cost-effective way to host video and audio on standard web-servers.  When a browser (using a plug-in like Silverlight, Flash, Windows Media Player, iTunes, etc) requests a media file, IIS7 will automatically detect the encoding bit-rate of the file and determine how many bytes per second the player needs to receive to play it continuously. 

IIS7 will then "burst" enough of the content (by default 20 seconds of the video/audio file) to ensure that the client player can start playing the video, and won't ever run into a buffering delay.  IIS7 then automatically slows down the file transmission to equal the encoded bit-rate (so if the video is encoded at 400kbs, IIS7 will burst 20 seconds of this, and then slow the remaining transmission to 400kbs of content).  If the user closes the browser on the video while it is playing, IIS7 will automatically detect the connection was dropped and avoid sending any more of the content (saving you the remaining bandwidth costs).  This module works today with Silverlight, Flash and Windows Media Player - no code changes are required in the players to enable it.

You can install the IIS7 Media Pack Bit-Rate Throttler on both Vista and Windows Server 2008.  You can learn more about it here and download it here (x64 here).

IIS 7.0 Remote Manager Administration Tool

IIS 7.0 ships with a significantly improved administration tool experience.  The admin tool is entirely written in managed code (using Windows Forms), and supports remotely administering a web-server over HTTP based web-services (allowing you to use the admin tool to manage servers remotely in a hosted environment through proxy servers).  The administration tool supports configuring both standard IIS settings, as well as ASP.NET ones (for example: you can use the tool to remotely manage ASP.NET membership/roles). 

Earlier this week we shipped a standalone installation of the IIS 7.0 admin tool that you can use to remotely manage Windows Server 2008 based IIS7 web-servers from Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, and Windows Vista client machines. 

You can learn more about the Remote Admin Tool and download it here (x64 here).

FastCGI Support for IIS 5.1 and IIS 6.0

IIS 7.0 ships with built-in support for FastCGI - which is a high performance alternative to using CGI for web-server extensibility.  Many popular web frameworks (in particular PHP) use this to integrate with web-servers.  In addition to having FastCGI support built-in to IIS 7.0, this week we also shipped a FastCGI ISAPI extension that works on existing IIS 5.1 and IIS 6.0 web servers. 

You can learn more about the FastCGI extension here, and download it here.

Summary

The extensibility architecture of IIS7 is going to enable us to continually enhance and ship more features that run on top of it in the months ahead.  I'll be blogging more soon about some of these additional extensions (including about a new new wickedly cool automated web deployment system that supports rolling out versioned web applications across servers - including to remote web servers, and across web-server farms).  

I think you are going to find IIS7 a really exciting web application server to use.  To learn more about it, make sure to visit www.iis.net, and sign-up for the upcoming free IIS7 web-casts here.

Hope this helps,

Scott

P.S. IIS7 is currently running all of the www.microsoft.com web servers (read their blog post on why they love it). 

Published Thursday, September 27, 2007 11:07 PM by ScottGu
Filed under: , ,

Comments

# re: IIS 7.0 Hits RC0 - Lots of cool new IIS7 Extensions Also Now Available

Friday, September 28, 2007 3:46 AM by Klaus Even Enevoldsen

Thanks for the update, IIS7 sounds great, can't wait try it out in the RTM version.

But when Windows Server 2008 is in RC that would mean that .NET Framework 3.5 is also in RC, could it be possible that a RC version of Visual Studio 2008 is on the way?

Thanks for a great blog!

# re: IIS 7.0 Hits RC0 - Lots of cool new IIS7 Extensions Also Now Available

Friday, September 28, 2007 3:47 AM by Henning Kilset

Hohum. IIS 7 remote management tool for Vista requires Vista SP1 Beta. That's a bit premature, isn't it? At least this severely restricts the amount of people able to test it, since Vista SP1 Beta isn't even available to MSDN subscribers yet...

# re: IIS 7.0 Hits RC0 - Lots of cool new IIS7 Extensions Also Now Available

Friday, September 28, 2007 4:21 AM by Vikram

congrats to You and the IIS team for the RCO.

P.S. I was surprise not to see a URL redirector module in that list

# re: IIS 7.0 Hits RC0 - Lots of cool new IIS7 Extensions Also Now Available

Friday, September 28, 2007 4:28 AM by Mike

I don't understand, isn't IIS 7 in Windows Vista already?

