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Windows Server - extremely powerful, but extremely complexWindows Server is being used across 3 clients that I manage. It is primarily being used as a Domain Controller (with Active Directory), DNS server and file server. In addition, some clients are using the Hyper-V functionality built directly into Windows Server to create a virtual domain controller. In the organization that I manage that are using Windows Server, All business computers are apart of the Domain created by Windows Server and users are authenticated against the Active Directory. Windows Server is an extremely large and complex piece of software capable of a LOT of different functionality, some of it good and some of it bad, thus creating a truly comprehensive review is difficult. This review consists primarily of how it is used as a Domain Controller and file server within an organization.,Windows Server acting as a domain controller allows for very comprehensive management of computers and workstations across an organization, specifically when it comes to Active Directory and Group Policy. Active Directory allows for comprehensive managements of users within a domain (or organizational unit). User groups can be created with different permissions for various network resources, and users can be added to multiple different groups. In addition, login scripts can be created that are linked to each user allowing for automatic mapping of network drives and printers (among other items) every time a user logs in. As such, with the correct login script, a new user can login for the first time and have access to all the necessary resources within an organization. Once a domain is created, adding computers to it is quick and easy. Any computer that is a part of a domain can be logged in by any domain user. Removing a computer from a domain, via Active Directory, immediately revokes all domain users ability to login to that computer. Group Policy, an integral part of Windows Server, is a vast and comprehensive tool to push out settings to domain computers and users. Settings can be anything from adding or removing mapped network drives, adding or removing printers, turning on and off specific Windows settings. Group Policy can be managed on both a computer basis and a user basis. Windows Server's built-in file sharing capabilities allow it to be used as a powerful file server. Permissions for shared folders can be set on a per-user basis and/or via group membership. Using advanced sharing features, a file or folder can be shared via multiple names with different permissions for each shared name. Windows Server includes a powerful DNS server that works in conjunction with the Domain Controller functionality. The DNS server supports forward and reverse zones as well as manually adding items into a DNS zone. Hyper-V is included with Windows Server, providing a powerful and first-party way to create virtual machines. Windows Server includes a built-in DHCP server that can be used in place of a standard network router. Windows Server includes a built-in web server hosting functionality via IIS (Internet Information Services),Windows Server is extremely complex, and while newer versions have eased the initial setup process, setting up a server is still a very time consuming and difficult task. The complexity of Windows Server also makes troubleshooting any problems that arise extremely difficult, both in tracking down the actual issue and then resolving the issue. Often times a problem can manifest itself in more than one way, making searching for the specific problem also difficult. Windows Server is also very expensive, with complex and confusing licensing terms. In fact, Microsoft provides a 32-page PDF guide on Windows Server licensing, which is in and of itself dense and confusing to follow. To make matters more complicated, there multiple different version of Windows Server itself - Nano, Essentials, Standard and Datacenter edition, and each edition has different licensing terms. Licensing terms include items such as the physical processor's cores of the server, how many users will be accessing the server (called a CAL - client access license), and a plethora of other items. Microsoft's support for Windows Server can be extremely frustrating at times. While Microsoft hosts a very active user forum, Microsoft employees who frequent those forums often provide only stock answers to questions (without actually reading the details) or no answers at all. For more in-depth - phone support can be quite expensive. Upgrading a Windows Server from one major version to another (i.e. 2012 to 2016) is a frustratingly complex and dangerous procedure, as many things can go wrong during the upgrading, essentially breaking the entire setup. In fact, Microsoft doesn't even suggest doing an in-place upgrade, but to perform a backup of the existing server, doing a clean install of the new version, and migrating the information from the older version to the new version. In general, it is not even recommended to upgrade from one version to another as the risk significantly outweigh the benefits.,6,Positive ROI - Once set up properly, Windows Server's ability to manage an organization's users and computer drastically reduces the amount of time necessary to set up a new computer or a new user. Positive ROI - Windows Server has a very large feature set, which can result in finding an additional use for it that was not initially intended. Specifically, Hyper-V has allowed some of the organization I've managed to create a number of virtual machines that have saved a considerable amount of time and money put into setting up a new piece of hardware. Negative ROI - the initial setup of Windows Server is long and complicated. If your organization does not need the capabilities of Active Directory and Group Policy, the initial setup costs may not be