Windows Server 2003


Windows Server 2003 is a multipurpose operating system capable of handling a diverse set of server roles, depending on your needs, in either a centralized or distributed fashion

(Excerpts from the Small Business Server Section of

Some of these server roles include:

  • File and print server.
  • Web server and Web application services.
  • Mail server.
  • Terminal server.
  • Remote access and virtual private network (VPN) server.
  • Directory services, Domain Name System (DNS), Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) server, and Windows Internet Naming Service (WINS).
  • Streaming media server.

This product overview explains the basics of the Windows Server 2003 family and includes links to more detailed information.

Benefits of the Windows Server 2003 Family Windows Server 2003 delivers four primary benefits:

  1. Dependable

    Windows Server 2003 is the fastest, most reliable, most secure Windows server operating system ever offered by Microsoft. Windows Server 2003 delivers dependability by:

    • Providing an IT infrastructure that delivers fundamental value: improved reliability, better availability, and increased scalability.
    • Including an application platform with built-in traditional application server functionality on top of extensive operating system capabilities.
    • Integrating an information worker infrastructure that helps keep business information secure and accessible.
  2. Productive

    Windows Server 2003 provides the tools that simplify deployment, management, and administration and maximize productivity. Windows Server 2003 does this by:

    • Providing flexible tools that help match your design and deployment to your organizational and network needs.
    • Helping you manage your network proactively by enforcing policy, automating tasks, and simplifying updates.
    • Helping you lower support overhead by letting users do more on their own.
  3. Connected

    Windows Server 2003 provides an extensible application platform for quickly building solutions that keep employees, partners, systems, and customers connected. Windows Server 2003 does this by:

    • Providing an integrated Web server and streaming media server that helps you quickly, easily, and securely create dynamic intranet and Internet Web sites.
    • Providing built-in services that help you easily develop, deploy, and manage XML Web services.
    • Providing the tools that enable you to connect XML Web services to internal applications, suppliers, and partners.
  4. Best Economics

    When combined with products and services from the many Microsoft hardware, software, and channel partners, Windows Server 2003 provides the choices that help you get the greatest return on your infrastructure investments. Windows Server 2003 does this by:

    • Providing ease-of-use and prescriptive guidance for complete solutions that enable you to quickly put technology to work.
    • Helping you consolidate servers by taking advantage of the latest hardware, software, and methodologies to optimize your server deployments.
    • Lowering your total cost of ownership (TCO) to realize a fast return on investment.
  5. Availability

    The Windows Server 2003 family provides improved availability through enhanced clustering support. Clustering services have become essential for organizations deploying critical e-commerce and line-of-business applications, because they provide significant improvements in availability, scalability, and manageability. Clustering installation and setup is easier and more robust in Windows Server 2003, while enhanced network features in the product provide greater failover capabilities and high system uptime. The Windows Server 2003 family supports server clusters for up to eight nodes. If one of the nodes in a cluster becomes unavailable because of failure or maintenance, another node immediately begins providing service, a process known as failover. Windows Server 2003 also supports network load balancing (NLB), which balances incoming Internet Protocol (IP) traffic across nodes in a cluster.

  6. Scalability

    The Windows Server 2003 family provides scalability through scale-up, enabled by symmetric multiprocessing (SMP), and scale-out, enabled by clustering. Internal tests indicate that compared to Windows 2000 Server, Windows Server 2003 delivers up to 140 percent better performance in the file system and significantly better performance in various other features including the Microsoft Active Directory? service, Web server and Terminal Server components, and networking services. Windows Server 2003 scales from single processor solutions all the way up to 64-way systems. It supports both 32-bit and 64-bit processors.

