Windows Server 2008 R2 Foundation gives small networks more options

Rick Vanover provides details about a special version of Windows Server 2008 that is targeted to the smallest of server environments.

Earlier this year, Microsoft released a version of Windows Server 2008 called Foundation. This edition is part of the OS's larger R2 enhancements and will only be made available through the hardware OEMs on eligible servers.

Here are more details about Windows Server 2008 R2 Foundation:

  • Foundation is targeted at small server environments.
  • Foundation is pre-installed on servers with up to 8 GB of RAM and a single processor.
  • Up to 15 user accounts are included with the OS, including use of Active Directory.
  • Windows Server Client Access Licenses (CALs) are not required for use of the Foundation server, but terminal server CALs and Rights Management CALs may be required.
  • Roles include DHCP, DNS, file server, and print server.
  • Foundation is capable of running line of business server applications for small businesses.
  • Foundation is supposed to make initial purchasing simple for small networks to provide a single server solution for all IT needs.
  • Foundation is a lesser-powered server than the popular Windows Small Business Server (SBS), which has additional options including Exchange, SharePoint, and SQL Server.

Foundation has built-in protections to keep it from doing more than what it is intended to do; specifically, the Foundation server is not intended to be part of a domain trust and will eventually shut down if it is in a trust for more than 10 days. Another protection is that the user accounts are assigned to only one user at a time. This follows a good practice of Active Directory identity management by having user accounts go directly to people, in lieu of using a "generic account" for access.

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