worth it. Negative ROI - the maintenance cost of keeping Windows Server functioning properly can be high, especially if any unforeseen issues arise. Again, if your organization does not need the capabilities of Active Directory and Group Policy, the initial setup costs may not be worth it. Negative ROI - for many of the features of Windows Server (DNS server, DHCP server, web server, file server, etc.), there are less expensive, easier to setup, and easier to manage alternatives, especially in the NAS space.,,Microsoft 365 Business, Apple iCloud, Microsoft Office 2016,No,Product Features Product Usability Prior Experience with the Product,If the organization is small enough, and doesn't have positions that turn over regularly, the need for Active Directory is minimal, and is most likely overkill. The best option is to evaluate what your organization needs out of a server. If it is simply for hosting files that everyone can access, a high quality NAS is a better option.,5Windows Server: sometimes you just have to use it.Our organization is using a mix o a Windows Server along with Linux; essentially picking which is cost and application appropriate. For the majority of our on-premise application servers, Windows Server is still fairly ubiquitous. We are seeing fewer and fewer web applications requiring us to deploy it, though. Windows Server is crucial in allowing us to use various applications from contact center applications, accounting applications, and various other internally developed software. The management infrastructure provided by Microsoft (WSUS, GP, AD) all facilitate the ease of ongoing maintenance, reducing the amount of labor and overhead for our various environments.,The KB documentation of upcoming patches is exceptional. The community around Windows Server is strong and forthcoming with information. Since Server 2008, the OS has become much more modular in the deployment of roles and features which has made for significantly easier configuration.,The overall performance of server 2016's UI feels worse than previous versions (running on the same HW spec in the same virtual environment). Versioning schemes could be more transparent (IIS versions across OS versions, MSSQL versions, etc) and easier to follow. Managing some security settings via the server registry is fairly cumbersome. Third party applications and community created scripts exist to ease these issues, but with the emphasis on security today, they should have their own control panel section instead. Microsoft's experience homogenization between their desktop OS and server OS has added a lot of "fluff" and graphical flare to the server OS that isn't really needed and feels like it gets in the way, to be honest.,10,Windows server has facilitated us deploying the applications that we want to in order to make our business units work.,Ubuntu Linux and CentOS,Cisco Unified Border Element (CUBE), Cisco Unified Communications Manager (Call Manager), Ubuntu LinuxNew Hope Windows Server ReviewMS Windows Server is used to host virtual servers that include: MS Dynamics, MS Exchange, MS SQL Server, Luxriot Surveillance, SAGE Accounting, MS Office, MS Developer tools, MS Active Directory, MS DHCP, MS DNS, Remote Desktop (remote access), MS File Services, Backups, MS Security, and Symantec Anti-Virus.,Creates a very stable network server environment Low maintenance Well organized with GUI interfacing Fairly cost effective,Licensing Support MS push for dependency on PowerShell,7,Solid, reliable network server operating system. Well worth the investment.Windows Server ReviewWe have various Windows servers running across our organisation within different branches. Recently we upgraded from 2008 to Windows 2012 Enterprise edition to meet our organisational needs and also as a means of meeting IT standards. It has addressed issues such as file sharing, folder redirection, and migration issues. The organisation was seamlessly able to migrate to 2012 via PowerShell.,PowerShell 3.0. Doing commands via the commands rather than the GUI. HyperV virtualization which has a better feature than the 2008 feature. Its ability to run various operating systems on the server and also able to provide a virtual switch. Direct Access which is a replacement for VPN. Also server core.,It is a stable server operating system for now as the organisation has not experienced any issues so far.,9,File sharing has met our organisational means. Folder redirection has been improved. Users can access the folders on the server from any means as long as they are able to save on their mapped folder. Storage has been improved.,,Digium Asterisk, Microsoft Office 365, NetApp V-Series, Microsoft Office 2016Windows Server, simply untouchable!I have been using Windows Server for the past 8 years now, I can safely say it is the best way to manage your organization. The 2016 edition includes multiple roles that are essential to your company's success. Active Directory is probably its most important feature, allowing you to manage users and secure your resources. Installing and configuring windows server is very simple, just follow the wizards and you'll be up and running in no time. Other notable features are Hyper-V which allows the virtualization of multiple other windows server instances without taking any physical space.,Hyper V Active Directory Group Policies Windows Server Update Services,The cost, Windows server is unfortunately very expensive. The backup feature offers very little options, which is why most companies will buy a third party solution.,10,Storage hardware & management cost savings. Optimize resources. Help secure Data. Create dynamic virtual data centers with live migration.,,Skype for Business, JIRA Service Desk, DameWare Remote Support
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Windows Server
474 Ratings
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Windows Server Reviews

