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Frequently Asked Questions
Windows Server 2003 Family

Revision - 1.75

Windows Server 2003

Q: What is the Windows Server 2003 Family?
"The Windows Server 2003 family is the next step in the ongoing evolution of the Windows server operating systems. Windows Server 2003 builds on the proven reliability, scalability, and manageability of Windows 2000 Server, to deliver a highly productive infrastructure platform for powering connected applications, networks, and XML Web services—from the workgroup to the data center."

Q: What is the Windows 2003 Server Family website?

Q: What are the upgrade paths for Windows Server 2003?
A: Windows Server 2003 will be upgradeable from its compatible version of Windows 2000 server.  Windows 2000 server will be upgradeable to Windows Server 2003.  You are not allowed to downgrade the server class (Windows 2000 Advanced Server to Windows Server 2003).

Q: Where can I find software or hardware compatible with Windows Server 2003?
The Windows Server Catalog is the single online source for finding hardware and software that is officially compatible with Windows Server.  Hardware with the Designed for Windows Server logo has passed Microsoft’s tests for quality and qualifies for Microsoft support. Software with the Certified for Windows Server 2003 logo has gone through rigorous testing for quality, performance, scalability, reliability, interoperability and security. Software listed as Supporting has been tested for quality and lists all tested technologies that are used by the product, such as the .NET Framework and Active Directory. To find hardware and software that best meets your needs, visit the Windows Server Catalog.

Q: Should I migrate to Windows Server 2003?
A: Yes, migrate to Windows Server 2003. If you have already started migrating to Windows 2000 then continue with the existing migration before considering a new one.

Q: What is the history of Windows Server 2003's naming?
A: It has a long history, that's for sure!  Its initial codename was Whister (the same as Windows XP's). It was then announced that its name would be Windows .NET Server.  After time, 2003 was added to the end of that title.  On January 9, 2002, it was announced its newest (and most likely final) name would be Microsoft Windows Server 2003.

Q: How can I manage event logs in Windows Server 2003 without wasting time?
A: Manage and automatically monitor Windows event logs (and also W3C logs, Syslog events and SNMP Traps) with GFI EventsManager. Free trial available!

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Q: Now that it has been released, can I upgrade Windows Server 2003 RC to the RTM version?
A: Yes, they've designed the upgrade from the betas to the final to be seamless!

Q: Very quickly, what has changed in the newer versions?
A: Windows Server 2003 includes IIS 6.0, improved Active Directory, clustering improvements, scalability and security improvements as well. All versions include the .NET framework and ASP.NET. Every version except for Web Server will include Enterprise UDDI Services.

Q:  Will Product Activation be required with the 2003 Servers?
A:  Yes. The Windows Server 2003 Family uses Product Activation, including beta 3, RC 1 and future pre-release versions of the Windows Server 2003 Family. Customers who purchase retail packaged products or a new server from an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) will be required to activate the software. The software may be activated in the factory on a new server from an OEM. Product activation will not be required for licenses acquired by a customer through one of Microsoft’s volume licensing programs such as Open License or Select License.

Q:  Why is activation required?
A:  So the massive pirating of the operating system won't occur like it did in Windows 2000.

Q: Where can I obtain a trial version of Windows Server 2003?
A: Click here to set up an account to either order a trial kit, or to download a 180-day trial of Windows Server 2003.

Q: What was the development timeline?
A: A timeline including all beta and release candidate milestones can be found here.

Q: Didn't review Windows Server 2003?
A: Yes, a preview of Whistler Server 2003 Beta 2 can be found here, while a review of the completed Windows Server 2003 can be seen here.

Q:  What advantages are there for developers?

  • Native support for XML Web services through standards such as SOAP, WSDL, and UDDI for better interoperability.
  • A rich set of integrated distributed application services optimized for performance and scalability, with revolutionary enhancements for deployment, management, and security.
  • Built-in robustness with support for loosely and tightly coupled architecture.
  • Tight integration with Microsoft Enterprise Servers.
  • An integrated set of services—most of what is needed is already in the box.
  • Native support for XML Web services (SOAP, WSDL, UDDI).
  • Managed code and other Microsoft Visual Studio® .NET features mean less coding for developers.
  • Integration with Visual Studio .NET.
  • Unified Programming Language.
  • Ability to take advantage of existing investments with language independence.

Q: Has Internet Information Services been improved?
A: Yes, it is now version 6.0.

Q: What new features are available in IIS 6.0?
A: There are many security features in IIS 6.0. The default installation of IIS 6.0 is "locked." Other new features include
selectable cryptographic services, advanced digest authentication, and configurable access control of processes. To increase reliability IIS 6.0 has a kernel mode HTTP service, dedicated application processes, and a self-healing mechanism. It also supports Unicode support, metabase configuration in XML rather than binary files and additional features set to reduce the number of reboots required.

Q: What editions are there of Windows Server 2003?
A: Windows Server 2003 ships in 4 versions: Web Server, Standard Server, Enterprise Server and Datacenter.  Enterprise Server will take Windows 2000 Advanced Server's place.

Q: What is the pricing for Windows Server 2003?
A: A list of prices can be found here.

Q: What is Windows Web Server 2003 all about?
A: Windows Web Server 2003 is designed specifically to be used as just that - a web server which hosts a single web site.

Q: Will Web Server be sold in retail?
A: No, It will only be available to selected partner channels.

Q: What should I do if I want all the features included in Web Server 2003?
Well, luckily, all the features are available in the other editions of Windows Servers 2003.

Q: Am I missing anything though by purchasing Windows Server 2003 Standard Edition instead of Web Server?
A: No, because the Web Server Edition is stripped down to the bare bones of site management. You do not have access to UDDI or Active Directory features.

