Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Windows Server 2003
Windows 2003 takes the stability of Windows 2000 Server, and brings compatibility and other features from Windows XP. Unlike Windows 2000 Server, 2003 boots up with none of the server components turned on, to reduce the attack vectors for new install. Also Windows 2003 includes compatibility modes to allow older code to run with more stability. It also includes enhancements to various services such as the IIS web server. In particular it was made more compatible with NT 4 domain based networking. Incorporating and upgrading an NT 4 domain to Windows 2000 was considered difficult and time consuming, and generally was considered an all or nothing upgrade particularly when dealing with Active Directory. Windows 2003 brought in enhanced Active Directory compatibility, and better deployment support, to ease the transition from NT 4 to Windows 2003 and XP.
Initially, the product was to be called "Windows .NET Server 2003," to promote the integrated enterprise framework .NET (dot-net). In this improved Microsoft server, performance of ASP.NET (the successor of Active Server Pages) has improved and integration is tighter.
However, over fears of confusing the market about what ".NET" represents and responding to criticism, Microsoft removed .NET from the name. This allowed the name .NET to exclusively apply to the .NET framework, as previously it had appeared that .NET was just a tag for a generation of Microsoft products.
Microsoft launched the new product on April 24, 2003.
- Most versions of Windows Server include Terminal Services support (using the Remote Desktop Protocol), enabling multiple simultaneous remote graphical logins. This paves the way for thin client computing on the windows platform, where all applications run remotely on the server.
- Internet Information Services (IIS)
- Active Directory
- Increased default security over previous versions, due to the inbuilt firewall and most services being disabled by default.
There are a number of improvements from Windows 2000 server, notably:
- Improvements to Active Directory (such as the ability to delete classes from the schema)
- Improvements to Group Policy handling and administration
- Improved disk management including the ability to backup from shadows of files, allowing the backup of open files.
- Improved scripting and command line tools. Part of Microsoft's initiative to bring a complete command shell to the next version of Windows.
Service Pack 1
On March 30th 2005, Microsoft released Service Pack 1 for Windows Server 2003. Among the improvements, are many of the same updates that were provided to Windows XP users with Service Pack 2. Features that are added with Service Pack 1 include:
- Security Configuration Wizard: A tool that allows administrators to more easily research, and make changes to security policies.
- Hot Patching: This feature is set to extend Windows Server 2003 ability to take DLL, Driver, and non-kernel patches without a reboot.
- IIS 6.0 Metabase Auditing: Allowing the tracking of metabase edits.
- Windows Firewall: Brings many of the improvements from Windows XP Service Pack 2 to Windows Server 2003, also with the Security Configuration Wizard, it allows administrators to more easily manage the incoming open ports, as it will automatically detect and select default roles.
- Post-Setup Security Updates: A default mode that is turned on, when a Service Pack 1 server is first turned booted up after installation. It configures the firewall to block all incoming connections, and directs the user to install updates.
- Data Execution Prevention (DEP): Support for the No Execute (NX) bit, helping prevent buffer overflow exploits, that are often the attack vector of Windows Server exploits.
A full list of updates is available in the Microsoft Knowledge base here.
Microsoft plans for another interim update of Windows Server 2003 sometime in the second half of 2005, along with a Beta of Longhorn server, the next version of Server 2003, late this year also. 
This Microsoft server comes in several variants, each targetted towards a particular size and type of business:
- Small Business Server
- Web Edition
- Standard Edition
- Enterprise Edition
- Datacenter Edition
- Storage Server
Small Business Server
Windows Small Business Server 2003, SBS, is a low-cost entry into this product line, incorporating various restrictions upon networking, licensing, development tools, and application redundancy. It supports up to 75 users.
SBS is designed so it deploys everything that Microsoft feels that a small business would need on their first server. By default the install sets up Active Directory, Windows Sharepoint Services, and an Exchange server. It also allows the easy setup of a basic firewall DHCP server and NAT router using two network cards. Also the interface makes it easier to a new administrator to manage.
SBS is also released with an enhanced package, Premium edition which includes the above plus SQL Server 2000 and ISA Server 2000.
SBS has its own type of client access license (CAL), that is different and costs slightly more than CALs for the other editions of Windows Server 2003, since the CAL also increases the user CALs for the Exchange server included, that would be a separate and more expensive overall than doing the same for the other editions.
SBS server has the following restrictions: 
- Only one computer in a domain can be running Windows Server 2003 for Small Business Server.
- Windows Server 2003 for Small Business Server must be the root of the Active DirectoryŽ forest.
- Windows Server 2003 for Small Business Server cannot trust any other domains.
- Windows Server 2003 for Small Business Server is limited to 75 users.
- A Windows Server 2003 for Small Business Server domain cannot have any child domains.
- You can only operate Terminal Services in remote administration mode on the server running SBS 2003. (Change from SBS 2000 policy)
- Each additional server must have a Windows Server 2003 for Small Business Server CAL. You can use CALs for each user or for each device.
Windows Server 2003, Web Edition is mainly for building and hosting Web applications, Web pages, and XML Web Services. It is designed to be used primarily as an IIS 6.0 Web server and provides a platform for rapidly developing and deploying XML Web services and applications that use ASP.NET technology, a key part of the .NET Framework. This edition does not require Client Access Licenses.
Windows Server 2003, Standard Edition is aimed towards small to medium sized businesses. Flexible yet versatile, Standard Edition supports file and printer sharing, offers secure Internet connectivity, and allows centralized desktop application deployment.
Windows Server 2003, Enterprise Edition is aimed towards medium to large businesses. It is a full-function server operating system that supports up to eight processors and provides enterprise-class features such as eight-node clustering and support for up to 32 GB of memory. Enterprise Edition also comes in 64-bit edition for Intel Itanium-based computers capable of supporting 8 processors and 64 GB of RAM.
Windows Server 2003, Datacenter Edition is the flagship of the Windows Server line and designed for immense infrastructures demanding high security and reliability. Datacenter supports up to 32-way SMP and 64 GB of RAM with the 32-bit version and up to 128-way machines with individual partitions of up to 64 processors and 512 GB of RAM with the 64-bit version. Datacenter provides both eight-node clustering and load balancing services as standard features and includes Windows System Resource Manager facilitating consolidation and system management.
Windows Storage Server 2003 is optimised to provide dedicated file and print sharing services. It is only available through OEMs when purchased pre-configured with network attached storage devices, which are available in a wide variety of sizes from a couple hundred gigabytes to a few terabytes. One significant difference, when compared with the other Windows Server 2003 editions that provide file and print services, is that Storage Server does not require client access licenses .
Licensing for Standard Windows 2003 Server is $999US, although licences may be purchased for less from a reseller. For more than 5 Active Directory remote-connected users (users of Exchange, for example,) additional costs are incurred.
The Web Server runs for about $397US. Client access licenses are not required for the Web Server.
The average cost for the Small Business Server is $599US. The retail/final full packaged product is purchased through a brick-and-mortar retailer, while an open new license must be purchased through a volume license reseller.
A Datacenter server must be obtained through an OEM, and therefore costs are unknown.
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