Windows Server
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Aaron Pinsker profile photo
February 09, 2019

Review: "Windows Server - extremely powerful, but extremely complex"

Score 6 out of 10
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Windows Server is being used across 3 clients that I manage. It is primarily being used as a Domain Controller (with Active Directory), DNS server and file server. In addition, some clients are using the Hyper-V functionality built directly into Windows Server to create a virtual domain controller. In the organization that I manage that are using Windows Server, All business computers are apart of the Domain created by Windows Server and users are authenticated against the Active Directory.

Windows Server is an extremely large and complex piece of software capable of a LOT of different functionality, some of it good and some of it bad, thus creating a truly comprehensive review is difficult. This review consists primarily of how it is used as a Domain Controller and file server within an organization.
  • Windows Server acting as a domain controller allows for very comprehensive management of computers and workstations across an organization, specifically when it comes to Active Directory and Group Policy.
  • Active Directory allows for comprehensive managements of users within a domain (or organizational unit). User groups can be created with different permissions for various network resources, and users can be added to multiple different groups. In addition, login scripts can be created that are linked to each user allowing for automatic mapping of network drives and printers (among other items) every time a user logs in. As such, with the correct login script, a new user can login for the first time and have access to all the necessary resources within an organization.
  • Once a domain is created, adding computers to it is quick and easy. Any computer that is a part of a domain can be logged in by any domain user. Removing a computer from a domain, via Active Directory, immediately revokes all domain users ability to login to that computer.
  • Group Policy, an integral part of Windows Server, is a vast and comprehensive tool to push out settings to domain computers and users. Settings can be anything from adding or removing mapped network drives, adding or removing printers, turning on and off specific Windows settings. Group Policy can be managed on both a computer basis and a user basis.
  • Windows Server's built-in file sharing capabilities allow it to be used as a powerful file server. Permissions for shared folders can be set on a per-user basis and/or via group membership. Using advanced sharing features, a file or folder can be shared via multiple names with different permissions for each shared name.
  • Windows Server includes a powerful DNS server that works in conjunction with the Domain Controller functionality. The DNS server supports forward and reverse zones as well as manually adding items into a DNS zone.
  • Hyper-V is included with Windows Server, providing a powerful and first-party way to create virtual machines.
  • Windows Server includes a built-in DHCP server that can be used in place of a standard network router.
  • Windows Server includes a built-in web server hosting functionality via IIS (Internet Information Services)
  • Windows Server is extremely complex, and while newer versions have eased the initial setup process, setting up a server is still a very time consuming and difficult task.
  • The complexity of Windows Server also makes troubleshooting any problems that arise extremely difficult, both in tracking down the actual issue and then resolving the issue. Often times a problem can manifest itself in more than one way, making searching for the specific problem also difficult.
  • Windows Server is also very expensive, with complex and confusing licensing terms. In fact, Microsoft provides a 32-page PDF guide on Windows Server licensing, which is in and of itself dense and confusing to follow. To make matters more complicated, there multiple different version of Windows Server itself - Nano, Essentials, Standard and Datacenter edition, and each edition has different licensing terms. Licensing terms include items such as the physical processor's cores of the server, how many users will be accessing the server (called a CAL - client access license), and a plethora of other items.
  • Microsoft's support for Windows Server can be extremely frustrating at times. While Microsoft hosts a very active user forum, Microsoft employees who frequent those forums often provide only stock answers to questions (without actually reading the details) or no answers at all. For more in-depth - phone support can be quite expensive.
  • Upgrading a Windows Server from one major version to another (i.e. 2012 to 2016) is a frustratingly complex and dangerous procedure, as many things can go wrong during the upgrading, essentially breaking the entire setup. In fact, Microsoft doesn't even suggest doing an in-place upgrade, but to perform a backup of the existing server, doing a clean install of the new version, and migrating the information from the older version to the new version. In general, it is not even recommended to upgrade from one version to another as the risk significantly outweigh the benefits.
Windows Server excels as a Domain Controller with its comprehensive set of tools to manage users and computers. There isn't another software package out there that has the capabilities Windows Server does when it comes to Active Directory and Group Policy. In addition, Windows Server has a massive tool set, thus increasing both its functionality and flexibility.

