Windows Server Reviews

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Reviews (1-25 of 36)

Aaron Pinsker | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 7 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.
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Ivan Sytchev | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
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We use Windows Server for almost all applications. We are a Microsoft based company, and the majority of our servers are running Windows. We run the basic stuff like domain controllers, DNS, DHCP, and IIS on these servers. We also run SQL, SharePoint, and Dynamics 365 as well. Whenever possible, we use Windows Server as the OS for most applications.
  • It's pretty much standard for all environments.
  • It supports a vast number of applications.
  • Some admin panels are not easily accessible.
  • It can be a resource hog compared to Linux servers.
Windows Server is suited for almost all scenarios. It can run almost any application, including some Linux-based applications either with official port or unofficial (not recommended). It is not the best solution if reliability of a Linux server is required. The added bloat of Windows "features" can cause issues in some environments, and maintenance can be a pain in some cases.
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Gabriel Krahn | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
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We are using Windows Server as the general server and AD solution, company-wide. Everything related to the AD server, GPOs, user-management, file and application hosting is based on Windows Server.
  • Active directory.
  • GPOs.
  • File hosting.
  • Comes at a very high price.
We are currently at the 10k+ users point. Windows Server has proven itself as the best way to manage all these users using the AD prompt, where we can link the user accounts with a lot of intern systems using the same user account. Furthermore, we are using Windows Server in our datacenters to store customer and user data, such as applications and general files.
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Joseph Rounds | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 6 out of 10
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I use it to run to custom software as well as deploy it to customer sites to run custom software It makes a great base operating system that has easy customer adaptation.
  • Ease of use.
  • Stable OS.
  • Great support.
  • Wide reasources.
  • Cost of use.
  • Hardware requirments.
It is well suited for medium to large business uses that require a robust SQL server environment. It is a harder sell on small businesses that are worried about there bottom line and cost of use.
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Kaitlyn Delacruz | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
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We currently use Windows Server for active directory and website services for our company as a whole, and overall it addresses the ease of use for maintenance and sharing files over a secured network and allows us to have secured backups for our workstations.
  • User management.
  • Security polices.
  • Powershell.
  • Configurable.
  • Learning curve.
  • Maintenance costs.
  • Upgrade costs.
  • Cal licenses.
Windows Server is suitable for companies just starting up as they help maintain ease of use and security for a small network of computers and allows for secure backups of systems. It does have a drawback when you need to upgrade, as the costs increase tenfold after you exceed the number of licenses for an SBS license.
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Jonathan Pauley | TrustRadius Reviewer
October 18, 2019

Windows Server Review

Score 9 out of 10
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Windows Server is our primary server software platform. We use the Active Directory and Group Policy features as our primary user authentication and user policy control and enforcement system. Windows Server is also our primary internal DNS platform and file and print sharing mechanism.
  • File and print sharing.
  • User authentication via Active Directory.
  • User policy enforcement via Group Policy.
  • ADFS could be more easily configure for cloud integrations.
  • Nothing else comes to mind.
Window Server is fairly well suited for pretty much any scenario where an on-premise server is warranted. It is fairly easy for most users to administer compared to other server platforms that require much more in-depth knowledge to maintain and reliance on an open community for some support instances.
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Esteban Rey | TrustRadius Reviewer
December 23, 2019

