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What is a Windows Server?

What is a Windows server? Windows Server refers to a line of operating systems created by Microsoft to be used explicitly on servers.

22 Dec, 22 by Susith Nonis 13 min Read

List of content you will read in this article:

Windows Server refers to a line of operating systems created by Microsoft to be used explicitly on servers. A server is a very powerful machine designed to work constantly and provide the necessary resources to other computers. What is a Windows server? These servers can generally provide server-focused services, including website hosting, user management, messaging, security, authorization, and resource management. For this reason, Windows Server is almost exclusively for businesses. 

Microsoft has been publishing Windows Server under its company since April 2003 when they launched Windows Server 2003. It is worth noting that even before this, server versions of Windows already existed. An example is Windows NT 4.0, which performs server and general use purposes. 

For the most part, as an everyday user, you needn't worry about Windows Server as you are unlikely to accidentally download it when trying to get the standard Windows version. You won't find it on your tech store's shelves either because what's available are the consumer-facing Windows editions. Learning about them and being aware of their existence is still essential. as a summary of what is windows server, we can explain this: A Windows server is a type of computer equipped with windows server OS designed to share files and other resources over a network. It can host websites, store files, or run applications. Servers are often more powerful than desktop computers and can handle more traffic.

A Windows Server is a powerful, versatile platform that can be used for a variety of purposes. If you're wondering if a Windows Server is right for you, consider the following:

-Do you need to run multiple websites?
-Do you need to host email or other services?
-Do you need to support remote users or access files remotely?
-Do you need to store and share data?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, then a Windows Server could be a good fit for you. Windows Server is a robust platform that can handle all of these tasks and more. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you get the most out of your Windows Server.

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Microsoft publishes an entire line of Windows Server for its OS. Some of them are:

  • Windows Server 2022
  • Windows Server 2019
  • Windows Server 2016
  • Windows Server 2012
  • Windows Server 2012 R2
  • Windows Server 2008
  • Windows Server 2008 R2

Some people may mistakenly interchange the regular Windows operating system with Windows Server. Although these two are different, they share some similarities. Below are some common similarities and differences between these two.

Similarities

Windows Server and Windows correspond during releases. Due to this, they share some similarities, mainly because both operating systems have identical codebases. These similarities are:

  • Both OSs appear the same when being used on a desktop.
  • Whether using Windows or Windows Server, you'll have the same icons, start button, and taskbar.
  • You can perform several similar functions on both OSs because they allow users to install most of the same programs and software.

Differences

Initially, The Windows Server and Windows operating systems appear almost identical. However, they are significantly different than they are similar. The following is an in-depth look into some of the differences between Windows Server and Windows.

1.   GUI requirement

To run Windows 10, you must have GUI, a graphical user interface, as it allows you to navigate the OS. With Windows Server, the case is different. Using GUI with the latter is not compulsory, but you can if you want to. There are two ways to install a graphical user interface on Windows Server. You can either have it in the form of Desktop Experience or Server Core.

Unlike its counterpart, Windows Server lets you install only the server roles you need to utilize. This flexibility allows users to manage their operations how they deem most suitable, reducing their footprint. If you choose to operate your Windows Server without a GUI, you can manage your OS remotely using Windows PowerShell from the command line. You could also utilize tools like Windows Admin Center.

2.   Cost

Because Windows Server is primarily used for business reasons, its operating system is glaringly more expensive than the standard Windows 10. The price ranges depend on which edition you want.

3.   Windows Server has server-specific tools

Because Windows Server's OS is made for servers, it features software and tools that you won't find on Windows 10. Windows Command Prompt and Windows PowerShell are pre-installed into this OS. They allow you to run your operations remotely. Furthermore, Windows Server supports various business-friendly software exclusively designed for servers, for example, DHCP.

Although some of the mentioned tools can also be used on regular Windows, third-party software may be necessary. In contrast, the Windows Server does not have some exciting features found in Windows 10. The main reason behind this is that this software is primarily for organizational use. Therefore, you shouldn't expect to come across tools such as Microsoft Store, Cortana, or Edge.

4.   Power

Windows Server is an organization-level product, so it possesses more powerful hardware to support a broader network. While Windows 10 Pro offers 2TB of RAM, which most regular users wouldn't even use up on personal machines, Windows Server provides a maximum RAM of 24TB.

Compared to Windows 10's10's two sockets, Windows Server has 64 CPU sockets meaning that its hardware can support more processors and cores.

5.   Connection limit

Windows 10's connection limit is 20 devices which is not an issue if you use it for your small business or commercially at home. However, this can prove problematic for users that intend to use Windows on a larger scale. On the other hand, Windows Server virtually has unlimited connections, which is ideal for any organization regardless of size.

Windows Server is designed for use in server environments such as data centers and other high-performance computing environments. It offers superior performance and scalability compared to other server operating systems. In addition, Windows Server provides a number of features that are essential for running mission-critical applications and services.