Unfortunately, the flexibility and comprehensiveness of Windows Server causes it to be overly complicated to set up and manage, especially for a small organization. In addition, for things such as a file server, there are other options out there that are easier to use and more affordable - specifically in the NAS (network attached storage) space where both Synology and QNAP have very attractive options.

Perhaps the most frustrating aspects of Windows Server are the unnecessarily complicated and confusing licensing terms Microsoft has put forth. Sadly, this is not unusual when it comes to Microsoft, as the licensing even for their consumer-oriented products is burdensome.
Read Aaron Pinsker's full review
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December 15, 2018

Review: "Windows Server: sometimes you just have to use it."

Score 10 out of 10
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Verified User
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Our organization is using a mix o a Windows Server along with Linux; essentially picking which is cost and application appropriate. For the majority of our on-premise application servers, Windows Server is still fairly ubiquitous. We are seeing fewer and fewer web applications requiring us to deploy it, though.

Windows Server is crucial in allowing us to use various applications from contact center applications, accounting applications, and various other internally developed software. The management infrastructure provided by Microsoft (WSUS, GP, AD) all facilitate the ease of ongoing maintenance, reducing the amount of labor and overhead for our various environments.
  • The KB documentation of upcoming patches is exceptional.
  • The community around Windows Server is strong and forthcoming with information.
  • Since Server 2008, the OS has become much more modular in the deployment of roles and features which has made for significantly easier configuration.
  • The overall performance of server 2016's UI feels worse than previous versions (running on the same HW spec in the same virtual environment).
  • Versioning schemes could be more transparent (IIS versions across OS versions, MSSQL versions, etc) and easier to follow.
  • Managing some security settings via the server registry is fairly cumbersome. Third party applications and community created scripts exist to ease these issues, but with the emphasis on security today, they should have their own control panel section instead.
  • Microsoft's experience homogenization between their desktop OS and server OS has added a lot of "fluff" and graphical flare to the server OS that isn't really needed and feels like it gets in the way, to be honest.
Windows Server is well suited to applications that effectively require it, there's no way around it. They're also suitable if you don't have Linux proficient admins.

I would argue that with the robustness of nginix running on Linux, if you are deploying a web application, there isn't a lot of reason to deploy it on Windows via IIS rather than Linux unless you have specific vendor support requirements being that nginix is understood to handle more concurrent connections.
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February 01, 2019

"New Hope Windows Server Review"

Score 7 out of 10
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MS Windows Server is used to host virtual servers that include: MS Dynamics, MS Exchange, MS SQL Server, Luxriot Surveillance, SAGE Accounting, MS Office, MS Developer tools, MS Active Directory, MS DHCP, MS DNS, Remote Desktop (remote access), MS File Services, Backups, MS Security, and Symantec Anti-Virus.
  • Creates a very stable network server environment
  • Low maintenance
  • Well organized with GUI interfacing
  • Fairly cost effective
  • Licensing
  • Support
  • MS push for dependency on PowerShell
An excellent on-premise solution for small to medium-sized business networks. Perhaps less suited as an on-premise solution for extremely large organizations.
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Olumayowa Mosuro profile photo
November 17, 2017