# re: IIS 7.0 Hits RC0 - Lots of cool new IIS7 Extensions Also Now Available

Friday, September 28, 2007 4:36 AM by IronRuby

Dear Mr. Scott,

Let me point out few burning problems for existing Windows XP developers, when it comes to IIS 7.0 advantage.

Windows XP is a successful product and its here to stay for long. Many developers will stick to XP for long, though Vista is around.

VS 2005, VS 2008, SQL 2005 / SQL2008, CLR 3.5 and DLR shall also support XP. Inspite all this great products offered...., why the XP developers are suffering the lack of IIS7 support. Why is it so that we still have to stick to IIS 5.1 for another few years and miss out the Great IIS 6.0 as well as IIS 7.0 and more specially 11S 7.0.

XP Service Pack 3 ( Beta ) is offered and it would be nice time to offer the extensions like IIS 7.0 for XP, may be in the Service Pack 3 stage.

I hope you understand the main problem.

# re: IIS 7.0 Hits RC0 - Lots of cool new IIS7 Extensions Also Now Available

Friday, September 28, 2007 5:25 AM by Patrick

Hello Scott, I am just wondering how do these release differ from the one bundled with Windows Vista Ultimate Edition?

# re: IIS 7.0 Hits RC0 - Lots of cool new IIS7 Extensions Also Now Available

Friday, September 28, 2007 6:17 AM by Lionel

What about WebDAV support?

# re: IIS 7.0 Hits RC0 - Lots of cool new IIS7 Extensions Also Now Available

Friday, September 28, 2007 9:08 AM by Josh Stodola

>> It now supports FTP over SSL, as well as UTF8 and IPv6 <<

Thank you very much!!  I can't wait to convince our network manager to upgrade!  I'm looking forward to this the most, I think (there's just so much cool stuff coming out, I can't be sure).

Best regards!

# re: IIS 7.0 Hits RC0 - Lots of cool new IIS7 Extensions Also Now Available

Friday, September 28, 2007 10:09 AM by Rob

Is there an update for vista that refreshes IIS to Server 2008 RC 0 level?

# re: IIS 7.0 Hits RC0 - Lots of cool new IIS7 Extensions Also Now Available

Friday, September 28, 2007 11:04 AM by ScottGu

Hi Klaus,

>>>>>>> But when Windows Server 2008 is in RC that would mean that .NET Framework 3.5 is also in RC, could it be possible that a RC version of Visual Studio 2008 is on the way?

Yep - we are very close to being at RC for .NET 3.5 and Visual Studio 2008 as well.

Thanks,

Scott

# re: IIS 7.0 Hits RC0 - Lots of cool new IIS7 Extensions Also Now Available

Friday, September 28, 2007 11:06 AM by ScottGu

Hi Henning,

>>>>>>> Hohum. IIS 7 remote management tool for Vista requires Vista SP1 Beta. That's a bit premature, isn't it? At least this severely restricts the amount of people able to test it, since Vista SP1 Beta isn't even available to MSDN subscribers yet...

The remote management tool does require SP1 of Vista currently to work against remote WS08 servers.  The reason being that Vista shipped with an IIS7 admin tool built-in (to manage IIS7 locally on Vista), and some updates to the binaries were needed to support the new WS08 features.  Vista SP1 will be widely available soon, though, which should hopefully prevent any problems.

Hope this helps,

Scott

# re: IIS 7.0 Hits RC0 - Lots of cool new IIS7 Extensions Also Now Available

Friday, September 28, 2007 11:07 AM by ScottGu

Hi Vikram,

>>>>> P.S. I was surprise not to see a URL redirector module in that list

A URL rewriter module is definitely in the works.  That will appear in the future. :-)

Thanks,

Scott

# re: IIS 7.0 Hits RC0 - Lots of cool new IIS7 Extensions Also Now Available

Friday, September 28, 2007 11:08 AM by ScottGu

Hi Mike,

>>>>> I don't understand, isn't IIS 7 in Windows Vista already?

There is an IIS7 version in Windows Vista (the client edition).  The server edition has several more features (some of which will show up in Vista Client SP1, some of which are server specific).  In particular, it now has web farm scale out support, better hosting isolation support, and a bunch of other server deployment specific capabilities.