Some of the key features of Windows Server include:

Active Directory: Active Directory is a directory service that helps organizations manage user accounts, resources, and security settings. Active Directory can be used to create and manage users, groups, computers, and other objects within an organization's network. Active Directory is a core component of any Windows Server deployment.

DNS: DNS is a service that resolves human-readable domain names (such as www.example.com) into IP addresses (such as 192.0.2.1). DNS is used by nearly every internet-connected device, and Windows Server includes a fully-featured DNS server that can be used to manage domain name resolution within an organization's network.

Group Policy: Group Policy is a feature of Windows Server that allows administrators to manage user and computer settings across the entire network centrally. Group Policy can be used to configure security settings, install software, deploy updates, and more.

Hyper V: Hyper V is a virtual machine platform that allows organizations to run multiple operating systems on the same physical server. Hyper V enables organizations to consolidate their servers, reduce hardware costs, and improve scalability and performance.

Windows Update: Windows Update is a service that provides customers with the latest security updates and fixes for Windows Server. Windows Update can be used to ensure all servers are running the most current version of Windows Server with all available patches applied. 
Remote Desktop Services: Remote Desktop Services enable users to access their office computers from any location. Remote Desktop Services is a great way to provide remote access to corporate applications, resources, and desktops without maintaining a physical presence in the office. 

Storage Spaces: Storage Spaces is a feature of Windows Server that allows organizations to virtualize their storage hardware. Storage Spaces enables organizations to create virtual disks from physical disks, enabling them to pool storage capacity across multiple servers and easily expand storage as needed.

IIS: IIS (Internet Information Services) is a web server developed by Microsoft for use with the Windows Server operating system. IIS is used to host and manage websites, web applications, and services on the web. It supports a variety of technologies, such as ASP.NET, PHP, CGI, FastCGI, ISAPI extensions, and more. IIS provides a secure and reliable platform for hosting web-based applications.

Powershell: PowerShell is a scripting language developed by Microsoft for use with Windows Server and other Microsoft products. PowerShell provides an easy-to-use command line interface for automating system administration tasks such as configuring, monitoring, and managing Windows Server and other applications. PowerShell enables IT administrators to quickly automate repetitive tasks and execute complex operations with just a few lines of code.

Remote desktop: Remote Desktop Services is a feature of Windows Server that enables users to access their office computer from any location. Remote Desktop Services provides a secure and reliable way for users to access their applications, data, and desktops without having to maintain a physical presence in the office. It is an ideal solution for organizations with multiple locations or employees who need remote access to their work machines.

Powershell is a scripting language that is often used to manage Windows servers. It can be used to automate tasks, configure settings, and perform other management functions. Powershell is an easy-to-use tool that can save you time and effort when managing your Windows servers.

When it comes to servers, there are two main types: Windows and Linux. Both have their own benefits and drawbacks, so it’s important to know the difference before making a decision.

Windows servers are typically more expensive than Linux servers, but they offer a number of advantages, including easier administration, better support for proprietary software, and more comprehensive monitoring tools. Windows servers also tend to be more stable than Linux servers, which is an important consideration for businesses relying on their servers for critical applications.

Linux servers are often less expensive than Windows servers, and they offer a number of advantages as well, including better scalability and flexibility. Linux servers can also be more secure than Windows servers since they’re less vulnerable to attack by malware and viruses. In addition, many businesses prefer the open-source model of development offered by Linux over the proprietary model used by Windows.

1. What is the purpose of a Windows Server?

Windows Server OSs are intended to share server-related services with multiple users and avail extensive administrative control of corporate networks, data storage, and applications.

2. How can I locate my Windows Server?

To find your server, first select "PC and devices." Next, click on "PC info." Right under Windows, check your PC's Windows version and edition. Under PC, look for "System type," where you'll be able to determine whether your desktop is running on the Windows 64-bit or 32-bit version.

3. Is a server the same as a computer?

No, a server is different from a computer because it is a different kind of computer. By definition, a server is a machine that processes requests from other computers that are all plugged into one system. This is the primary difference between a standard computer and a server machine.

4. What is the latest Windows Server OS version?

That is the Windows Server 2022 by Microsoft. 

5. Can users install Windows Server on their desktops?

While you can install this server on your desktop, it is not wise. Typically, servers run 24/7, while your desktop/laptop shouldn't. Therefore, it would be better to custom-fit your PC with a quality Server HDD.

In conclusion, a Windows Server is an operating system created by Microsoft and can be used to host applications and provide access to resources. It supports multiple users with advanced security features, so you know your data is safe. With its wide range of features and capabilities, it's no wonder why a Windows Server is the go-to choice for businesses, both large and small. So if you're looking for an efficient way to manage your networks, consider investing in a Windows Server today!

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Susith Nonis

I'm fascinated by the IT world and how the 1's and 0's work. While I venture into the world of Technology, I try to share what I know in the simplest way with you. Not a fan of coffee, a travel addict, and a self-accredited 'master chef'.