"Windows Server Review"

Score 9 out of 10
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We have various Windows servers running across our organisation within different branches. Recently we upgraded from 2008 to Windows 2012 Enterprise edition to meet our organisational needs and also as a means of meeting IT standards. It has addressed issues such as file sharing, folder redirection, and migration issues. The organisation was seamlessly able to migrate to 2012 via PowerShell.
  • PowerShell 3.0. Doing commands via the commands rather than the GUI.
  • HyperV virtualization which has a better feature than the 2008 feature. Its ability to run various operating systems on the server and also able to provide a virtual switch.
  • Direct Access which is a replacement for VPN.
  • Also server core.
  • It is a stable server operating system for now as the organisation has not experienced any issues so far.
It is well suited for managing server applications which can be hosted on the server and accessed from various locations within the organisation (as long as every site is on the server subnet). Hardware applications can be managed as well from the server such as network devices.
Read Olumayowa Mosuro's full review
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January 08, 2018

User Review: "Windows Server, simply untouchable!"

Score 10 out of 10
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I have been using Windows Server for the past 8 years now, I can safely say it is the best way to manage your organization. The 2016 edition includes multiple roles that are essential to your company's success. Active Directory is probably its most important feature, allowing you to manage users and secure your resources. Installing and configuring windows server is very simple, just follow the wizards and you'll be up and running in no time. Other notable features are Hyper-V which allows the virtualization of multiple other windows server instances without taking any physical space.
  • Hyper V
  • Active Directory
  • Group Policies
  • Windows Server Update Services
  • The cost, Windows server is unfortunately very expensive.
  • The backup feature offers very little options, which is why most companies will buy a third party solution.
Windows Server is perfect for any organization that wants to control what users do on their network. Even if your company only has 10 employees I would still recommend configuring a Windows server instance, the benefits are huge and worth it. Securing HR documents, preventing users from installing bloatware on their machines, sharing documents between users and of course, securing your network. I can't think of any reason not to install it apart from the high cost.
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Omar Campos profile photo
April 12, 2017

Review: "With Windows Server, How Can You Go Wrong?"

Score 8 out of 10
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We are primarily a Windows shop, with only our ERP system running on HP-UX. We use Windows for everything else. The nice thing about working for a university is that we are able to leverage Microsoft's Campus Agreement, which makes it affordable for a smaller, private university. We are approximately 30% virtualized, using Microsoft Hyper-V for all of our virtual servers except our Cisco UC environment which is only supported on VMWare. We use Windows for our website, all apps, file sharing, DHCP/DNS, printing, WSUS, Active Directory, our Sharepoint environment, and our exchange environment which is quite small since we're mostly on the Microsoft Office 365 cloud. We'are used to managing Windows for out entire IT careers so we are quite comfortable and familiar with it.
  • There is no match for Windows Active Directory. I've tried to set up a Linux-based LDAP environment before and failed miserably as my experience with Linux is very limited. However, Windows AD is easy to set up, manage, and it just works great.
  • File sharing and print server management are two things Windows also does very well. We have many professors who use Apple computers and they are able to connect to our file shares and our printers across campus.
  • DHCP and DNS work wonderfully well on Windows. Again, very easy to set up and mange with very little experience necessary. I've set up DHCP on Cisco switches and routers before, but Windows does a much better job in my opinion.
  • Microsoft Hyper-V works like a charm, and I really wish Cisco would support running their UC apps on Hyper-V since VMWare is so expensive. Hyper-V makes it easy and intuitive when it comes to setting up your Hyper-V environment and the creation of virtual machines. It does an awful lot of checking things for you so you can feel confident that your environment and your VM's will run as they're supposed to.
  • The UI!!! I can't understand why Microsoft decided to give Windows Server 2012 the silly Start Screen and took away the Start Menu. That didn't bother me as much with Windows 8, but there is no need for this silliness on a server. Come on Microsoft, keep things plain and efficient; don't try to make Server look pretty!
  • Windows Server backup is lame; in an enterprise or even smaller company, you definitely need some REAL backup software (like CommVault) that is very robust and gives your organization's data the protection it needs. Windows Server backup just doesn't have the full functionality of a product like CommVault
  • I've never been a huge fan of Microsoft file and folder permissions. This is where Microsoft could learn a thing or two from Unix/Linux. Windows permissions have always been unnecessarily complicated and convoluted. My colleagues and I have been managing Windows for a long time now and we even get confused from time to time when it comes to file/folder permissions with issues such as permissions inheritance and effective permissions and the various ways in which file shares can mange these permissions.
Windows is suited for just about any general purpose scenario such as file shares, printing, LDAP, DHCP/DNS, general purpose app servers and such. But when it comes to running specialized applications like Cisco Unified Communications Manager, these tend to run much better in a Linux environment than on Windows and they are also more stable on Linux. When Cisco CUCM used to run on Windows, the updates alone caused many headaches. With Linux, you don't do any regular updates; you just install a patch if you have an issue or upgrade to the next version. Storage appliances also run much better on customized versions of Linux or Unix than they do on Windows.
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Matt Karcher profile photo
April 18, 2017