Q: What features are specifically missing for Windows Web Server 2003?
A: Enterprise UDDI Services, Cluster Service, Internet Authentication Service (IAS), Network Bridge, Internet Connection Sharing (ICS), Metadirectory Services Support (MSS), Remote Service,
Services for Macintosh, Removable and Remote Storage, Remote Installation Services (RIS), Internet Connection Firewall, All Major Scalability Features (only included in Datacenter), Terminal Server and Terminal Server Session Directory. Partially supported features are Public Key Infrastructure, Certificate Services, and Smart Cards, Active Directory and Virtual Private Network (VPN).

Q: What is the status of Service Pack 1?
A: Service pack one recently entered beta testing.  It can be expected to be released in mid-2004 at the latest.

Q: Has the setup been improved?
A: Yes, in three different areas. The setup wizard from Windows 2000 has been enhanced to ease setup tasks. The Dynamic Update feature allows users to download updated setup files and drivers from Microsoft directly (even unattended). As with before, users can also do a detailed compatibility check on their system before installation. Now patches, drivers, etc. can be downloaded during this process as needed.

Q: What was the code name for Windows Servers 2003?
A: Whistler Server.

Q: When was Whistler Server renamed to Windows Server 2003?
A: June 18, 2001.

Q: When did the Whistler Server Beta begin?
A: June, 2000.

Q: Will Windows Server 2003 come in a 64-bit version?
A: Enterprise Server and Datacenter will come in 64-bit versions, as well as 32-bit versions. Standard Server and Web Server are only in 32-bit versions.

Q: Where can I learn about the Windows Server 2003 Application Environment?
A: On MSDN, here.

Q: What happened to the "Configure your Server" Wizard
A: It's been replaced by the "Manage Your Server" Wizard. The main goal in the new wizard is streamlining specific tasks such as adding a domain controller.

Q: Can you tell me more about each of the four versions?

  • Windows Standard Server 2003—The dependable server operating system ideal for everyday needs of business of all sizes, providing the optimal solution for file and printer sharing, secure Internet connectivity, centralized desktop application deployment, and a rich connected environment among employees, partners, and customers.

  • Windows Enterprise Server 2003—The platform of choice for large enterprises as well as small and medium-size businesses to develop, deliver, and secure applications, Web services, and infrastructure—delivering high reliability, performance, and superior business value. Windows Enterprise Server 2003 will be available in both 32-bit and 64-bit editions.

  • Windows Datacenter Server 2003—Windows Datacenter Server 2003 is the server of choice for business-critical and mission-critical applications that demand the highest levels of scalability and availability. Windows  Datacenter Server 2003 will be available through the Datacenter Program in both 32-bit and 64-bit editions.

  • Windows Web Server 2003—Optimized for serving and hosting web pages, while maintaining the core functionalities that support enhanced reliability, manageability, and security.

Q: What are the system requirements for the Windows Servers 2003?
A: They vary by which version you get.  All servers except Datacenter require at least a 133 MHz processor (with the Enterprise demanding at least 733 MHz for the 64-bit version).  Datacenter needs a 400 MHz processor for 32-bit operations and 733 MHz for Itanium-based computers.  The recommended CPU speed for Web Server and Standard Server is 550 MHz, and Enterprise and Data Center at 733 MHz.

The minimum RAM for all servers except Datacenter is 128 MB, with the recommended amount 256 MB.  The minimum for Datacenter is 512 MB with the recommended amount at 1 GB.  Web Server supports a maximum of 2 GB.  The Standard Server has support for twice the Web Server, at 4 GB.  Enterprise Server can hold 32 GB for x86 based computers and 32 GB for Itanium-based computers.  Datacenter can handle 64 GB RAM for 32-bit computers and 128-GB for the 64-bit version.

Web Server and Standard Server both hold up to two processors, with Enterprise Server hold up to 8.  Datacenter holds a minimum of 8 processors and a maximum of 32. Enterprise and Datacenter versions can be clustered up to 8 nodes.

For 32-bit computers, the disk space required for setup is 1.5 GB while 64-bit computers will need 2.0 GB.

Q: What are UDDI services?
A: Universal Description Discovery and Integration (UDDI) is an industry specification for publishing and locating information about Web Services. The Windows Server 2003 Family includes native UDDI services for private use within an enterprise or across business partners.

UDDI services are standards-based XML Web Services designed for enterprise developers to efficiently discover, share, and reuse Web Services directly through their development tools. All enterprise XML Web Services deployed on the Windows Server 2003 family can take advantage of all the capabilities provided in the underlying .NET Framework, and are easily discovered and shared through deployment of the supporting UDDI services. For more information about UDDI, see the MSDN UDDI Web site.

Q: What new features were added to UDDI?
A: The coordinator role has been added, in addition to other administration features as well as many other integration and interface improvements.

Q: What features aren't in Windows Datacenter 2003 that are in Windows Standard/Enterprise Server 2003?
A: Internet Connection Sharing (ICS), Metadirectory Services Support (MSS), Windows Media Services and the Internet Connection Firewall.

Q: What are XML Web Services?
A: XML Web services allow applications to communicate and share data over the Internet, regardless of operating system or programming language.

Q: Is the .NET Framework supported in 64-bit Windows Server 2003 Editions?
A: No.

Q: What is the ideal server-network configuration?
A: Windows Server 2003 on the back end with Windows XP Professional on the front end.

Q: Does Microsoft have a Windows Server 2003 Deployment Guide available?
A: Yes. Here. Featured Partner:

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