Great choice

Score 9 out of 10
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We use mainly for the active directory and for single sign on. With this we can manage all our users in minutes and be in compliance at the same time.
  • User management.
  • Active Directory.
  • Security.
  • Firewall.
In general, the server is a good choice. You have to be very careful with the security, the vulnerability. Always has to have a security endpoint.
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Nick Allo | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
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We use it to manage our users internally and our client's networks.
  • Manage users and computers.
  • Group policy.
  • File sharing.
  • Cal’s are expensive.
  • No upgrade path for essentials sku’s.
  • Training is difficult and expensive.
It's useful in most environments where you want a central way to manage users and data. Not good for a small environment where they do not need to manage it centrally.
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Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 8 out of 10
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We rely on Windows Server for our corporate office network as we are a Microsoft-based organisation. We use it for everything from user and device management, group policy management, DHCP, local network DNS, ADFS for single sign-on for many systems and much more. Everything that is based in the Windows Server environment is as you would expect it and provides the functionality the business needs in a modern office environment with seamless integration into cloud platforms such as Office 365. For people like myself who have managed Windows servers for over 15 years, the latest version of Windows Server is efficient, streamlined and full of features that work in the "Microsoft" way that we are used to.
  • User and device management out of the box. Active directory is a proven system for doing this and works just as well as it always has.
  • ADFS providing integration into many third-party applications using SAML authentication. We use this heavily to make user experience as simple and straightforward as we can.
  • Local DHCP. It's another one of these systems that is very easy to setup and use out of the box and requires very little maintenance, if any. The system is almost unchanged throughout the years and so anyone with server experience can manage it.
  • Windows Updates! A fairly large amount of time is taken up by having to keep on top of Windows Updates. Having to reboot server after installation causes issues with critical systems and installing updates certainly in Server 2016 was a nightmare. This is improved however in 2019.
  • Drive space used by GUI installations is getting large and large as time goes on.
  • Licensing - as with all Microsoft products, licensing is a minefield however, if it didn't change every year they would give people a chance to get to used to it.
Any environment that uses Microsoft software and hardware should run with a Windows Server infrastructure behind it. I've worked in organisations in the past that have used Windows PCs and no server behind them and it causes a huge number of problems in terms of time to manage the use of devices and causes problems with security over the network and access to shared data. Whilst things are migrating towards being completely cloud based, there is still a need, at the moment in my opinion, for a Windows Server infrastructure for both end-user experience and admin maintenance.
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Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
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We currently over 150 Windows servers (a mixture of 2012 R2, 2016 and 2019) and I can comfortably say it is the best product to come out of Microsoft and it keeps constantly evolving to the point that it has become essential in most organizations around the world. Be it file sharing, databases, web servers or app server you can always rely on it.
  • Robustness
  • Reliable
  • Ease of deployment
  • Deprecate old technologies
You just can't go wrong with Microsoft Server in your infrastructure. Unless it is for a very specific purpose, Microsoft Server is a reliable, secure and trustworthy staple in every datacenter.
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Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
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Windows Server the backbone of the entire organization. It controls our login security, user capabilities on the network, workstation configurations, and its very stable, not to mention compatibility with just about anything. Windows Server has been around a long time, so its dependable, and support is very easy to find online and with peers.
  • File Server
  • Domain login and workstation control
  • Windows Server can be high priced
  • Updates can sometimes cause issues, but not so much within the last several years.
Small to Large businesses can use Windows Server. Windows Server does have pricing levels to accommodate small to large companies. The security and single point of login would be the greatest part of this if you use its Domain capabilities. So keeping track of your users and what they can access can make things easier for admins or none admins. It has many add-ons to support your networking needs, some free and some not, but for small businesses, there is a lot it can do without breaking the bank.
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Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
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I have been using Windows Server since its 2003 version. With my current employer, I have used it with 2003R2, and then we upgraded to 2008, 2008R2, 2012, and we are currently, for the most part running 2016. Windows Server has significantly evolved and remains easy to use and a very stable server OS. It is also the industry standard. In my org, we use it for pretty much anything - running our SQL servers, running network services, like printing, DNS for the domain-joined machines, DHCP, file shares, backups, applications, remote access, and so on.
  • Very easy to deploy and configure.
  • Industry standard, so plenty of resources available both online and for hire.
  • In the latest version, updates are almost forced on the admin. This should be more easily controllable by the Sysadmin.
  • Because of it's popularity, bugs and security vulnerabilities come for it first.
Windows Server is an excellent enterprise-level product. It is easy and cheap to maintain; MS licensing costs are relatively reasonable for the functionality you receive. It is stable and can run almost anything. The one thing I would not recommend Windows Server is for web hosting. IIS can be improved in more than one way; however, for basic, internal-only use, it is OK. Anything else runs well and is very stable.
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Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
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It is being used across both at the departmental level and also across the whole organization. At the organization level, it is being used to centrally manage Active Directory, and also centrally manage other software that is deployed to different departments. This includes SCCM, which is installed locally on Windows Server. It addresses the problem of having a good server operating system that is easy to set up, use (as compared to other servers OS's), and doesn't require a whole lot of back-end support to manage.
  • It is really good for running services such as DHCP, DNS, and Active Directory. In most environments, these are main services that run every day and are services that server administrators and other IT folks rely on in their everyday work.
  • It is good for pushing down policies to endpoints and offers a robust group policy management tool for getting this accomplished.
  • One thing that can be improved upon is making the overall OS of Windows Server more stable, meaning to avoid shutdowns or crashes, or the often need of rebooting the server to bring it to a "refresh" state.
  • It can also improve in the bootup time of when the Windows Server OS starts and is online. It seems like in many cases it can take a while for all services, etc. to be brought online and ready to use. This also affects when endpoints can connect to server resources.
Windows Server is well suited for environments that want an easier to use and configure server OS, as compared to some others on the market, which involve more from a set-up standpoint, and also require more ongoing maintenance on the back-end. It is less appropriate for organizations that want more control over custom configuring and setup/use of their server OS. It is also less appropriate in environments that don't have a majority of Windows endpoints, in which case another server OS might be more beneficial.
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Ben Frech | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 8 out of 10
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We've used Windows Server in one version or another since this company's inception in 2007. Windows Server is used company-wide for AD, file/print, RDS, and networking infrastructure. It enables us to provide secure file storage and access to staff, as well as secured, centralized print management. We use Windows remote desktop services for desktop/application virtualization. DNS is used in conjunction with AD, and DHCP, as well.
  • Active Directory--Just about every application has some sort of AD plug-in. Makes user and group management easier.
  • File services.
  • Large installed user/community base.
  • When set up correctly, DNS/DHCP.
  • Support-ugh. I have had some good support experiences in the past, but the past few years...?
  • QA testing for patches. Boot loops?
  • Licensing.
Windows server is suited for environments from small to large. It's an easy entrance point for many small businesses to start with. Many applications still require a Windows server to run the product.