User Review: "Microsoft Windows Server is great!"

Score 9 out of 10
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We utilize Windows Server at several different locations, both in a physical and virtual environment, for payroll, finance, court case management, docket creation and management, scanning folders and files, end user and computer active directory management, law enforcement system. We use six Windows Servers at five different locations for the whole organization.
  • Windows Server provides our end users nearly 99.9% up-time and requires very minimal downtime for maintenance tasks.
  • We are able to perform local and off site backup, and failure notification of back up is nominal.
  • User and computer management is very simple in the Active Directory environment.
  • Remote access is simplified with Remote Desktop Connection.
  • I have not had any areas where Windows Server needed improvement. We installed and configured the servers and the vendors were able to deploy their applications very easily.
Windows Server is well suited for organizations of different sizes. We utilize Windows Server from a small two person office up to 50 users in a large office setting. I would not recommend using Windows Server in a single user office setting unless the application is server specific for it to work correctly.
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Philip D profile photo
April 12, 2017

Windows Server Review: "Microsoft Server a dire need for Infrastructure"

Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
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The number one reason to use Windows Server and Active Directory services is because your organization wants to run Exchange as your primary email platform. The number two reason to use Windows Server in your organization is for authentication of users and machines. If you are not running a domain model then your Microsoft Windows Server just becomes a glorified file storage machine that uses NTFS permission of files and folders. In the domain model, the first Windows Server in Active Directory also known as the forest domain root controller becomes the Domain Naming System (DNS). Server translates domain names to IP addresses. Other critical roles of server technology are DHCP. The Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol can automatically assign IP addresses to machines. With the growth of Windows Server from Windows NT 3.0 to Windows Server 2016 roles and features plus security features have been added since servers inception from 1993.
  • Authentication of Users and Machines
  • Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol
  • New Technology File System (NTFS) Permission of Files and Folders
  • Integration of Exchange 2016 to Windows Server 2012 has a been a tedious process.
  • Power Shell was introduced to run Windows Server as a command line, but many of the PS scripts do not work properly from different version of PS.
  • Active Directory needs direct auditing capabilities without using third party tools.
The domain model is the key to using Windows Server. In the past with Windows Server NT organizations were exploded with multiple domains up into the hundreds at some cases. Now server technologies and replication has brought the domain model down to one in most organizations.
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Evelyn Nakibuuka profile photo
April 04, 2017

"Windows Server Review!"

