Windows Server 2008 Editions

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July 14, 2011 by Rakesh Boraiah

Windows Web Server 2008

This version of Windows Server 2008 is optimized to host web sites using IIS and is therefore limited in its support of hardware and in its feature set. It’s designed specifically as a web server, so you won’t find many features enabled other than IIS, ASP.NET, and some other web hosting-specific capabilities. Avoid this edition unless you have machines whose sole purpose is serving web and other Internet content.

Standard Edition (SE)

This is the plain-vanilla version of Windows that most corporations likely will deploy. Included with it is support for up to two processors and 4 GB of memory. SE includes most of the features and support of the other editions, including the .NET Framework, IIS 7, Active Directory, the distributed and encrypting filesystems, and various management tools. You also receive Network Load Balancing (a feature previously reserved for the “premium editions” of the NT server product) and a simple Post Office Protocol 3 (POP3) server which, coupled with the existing Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) server bundled with IIS, can turn your Windows Server 2003 machine into an Internet mail server.

Enterprise Edition (EE)

Aimed squarely at more demanding environments, EE adds clustering support, support for eight processors, 64 GB of RAM for x86-based systems and up to 2 TB of RAM for x64 systems, the ability to hot-add memory to a running server, and unlimited network connections, among other things.

Datacenter Edition (DE)

This performance- and scalability-enhanced Windows Server 2008 edition supports from 8 to 32 processors, hot-adding of processors and their replacement, and features the same memory support of the Enterprise Edition. With the exception of more extensive firewalling features and some increase in virtual machine licensing, DE is identical to EE.

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