Hope this helps,

Scott

# re: IIS 7.0 Hits RC0 - Lots of cool new IIS7 Extensions Also Now Available

Friday, September 28, 2007 11:10 AM by ScottGu

Hi IronRuby,

>>>>>> Windows XP is a successful product and its here to stay for long. Many developers will stick to XP for long, though Vista is around.

IIS uses a lot of the new networking stack in Windows Vista/Windows Server 2008 (which is one of the reasons IIS7 actually got faster), and takes advantage of a number of new features that are supported in XP.  Unfortunately back porting all this work to XP would not have been easily possible (we did look at it).

Sorry,

Scott

# re: IIS 7.0 Hits RC0 - Lots of cool new IIS7 Extensions Also Now Available

Friday, September 28, 2007 11:12 AM by ScottGu

Hi Lionel,

>>>>>> What about WebDAV support?

A new WebDAV module for IIS7 is in the works and will be available shortly.

Thanks,

Scott

# re: IIS 7.0 Hits RC0 - Lots of cool new IIS7 Extensions Also Now Available

Friday, September 28, 2007 11:13 AM by ScottGu

Hi Rob,

>>>>>> Is there an update for vista that refreshes IIS to Server 2008 RC 0 level?

Vista Client SP1 will refresh the IIS there to be at the Windows Server 2008 RC 0 level.  There are still a few deployment features that are server specific (for example: web farm scale out).  But the developer API and core scenarios will all be in sync between the two.

Hope this helps,

Scott

# re: IIS 7.0 Hits RC0 - Lots of cool new IIS7 Extensions Also Now Available

Friday, September 28, 2007 1:43 PM by Klaus Even Enevoldsen

Thanks Scott,

Can't wait to get my hands on the RC of Visual Studio 2008 or even the RTM version. Great news!

Thanks

# re: IIS 7.0 Hits RC0 - Lots of cool new IIS7 Extensions Also Now Available

Saturday, September 29, 2007 2:03 AM by Daniel Crabtree

IIS 7.0 seems to be shaping up quite nicely. I particularly like the Media Pack Bit-Rate Throttling Module, which is a really good idea.

You mention the RC for .NET 3.5 and Visual Studio 2008, will the RC include any exciting changes or additions compared to Beta 2 or is it mostly bug fixes?

# re: IIS 7.0 Hits RC0 - Lots of cool new IIS7 Extensions Also Now Available

Saturday, September 29, 2007 3:51 AM by Vikram

>>>>>>>The remote management tool does require SP1 of Vista currently to work against remote WS08 servers.  The reason being that Vista shipped with an IIS7 admin tool built-in (to manage IIS7 locally on Vista), and some updates to the binaries were needed to support the new WS08 features.  Vista SP1 will be widely available soon, though, which should hopefully prevent any problems.

Yes this might be available to all in a few days. But still not all would like to put Vista SP1 beta in the system just to enjoy the remote management tool. Cant there be another way?

# re: IIS 7.0 Hits RC0 - Lots of cool new IIS7 Extensions Also Now Available

Saturday, September 29, 2007 1:13 PM by Timo

What version of Windows Vista do I need to run IIS 7.0 ?

# re: IIS 7.0 Hits RC0 - Lots of cool new IIS7 Extensions Also Now Available

Saturday, September 29, 2007 1:22 PM by ScottGu

Hi Daniel,

>>>>> You mention the RC for .NET 3.5 and Visual Studio 2008, will the RC include any exciting changes or additions compared to Beta 2 or is it mostly bug fixes?

The RC and RTM versions of .NET 3.5 and VS 2008 include a few new features - although mostly at this point it is focused on bug fixes and performance improvements.

Hope this helps,

Scott

# re: IIS 7.0 Hits RC0 - Lots of cool new IIS7 Extensions Also Now Available

Saturday, September 29, 2007 1:22 PM by ScottGu

Hi Timo,

>>>>> What version of Windows Vista do I need to run IIS 7.0 ?

I believe IIS7 is supported on Windows Home Premium and higher now.

Hope this helps,

Scott

# re: IIS 7.0 Hits RC0 - Lots of cool new IIS7 Extensions Also Now Available

Wednesday, November 14, 2007 7:30 AM by imaole

i use windows 2003, can i install iis 7.0??

# re: IIS 7.0 Hits RC0 - Lots of cool new IIS7 Extensions Also Now Available

Thursday, November 22, 2007 5:38 AM by Simon

Will IIS7 support host headers over SSL?