Windows Server is the brand name for a group of server operating systems that were released and managed by Microsoft. Microsoft Server is made up of all the Windows operating systems that are branded as Windows Server, but not any other Microsoft product. The first edition of the Windows Server to be released under that brand was known as the Windows Server 2003. However, the first Server edition of Windows was known as Windows NT 3.1 Advanced Server, that edition was followed by the Windows NT 3.5 Server, Windows NT 4.0 Server, and Windows 2000 Server; the windows 2000 server was the first server edition to come with Active Directory, DHCP Server, DNS Server, SQL Server, Group Policy, as well as many other popular features that are used today.
By transferring the management and upkeep of the Windows Server to a cloud computing service such as the Microsoft Azure or the Amazon Web Services, users would get the advantage of paying monthly judging on their exact monthly usage rather than a large estimated cost. Besides, infrastructure would need to be more reliable and it is easier to scale up the server as necessary. However, buying and running a server in-house might be a better choice in certain cases when it is more cost-effective. Extra use cases such as making use of a Windows Server to manage the client computers in a facility are also very appropriate for running a physical server.
Certain Windows Server editions have a personalized and customized name. For example, all the editions of the Windows Server to this date have an edition of the Windows Storage Server. Starting from the Windows Server 2012 edition, the Windows Storage Server was ended, as Microsoft incorporated the editions to Standard and Datacenter.
Microsoft has also designed the Windows Server Essentials formerly known as Windows Small Business Server and the terminated Windows Essential Business Server, software bundles that come with a somewhat limited Windows Server operating system and some other products of Microsoft Server products.
There are lots of features of the Windows Server and some of them are:
1. Windows Server Containers: This container type is intended for low-trust workloads where you don't mind that container instances running on the same server may share some common resources.
2. Nano servers: Nano is intended to be managed completely remotely. However, Nano does include a minimal local management UI called "Nano Server Recovery Console," that allows you to perform initial configuration tasks. The Nano Server boasts a 92 percent smaller installation footprint than the Windows Server graphical user interface (GUI) installation option.
3. Nested Virtualization: This is mostly used when a business wants to deploy additional Hyper-V hosts and needs to minimize hardware costs. It refers to the capability of a virtual machine to host virtual machines by itself.
4. Storage Spaces Direct: This is a cool Windows Server feature that makes it more affordable for administrators to create redundant and flexible disk storage.
5. ReFS: The Resilient File System is intended as a high-performance, high-resiliency file system intended for use with Storage Spaces Direct and Hyper-V workloads. A stable version can be found in Windows Server 2016.
6. Linux Secure Boot: The Windows Server-based Secure Boot is not fully compatible with Linux-based Generation 2 Hyper-V VM because the Linux kernel drivers weren't part of the trusted device store. Hence the need to use Linux to deploy Linux VMs under Windows Server 2016 Hyper-V, this presents no trouble and no need to disable the otherwise stellar Secure Boot feature. The Secure Boot is part of the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) specification that protects a server's startup environment against the injection of rootkits or other assorted boot-time malware.
7. Hyper-V Hot-Add Virtual Hardware: Hyper-V Server allows for the addition of the virtual hardware or enables the adjustment of the allocated RAM to a virtual machine.
8. PowerShell Direct: In Windows Server 2016, PowerShell remoting commands now have -VM* parameters that allow us to send PowerShell directly into the Hyper-V host's VMs.
9. Shielded VMs: The Windows Server 2016 shielded VMs allow for much deeper, fine-grained control over Hyper-V VM access.
There are lots of benefits of using the Windows Server and some of them are:
1. Windows Server offers users the ability to convert the currently non-shielded second-generation virtual machines to shielded virtual machines, including automated disk encryption.
2. With the Microsoft Windows Server, you can view the fabrics upon which a shielded virtual server is authorized to run, providing a way for the fabric administrator to open a guarded key protector (KP) of a virtual machine's and view the fabrics that it is permitted to run on.
3. With the Microsoft Windows Server, you can switch on the fly between the less secure but simpler Active Directory-based attestation and TPM-based attestation.
4. Microsoft Windows Server offers an end-to-end diagnostics tooling based on the Windows PowerShell that is able to detect misconfigurations or errors in both guarded Hyper-V hosts and the Host Guardian Service.
1. Windows server has awesome storage upgrades.
2. Windows server lets you convert the currently non-shielded second-generation virtual machines to shielded virtual machines, including automated disk encryption.
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