Tech Tip: Examine the four editions of WS2K3

Windows Server 2003 is available in four editions, and your organization's needs will dictate which one is most suitable. It's important to clearly understand the differences in the various versions so you can make an appropriate decision.

Here are a few features that are common to all editions:

  • Remote administration and installation using Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP)
  • Network Load Balancing
  • A full implementation of IPv6
  • Enhanced security using Encrypting File System (EFS)
  • The ability to use shadow copies from earlier volume snapshots
  • Enhanced management capability using Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) from the command line
  • Internet Information Services (IIS) 6.0

Web Edition

The Web Edition is a scaled-down version of WS2K3. It's designed to do nothing but run Web sites, and it supports the features necessary to fulfill this purpose. Here are a few of its limitations:

  • It supports a maximum of 2 GB of RAM.
  • It supports no more than two processors (two-way Symmetric MultiProcessor (SMP).
  • It provides only partial support of Active Directory. For example, a Web Edition server can't be a domain controller.

Standard Edition

The Standard Edition is aimed at environments that don't need highly available services. Some limitations and features include:

  • It supports a maximum of 4 GB of RAM.
  • It supports up to four processors (four-way SMP).
  • Full support of Active Directory.
  • Internet Connection Firewall.
  • Terminal Services.
  • It can act as a VPN server.
  • Internet Connection Sharing (ICS).
  • Fax services.
  • Apple machines can use Macintosh services.
  • Full Group Policy support.
  • .NET Framework services.
  • ASP.NET services.
  • Full implementation of Windows Media Services.

Enterprise Edition

The Enterprise Edition is targeted at environments with a need for highly available services. This version includes all of the features from the above editions, and it introduces the following features and limitations:

  • It supports up to 32 GB of RAM (64 GB in 64-bit version).
  • It supports up to eight processors (eight-way SMP).
  • Hot addition of RAM.
  • Non-Uniform Memory Access (NUMA).
  • Full metadirectory support.
  • Full set of Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) services.
  • Terminal Services Connection Directory, which provides high availability capability to Terminal Services.

Datacenter Edition

The Datacenter Edition is aimed at very large data processing environments. It includes all of the previously listed features—except the Internet Connection Firewall—and provides the following:

  • It supports up to 64 GB of RAM (512 GB on 64-bit machines).
  • It supports both 32-way and 64-way SMP.

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