Decide What Edition of Windows Server 2008 to Install

10/9/2010 3:50:42 PM
You need to take a close look at each of the available editions of Windows Server 2008 and evaluate them in terms of your organization’s infrastructure goals.

The available editions are as follows:

  • Windows Web Server 2008

  • Windows Server 2008 Standard

  • Windows Server 2008 Standard without Hyper-V

  • Windows Server 2008 Enterprise

  • Windows Server 2008 Enterprise without Hyper-V

  • Windows Server 2008 Datacenter

  • Windows Server 2008 Datacenter without Hyper-V

  • Windows HPC Server 2008

  • Windows Server 2008 for Itanium-Based Systems


This chapter does not include descriptions of Windows Server 2008 Standard, Enterprise, and Datacenter without Hyper-V as these are identical to their corresponding counterparts with Hyper-V. However, editions without the Hyper-V role are available.

Windows Web Server 2008

The title really speaks for itself: This edition is built for a single purpose, as a web server. Windows Web Server 2008 comes with architectural enhancements included within IIS 7.0, ASP.NET, and Microsoft .NET Framework. This edition is used to deploy web pages, web sites, web applications, and web services.

Windows Web Server 2008 supports the following:

  • 32GB RAM on 64-bit (4GB on 32-bit)

  • Four multicore processors

Windows Server 2008 Standard

Windows Server 2008 Standard is a robust server OS that includes the following features to improve functionality, security, management, and reduce infrastructure costs:

  • Web services

  • Hyper-V (hypervisor-based virtualization)

  • Terminal Services

  • Presentation virtualization

  • Application virtualization

  • Network Access Protection (NAP)

  • BitLocker

  • RODCs

  • Windows Service Hardening

  • Bidirectional Windows Firewall

  • Next-generation cryptography support

  • Server Manager

  • Windows Deployment Services

  • Windows PowerShell

  • Next-generation TCP/IP

  • Server Core

Windows Server 2008 Standard supports the following:

  • 32GB RAM on 64-bit (4GB on 32-bit)

  • Four multicore processors

  • 250 network access service connections (RRAS)

  • 50 network policy server connections

  • 250 terminal server connections

  • Hyper-V virtualization with one free instance

Windows Server 2008 Enterprise

Windows Server 2008 Enterprise adds high availability, the latest in security, and scalability to the Standard edition. The following are some of its features:

  • Failover clustering (up to 16 nodes)

  • Fault-tolerant memory synchronization

  • Cross-file replication

  • Licensing for up to four additional virtual server instances

  • Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS)

  • Advanced certificate services

  • Active Directory Domain Services (ADDS)

Windows Server 2008 Enterprise supports the following:

  • Eight processors

  • 2TB RAM on 64-bit (64GB RAM on 32-bit)

  • Unlimited number of virtual private network (VPN) connections

  • Unlimited Network Access Service connections

  • Unlimited Network Policy Server connections

Windows Server 2008 Datacenter

This edition can be used for large-scale virtualization needs and added scalability for mission-critical applications in a large IT infrastructure. The following are some of the features of this edition:

  • Large-scale virtualization (Licensing allows you to add an unlimited number of virtual instances.)

  • Failover clustering

  • Dynamic hardware partitioning

  • Windows Server High Availability Program

Windows Server 2008 Datacenter supports the following:

  • 2TB RAM on 64-bit(64GB on 32-bit)

  • 64 x64 64-bit processors and 32 x86 32-bit processors

  • Unlimited virtual image use rights

  • Hyper-V based unlimited virtualization use

  • 16-node failover clustering

  • Hot add/replace memory and processors on supported hardware

  • Fault-tolerant memory synchronization

  • Cross-file replication (DFS-R)

  • Unlimited Network Access Services connections (RRAS)

  • Unlimited Network Policy Server connections

  • 65,535 terminal server connections

  • Advanced identity management

Windows HPC Server 2008

Used specifically for high-performance computing (HPC), this edition enables you to scale to thousands of processing cores. This is advantageous when you’re load balancing heavy workloads across multiple processors and need to manage and monitor your HPC environment for stability and health.

Windows Server 2008 for Itanium-Based Systems

Windows Server 2008 for Itanium-Based Systems allows you to run Windows Server 2008 on Itanium-based systems. Itanium-based processors have the ability to handle intensive computing needs of business-critical applications in an enterprise-level environment. An Itanium processor uses a whole new architecture, not just extending the 32-bit architecture to 64-bit, and it can thus be called a native 64-bit processor. Another feature of this processor is the Intel Explicitly Parallel Instruction Computing (EPIC) architecture, which improves performance of the processor through instructionlevel parallelism, maximizing opportunities to execute instructions in parallel. Up to six instructions can be processed in parallel.

Windows Server 2008 for Itanium-Based Systems supports the following:

  • Dynamic hardware partitioning

  • Use of Itanium RAS (Reliability, Availability, and Scalability)

  • 2TB RAM

  • 64 Itanium processors or 64 cores

  • Hot add/replace of memory and processors

  • Eight-node failover clustering

  • Fault-tolerant memory synchronization

  • Licensing for unlimited virtual instances with a third-party virtualization product

Now you know what each edition of Windows Server 2008 has to offer. Say that you decide that you need to install the Standard edition. Let’s get started with the installation and see what your options are.

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