  7. Large Productivity Features

    Windows Server 2003 has capabilities in numerous areas that can make your organization and employees more productive, including:

    • File and print services. At the heart of any IT organization is the ability to efficiently manage file and print resources while keeping them available and secure for users. As the network expands with more users located on-site, in remote locations, or even at partner companies, IT administrators face an increasingly heavy burden. The Windows Server 2003 family delivers intelligent file and print services with increased performance and functionality, allowing you to reduce TCO.
    • Active Directory. Active Directory is the directory service for the Windows Server 2003 family. It stores information about objects on the network and makes this information easy for administrators and users to find, providing a logical, hierarchical organization of directory information. Windows Server 2003 brings many improvements to Active Directory, making it more versatile, dependable, and economical to use. In Windows Server 2003, Active Directory provides increased performance and scalability. It also allows you greater flexibility to design, deploy, and manage your organization?s directory.
    • Management services. While computing has proliferated on desktops, laptops, and portable devices, the real cost of maintaining a distributed personal computer network has grown significantly. Reducing day-to-day maintenance through automation is key to reducing operating costs. Windows Server 2003 contains several important new automated management tools, including Microsoft Software Update Services (SUS) and server configuration wizards. Managing Group Policy is made easier with the new Group Policy Management Console (GPMC), enabling more organizations to better utilize the Active Directory service and take advantage of its powerful management features. In addition, command-line tools let administrators perform most tasks from the command console. GPMC is available as a separate component.
    • Storage management. Windows Server 2003 introduces new and enhanced features for storage management, making it easier and more reliable to manage and maintain disks and volumes, backup and restore data, and connect to storage area networks (SANs).
    • Terminal Services. The Terminal Services component of Microsoft Windows Server 2003 builds on the solid application server mode in Windows 2000 Terminal Services. Terminal Services let you deliver Windows-based applications, or the Windows desktop itself, to virtually any computing device?including those that cannot run Windows.

Whats in the Windows Server 2003 Family?

The Windows Server 2003 family includes the following products:

  1. Windows Server 2003, Standard Edition

    Windows Server 2003, Standard Edition, is designed for departmental and standard workloads and delivers the following benefits:

    • Support for file and printer sharing.
    • More secure Internet connectivity.
    • Centralized desktop application deployment.
  2. Windows Server 2003, Enterprise Edition

    Built for mission-critical server workloads, Windows Server 2003, Enterprise Edition, is the platform of choice for applications, Web services, and infrastructure. Delivering high reliability, performance, and superior business value, Windows Server 2003, Enterprise Edition provides these benefits:

    • A full-function server operating system that supports up to 8 processors.
    • Enterprise-class features, such as eight-node clustering and support for up to 32 GB of memory.
    • Support for Intel Itanium-based computers.
    • Support for 64-bit computing platforms capable of supporting 8 processors and 64 GB of RAM with the 64-bit version.
  3. Windows Server 2003, Datacenter Edition

    Windows Server 2003, Datacenter Edition, is built for the highest levels of scalability and reliability. Only this platform offers the Datacenter High Availability Program of support and services. Benefits of Windows Server 2003, Datacenter Edition, include:

    • The most powerful and functional server operating system Microsoft has ever offered.
    • Support for up to 32-way SMP and 64 GB of RAM with the 32-bit version.
    • Support for up to 128-way machines with individual partitions of up to 64 processors and 512 GB of RAM with the 64-bit version.
    • Both 8-node clustering and load balancing services as standard features.
    • Windows System Resource Manager to facilitate consolidation and system management.
  4. Windows Server 2003, Web Edition

    A new product within the Windows operating systems, Windows Server 2003, Web Edition, offers dedicated Web serving and hosting as well as the following benefits:

    • A platform for building and hosting Web applications, Web pages, and XML Web Services.
    • A design intended for use primarily as an IIS 6.0 Web server.
    • A platform for rapidly developing and deploying XML Web services and applications that use ASP.NET technology, a key part of the .NET Framework.
    • Ease of deployment and management.
  5. Windows Small Business Server 2003

    Windows Small Business Server 2003 provides a complete business server solution for small businesses. The integrated suite of server products enables companies to share information and resources safely and securely.

    • Standard Edition will include Windows Server 2003, Standard Edition, Microsoft Windows SharePoint? Services, Microsoft Exchange Server 2003, Microsoft Shared Fax Service.
    • Premium Edition will include Windows Server 2003, Standard Edition, Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services, Microsoft Exchange Server 2003, Microsoft Shared Fax Service, Microsoft Internet Security and Acceleration (ISA) Server, Microsoft SQL Server? 2000, and Microsoft Office FrontPage? 2003

    To learn more about Windows Server 2003 click here