Windows Server 2008 Editions

Since the release of Windows NT, Microsoft has been publishing its server operating systems in editions. Microsoft follows the usual format for marketing its server family by offerings both 32-bit and 64-bit varieties. Some of these editions remain functionally identical to the Windows Server 2003 family. Today, Windows Server 2003 includes Web, Standard, Enterprise, and Datacenter editions, as it did from the very beginning, but it also includes new editions, such as Windows Storage Server 2003, Windows Small Business Server 2003, and Windows Compute Cluster Server 2003—all specialized editions of the server OS that are designed to play specific roles in organizations of various sizes.


Windows Server 2008 Editions are offerings the following:

• Windows Server 2008 Web Edition: Designed as a basic 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 This edition does include the Network Load Balancing (NLB) service, so it can be used to provide protection for front-end systems in a high-availability scenario.

• Windows Server 2008 Standard Edition: Designed for small to medium businesses. It is aimed at file and printer sharing, Internet connectivity, small-scale application deployment, and collaboration scenarios. It is designed to provide low-cost networking services, where a single machine can operate independently of others. It is often used as a domain controller in an Active Directory deployment, as a standalone file and print server. Windows Server 2008 Standard Edition accommodates up to 4GB RA and Windows SharePoint Services (WSS) working as collaboration services and front end to any application environment.

• 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. It usually provided by original equipment manufacturers, though it is available as a software OS as well, and is aimed at very large organizations that require constant operation of their most mission-critical applications. It is aimed at business-critical and mission-critical applications demanding the highest level of scalability and availability.

• Windows Server 2008 Enterprise Edition: Designed for medium- to large-size businesses as a fully-functional server platform. It provides more robust support for service scenarios that require continuous availability. It capable operating eight processors and 64GB RAM. The Enterprise edition also supports the Microsoft Cluster Service, which lets you connect up to eight systems together to provide high availability for specific services. The Enterprise edition is aimed at infrastructure support, as well as application and Web services support, and is often used to protect systems such as Microsoft Exchange Server or Microsoft SQL Server.

• 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.

• Windows Server 2008 for Itanium-Based Systems: 64-bit Intel Itanium based computers require a special version of Windows Server 2008.

• Windows Server 2008 Standard without Hyper-V

• Windows Server 2008 Enterprise without Hyper-V

• Windows Server 2008 Datacenter without Hyper-V

Each version that includes Hyper-V is designed to run on 64-bit infrastructures. Most of these systems run on x64 processor architectures. Microsoft has already announced that the next release of Windows Server 2008, release 2 (R2) will only run on 64-bit processors and will no longer be available for 32-bit systems.

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