Score 10 out of 10
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Windows Sever is used across the whole organisation on all the in-house servers: the Exchange server and file servers use Windows Server OS.
  • Ease of use through the server manager
  • Interface is flexible, easy to follow through
  • Storage Space
  • More security
For VMs it's easy install and use. Administrator tools are available to manage all resources on the server.
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June 29, 2017

Windows Server Review: "Local Servers still make sense in an age of online services."

Score 8 out of 10
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Verified User
Review Source
Windows server is used to share file and printer resources on the network. It addresses the problem of managing and storing users' files and printers on the network. It is also used to host a payroll and CRM software that is used by the payroll and PR dept. It allows managing users over a large number workstations and can be used to share files with non-Windows clients like Macs.
  • Share files and printers.
  • User account management.
  • Active Directory integration with other software.
  • Group policies that automate settings when logging in with a Windows domain desktop.
  • Windows updates can be obtrusive and disruptive and is unavoidable without compromising security.
  • Security vs. other OSs is substandard and requires a lot of attention and time to maintain.
  • Customer support is basically limited to online forums unless separate support is purchased from Microsoft.
Windows server is well suited for organizations with over 20 employees. A lot of solutions in the cloud are now competing with the local File Server model that Windows server addresses. If you have less than 20 employees it may not justify the cost of licensing/server hardware and time to maintain windows server to justify the benefits. The Microsoft Licensing model is very confusing and can be costly. If you are a non profit Microsoft has generous price cuts through tech soup. Because windows server is a traditional software model you will need to maintain it and upgrade it after the product is replaced with the next version. If you have over 20 employees and want the fastest possible access to files than Windows server is probably well suited. Many on site software solutions also require running on Windows server as well.
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March 17, 2017

Windows Server Review: "Why Microsoft Server? How much time do you have?"

Score 10 out of 10
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It is the primary domain controller, file server, and database server; not all in one, usually 2 or 3 servers, virtually or physically. The purpose is to control security, provide access to data and user production files like word processing and the like. It is the only real alternative in the current business environment in the United States if you want to find an abundance of qualified IT people to maintain your systems.
  • Integrated security with active directory.
  • Hosts SQL databases.
  • A large number of qualified people and resources to solve any client problems once installed.
  • Great support from Microsoft's specialized support groups who know how to focus on particularly difficult issues.
  • A better set of boiler plate power-shell scripts for managing group policy implementation.
  • Simpler lead in to installing and managing group policy.
  • Better GUI for group policy consoles.
  • Some choices in pre-configured group policies for different uses. i.e. everyone has to map drives, why is there not a straight up GUI to make this an easy point and click operation. Not all owners of servers are MS engineers.
Windows server is a simplest server to install for internal LAN operations. It becomes way too difficult when applied in a WAN environment. Most clients rely on sophisticated firewall appliances or third party vendors to manage proxy or NAT for the WAN. Not many put a windows server directly in the wild.
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February 22, 2017

Windows Server: "Solid Business Operating System"

Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Reseller
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We use windows server on almost all of our internal infrastructure at our company. In addition, I recommend windows server day-to-day to my customers, in my role as a technical consultant.
  • Active Directory - It is an excellent and flexible directory service that integrates well with other Microsoft products - including cloud services like Azure and hybrid models. Extensive support for AD with other windows applications means it's our 'go to' directory service.
  • Ease of management. Both GUI and command line/powershell make management easy.
  • Terminal Services - RDP protocol works well, is fast and is easy to get running for remote workers.
  • Hyper V - virtualisation that's easy to understand and implement and has live migration and other features that can be expensive through competitors.
  • Licensing complexity and cost - particularly new 'per core' licensing cost is confusing - as is much of the Microsoft licensing ecosystem - server licensing, CALS, Open License vs. Volume License vs Retail vs OEM etc.
  • Windows updates process can be a bit of a job to manage. WSUS is good but not perfect.
Windows Server works well for most scenarios as it scales so well - from a standalone server in a small business to a hybrid model backed by Azure Directory Services to large businesses with an established Microsoft platform of dozens or hundreds of servers. My experience of Windows server is in medium businesses of around 300-500 staff with several dozen instances.
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David Svensk profile photo
October 31, 2016

