Server 2008 Tutorials

This article explains Windows server 2008 editions in detail with differences between editions and improved features in Windows 2008.

Windows Server 2008 Editions

  • Windows Server 2008 Standard Edition
  • Windows Server 2008 Enterprise Edition
  • Windows Server 2008 Datacenter Edition
  • Windows Server 2008 Web Edition
  • Windows Server 2008 for Itanium-based systems
  • Windows Storage Server 2008

Server 2008 editions with Hyper-V

Hyper-V is the virtual machine technology that allows multiple operating systems to run concurrently on the same system. Virtualization can be used for server consolidation where multiple servers can be combined onto a single server or to consolidate testing or development environments. Three server editions include virtualization capabilities using the Hyper-V virtualization technology. The most significant differences between these editions are related to how many virtual servers each edition can host. The editions that include Hyper-V are as follows.

Windows Server 2008 Standard with Hyper-V

Support single virtual server suitable for small sized businesses.

Windows Server 2008 Enterprise with Hyper-V

Support up to four virtual servers suitable for medium organizations.

Windows Server 2008 Datacenter with Hyper-V

Support An unlimited number of virtual servers suitable for large organization those require to run high-end applications and large-scale virtualization. It adds to the features of the Enterprise edition.

Server 2008 editions with Hot-add capabilities

The Enterprise and Datacenter editions both support hot-add capabilities. Hot-add means you can add physical processors or physical memory without shutting down the system. The system hardware must also support this capability.

Window server 2008 with 32-bit and 64-bit varieties

WS08 is Microsoft's last 32-bit server OS. With the release of WS08 R2 in 2009, Microsoft will no longer offer 32-bit server operating systems, except for down-level versions of Windows.

  • WS08 R2 will be available in 64-bit versions only.
  • Hyper-V will work only on 64-bit systems.

Windows Server 2008 Standard Edition:

Designed for small businesses, this version supports file and print sharing, works with up to four processors, and accommodates up to 4GB RAM. This edition is available in both 32 and 64 bit.

Windows Server 2008 Datacenter Edition:

Designed for infrastructures that demand greater security and reliability features, supportive of up to 64 processors and 512GB for high-availability, high-demand processing applications and processes. This edition is available in both 32 and 64 bit.

Windows Server 2008 Enterprise Edition:

Designed for medium- to large-size businesses as a fully-functional server platform capable of operating eight processors and 64GB RAM. This edition is available in both 32 and 64 bit.

Window Server 2008 editions designed for specific work

Windows Web Server 2008

This edition is designed to be a dedicated web server and hosts Internet Information Services (IIS) server platform to build and host Web applications and pages and provide eXtensible Markup Language (XML) services including Active Server Pages (ASP) and the .NET framework

Windows Server 2008 for Itanium-based systems

This is designed to work on systems using the high-end 64-bit Itanium processors. It is optimized for large databases. 64-bit Intel Itanium based computers require a special version of Windows Server 2008 . This edition is only available in 64 bit.

Windows Storage Server 2008

Designed as a specialized platform for network attached storage (NAS) implementations and optimized for use with file- and print-sharing services in storage area network (SAN) scenarios. This edition is only available in 64 bit.

Differences between Windows server 2008 editions

Microsoft releases several additions of Server 2008 family. Each edition have several specific features. In this article we will try to list those features based on server roles and services.

Server Role and Services Web Itanium Standard Enterprise Datacenter
Web Services (IIS) Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Application Server No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Print Services No No Yes Yes Yes
Hyper-V No No Yes(Only 64 bit) Yes (Only 64 bit) Yes (Only 64 bit)
AD Domain Services No No Yes Yes Yes
AD Lightweight Directory Services No No Yes Yes Yes
AD Rights Management Services No No Yes Yes Yes
AD Certificate Services No No Partial Yes Yes
AD Federation Services No No No Yes Yes
DHCP Server No No Yes Yes Yes
DNS Server No No Yes Yes Yes
Fax Server No No Yes Yes Yes
UDDI Services No No Yes Yes Yes
Windows Deployment Services No No Yes Yes Yes
File Services No No Partial Yes Yes
Network Policy and Access Services No No Partial Yes Yes
Terminal Services No No Partial Yes Yes

Improved Features in Windows 2008

A number of improvements and additions have been made to Windows Server 2008. In this section we would discuss about those features.

Server Manager

The Server Manager not only provides quick access to many of the management snap-ins, but it also includes quick access to the Add New Roles Wizard and enables you to view the services that are installed and running in association with a particular server role.

Server would automatically launch it just after the installation of server 2008. This would allow you to view the roles that are currently installed on the server and also provides easy access to settings such as the time zone, the computer name and domain membership, automatic updates, and the server's network interfaces.

You could launch it in following ways

  • Start ==> Administrative Tools==>Server Manager
  • Right-click Computer in the Start menu and select Manage
  • execute this command ServerManagerCmd.exe

Server Core

Server Core allows you to install only what's needed on the server to support the specific role the server will assume.

It is a completely new feature in Windows Server 2008. A noticeable difference between Server Core and the full edition of server is that Server Core does not have a graphical user interface (GUI). Instead, all interaction with Server Core takes place through the command line.

Benefits of Core Server

  • It's easier to manage.
  • It minimizes the attack surface since fewer ports are opened by default.
  • It requires less software so uses less disk space. Only about 1 GB is used for the install.
  • Since it is less software, it requires fewer updates.

Core server does not include all the features available on other Server installations like NET Framework or Internet Explorer.


PowerShell is brand new feature of server 2008. Server would not install PowerShell by default. To take the advantage of PowerShell you need to install it separately.

PowerShell is a powerful set of command-line tools (called cmdlets) and a full-fledged scripting language. PowerShell is added to Windows Server 2008 as a feature, it provides you with an alternative to the various snap-ins and other GUI tools provided by the network operating system.

you can use PowerShell to manage the following:

  • Managing services, processes, and the registry
  • Active Directory Domain Services
  • Internet Information Services
  • Terminal Services
  • Exchange Server
  • SQL Server

Print Management snap-in

Print Management snap-in makes the management of printers and print servers easier in your domain. The new Print Management snap-in enables you to view print servers and the printers that they provide for the domain. You can even locate (using filters) printers that currently have print jobs and printers that are not ready (meaning paused or offline).

Read-only domain controllers

The RODC is just like a global catalog server in Active Directory used to authenticate users and as a resource to look up objects in the directory; however, instead of being a read/write copy of the directory, an RODC only maintains a read-only copy of Active Directory and forwards all write and authentication requests to a read/write domain controller.

Internet Information Services 7 (IIS7)

IIS7 provides an easily managed platform for a number of web-based technologies, including ASP.NET and SharePoint services. IIS7 also enables you to manage your web servers, using a web browser.

Internet Protocol version 6

Windows Server 2008 installs IPv6 by default and allows you to run IPv4 and IPv6 in tandem on your network interfaces.

Server virtualization

Windows Server 2008 provides Hyper-V, which is a software virtualization technology that enables you to run multiple virtual servers on a single server.

Change from previous version

  • Active Directory has been renamed to Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS).
  • Active Directory in Application (ADAM) to Active Directory Lightweight Directory Services (AD LDS). ADAM has been a downloadable add-in to Windows 2003 Active Directory that provides a directory typically used in organizations for nonemployees who need access to network services.
  • Windows Deployment Services— Windows Deployment Services (WDS) replaces the Remote Installation Services (RIS) provided by Windows Server 2003. WDS allows you to install both Windows Server 2008 and client operating systems (including Windows Vista and Windows XP) using an image-based installation.