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Windows Server 2003 Editions

Windows Server 2003 offers several versions to suit your server needs. The more features you want the more you are going to pay unfortunately. With four editions to choose from you can pick the version that’s right for your business.

Web Edition
Prior to the release of Windows Server 2003, if you wanted to have a Windows server function only as a Web server, you would have to buy a copy of Windows 2000 Server and use IIS. This was a waste of money and functionality, because most of the features of Server would never be used. Now there is a version of Windows designed to function exclusively as a Web server, Windows Server 2003 Web Edition. This will save companies a great deal of money and possibly give Microsoft a larger share of the Web server market. There is a difference in price (list price) of around $700 to $800 between Web Edition and Standard Edition Server. Web Edition is meant to host Web pages, Web applications, and XML services. It supports IIS 6.0, ASP.NET, and the .NET Framework. Web Edition supports up to two processors and 2GB of RAM. Client access licenses (discussed later in the chapter) are not required when connecting to Web Edition. However, you are only allowed 10 inbound simultaneous SMB connections, to be used for content publishing (this limit does not apply to Web connections).Web Edition allows you to install third-party Web server software such as Apache, Web availability management software such as Microsoft Application Center, and database engine software such as Microsoft SQL Server 2000 Desktop Engine (MSDE). Web Edition does not support the following functions:

  • Internet Authentication Services (IAS)
  • Microsoft Metadirectory Services
  • Domain controller functionality
  • Universal Description, Discovery, and Integration Services (UDDI)
  • Remote Installation Service

Standard Edition
Windows Server 2003 Standard Edition is the replacement for Windows 2000 Server. It is meant for small to medium-sized businesses and contains most of the features discussed thus far. It is not limited in functionality like Web Edition and it supports up to four CPUs and 4GB of RAM. Standard Edition is a great choice for file and print servers, Web servers, and application servers that don’t need to be clustered. It can also function as a domain controller. Microsoft expects Standard Edition to be the most widely used version of Windows Server 2003.

Enterprise Edition
Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Edition is the replacement for Windows 2000 Advanced Server. Enterprise Edition is meant for any sized business, but includes features most often desired by enterprise-level organizations. It provides high performance and reliability. All of the features supported in Standard Edition are supported in Enterprise Edition, as well as support for clustering up to eight nodes. It supports more powerful hardware than Standard Edition, and can use up to eight processors and up to 32GB of memory. There is a 64-bit version of Enterprise Edition for Intel Itanium machines. The 64-bit version supports up to eight processors and up to 64GB of RAM. Enterprise Edition is good for companies that need features or hardware not supported in Standard Edition.

Datacenter Edition
Datacenter Edition is Microsoft’s high-end OS. It is meant for companies that need the most reliable and scalable platform available. You cannot buy the Datacenter Edition Software and install it yourself; only approved equipment vendors can buy it and they must install it onto approved hardware. Datacenter Edition contains all of the features found in both Standard Edition and Enterprise Edition; in addition, it adds the Windows System Resource Manager to aid in system management. Datacenter Edition supports up to 32 processors and 64GB of memory in the 32-bit version. The 64-bit version supports up to 64 processors and 512GB of memory. If performance and reliability are at the top of your list (and cost is near the bottom), then Datacenter Edition is an excellent choice.

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