User Review: "Windows Server recommendation"

Score 10 out of 10
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We have several Windows servers, enabling us to handle several different issues that might be harder to use with another system. We are currently using AD, DNS, DCHP, NAP, RDP, VPN, MDT, SCCM, SQL, WSUS, print, file and storage.
  • Active Directory
  • Exchange
  • SQL
  • File And Storage
  • Print Services
  • Remote Desktop
  • IIS
  • Exchange ECP I would wish you could do more in the GUI, instead of using PowerShell.
  • AFP, Apple File Protocol, for faster file index for MAC users in Windows enviroment.
Windows Server is logical and easy to manage. Server Manager Dashboard allows you to have an fast overview of what is installed and an easy way to install more roles. It also gives you a fast way to see if there are any issues.
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Kettric Midura profile photo
December 18, 2014

User Review: "WIndows Server 2012"

Score 9 out of 10
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Windows Server 2012 is the backbone of the organization, as well as the premier platform for your clients to attain. It has come a long way, and the features and functions of 2012 far exceed previous versions of 2012. Especially with the focus being on disaster recovery and virtualization, Windows Server 2012 is a welcome addition that makes supporting client faster and easier than ever, even in a challenging security or regulatory governed network. Windows 2012 has many features to reduce the attack surface of the platform, and ultimately improve both reliability and stability for a great user experience.
  • Easily remove the GUI from the system, reducing the size of the drive needed, and reducing the attach surface malicious users my be trying to exploit.
  • Quickly manage every server in your environment from a secured workstation or network with the replacement of RSAT tools for Windows 8
  • Reconfigure your server infrastructure from any single system. Gone are the days of having to log in and out of each server independently. Logically group servers into batches and deploy the features you need quickly without waiting for them to complete before moving onto your next tasks.
  • Vastly improved RDS services that are valid competitors to Citrix. Especially for the Printer centric environments.
  • Powershell seems to be a limitation, not from its functionality, but from peoples understanding of it, and their willingness to invest the time and energy learning a new command line. From my experience, it is well worth the time and effort to understand, and the rewards far out weigh the time investment needed.
  • Easy to understand pricing models. Seems every time there is a new product, there is a new pricing tree and exceptions / exclusions that come out of the wood work. It is sometimes difficult to understand without an Microsoft rep on the line with you every time you quote a system build.
Unless you are building a super computer, or a website with millions of hits a day, Windows Server 2012 has suited the needs of our clients in nearly every venue. Clustering services with windows has improved but not enough for me to trust it in large scale web hosting or SQL environments (mainly due to pricing over free Linux/Unix, at those scales the cost of a unix admin is far less then the licensing around 1000 server cals or MS SQL.) But when it comes to the standard enterprise or SMB servers, Windows 2012 has significant advantages and ultimately costs less to support due to the number of resources available that can support the product at a reasonable or even fixed price (like and Managed Services Provider).
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December 18, 2014

User Review: "Windows Server"

Score 8 out of 10
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The Windows platform is used by Active Directory, application, web and database servers.
  • Active Directory: easy to use and manage. Integration available on my systems.
  • I think the product has evolved a lot and I'm satisfied with its features.
Usually Linux is a better option, but it depends on what you need to do and what kind of expertise you have.
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March 02, 2016

User Review: "Windows Server, just do it."

Score 10 out of 10
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Both Windows and Linux were used by the organization. Windows for most end users and many of the servers but Linux was used for many of the web servers and when Oracle was being used.
  • Ease of installation because it's easy to script/automate.
  • It's familiar/recognizable to many people because it's familiar to anyone who uses an end-user version of Windows on their personal machine.
  • It's the only OS that SQL Server runs on so it's extremely important to me because I'm a SQL Server DBA.
  • I really don't know because it does everything I've ever needed and I have no experience with other OSes.
Specifically, if you want to use Microsoft SQL Server, and I do, you must install it on Windows Server. Well, you can also install some editions on the end-user versions of Windows, but I wouldn't recommend that for production systems.
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