It may not be as attractive to tech-centric businesses with employees well versed in Linux or Apple products. It may not be a good fit for cash-strapped businesses or start-ups.
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Cameron Rainey | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
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We use Windows Server as our OS for our DC. It allows our company to be centrally controlled by one server and sign in with any account that's created in AD. We also use it for DHCP and DNS as well as deploying updates to all of our workstations and laptops.
  • DHCP is done the best with Windows Server. Other software just gets in the way.
  • Nothing comes close to AD with Windows Server.
  • DNS can easily be controlled with Windows Server as well.
  • The install process could be a little easier.
  • Setting up an exchange is a little complex when it should be much simpler.
  • Test your OS updates more so our servers don't crash.
Perfect for an environment of 10 or more people. It makes managing not only user accounts but PCs much easier. It also makes managing the network just as easy because you can go to one place in order to control everything.
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Andrew Schell | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 1 out of 10
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Windows server has turned into a dumpster fire of problems and miss configuration and security loopholes.

It’s like Microsoft hires people that can technically code but have zero ability to look at long-term impact of their decisions .
There’s so many problems with it constantly crashing or inability to handle massive amounts of data that it’s it’s just useless .

We got rid of windows server went over to a Linux server and an Oracle database and we haven’t had one crash in nine months.

Microsoft Windows NT was the last version of windows of any kind that was really stable I just can’t believe how buggy and leggy and just emotionally unstable the windows has become that it’s just unusable.

We were pumping terabytes per minute through the system and it just couldn’t handle data, now we pump that into the Oracle or the Linux and it’s just like no problem.
  • Windows has very good salesman
  • Windows has very good marketing teams
  • Stop making excuses for the inability to handle large data
  • Stop making excuses for how much your product is sucked in the past and fix the problems that it has now like crashing
  • Build the tools that I can use on our stable systems called Macintosh, build me a powerBI out that I can use on a Mac
Microsoft is well-suited for a small accounting office that has no mindset for growth.

Microsoft products do not belong in an organization that wants to grow or wants to keep its costs down.
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Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 6 out of 10
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We use Windows Server for our domain controller as well as offering Windows Server OS's to a wide variety and range of our VPS and dedicated hosting clients, we do also provide Windows shared hosting which uses Windows Server as the base OS. Windows has also been a requested OS for hosting.
  • Runs applications built for Windows perfectly.
  • Provides management capabilities.
  • Has constant security updates.
  • Upgrades to a newer OS could be easier.
  • Since its a popular platform it can use additional security enhancements.
  • Costs are expensive to license.
The need for Windows Servers is becoming less popular but depending on your application needs, Windows could be great! For a domain controller, it is great with active directories and group policy' as well as providing great tools to enhance its overall functionality.
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Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 8 out of 10
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We use an Active Directory configuration of Windows Server. We utilize many different Windows Server versions and configurations. We use it across the entire business. We use it for DNS, DHCP, Active Directory Services, utility servers, database servers, web servers, and application servers. Windows Server is the primary server operating system that is used within our organization.
  • Usability: there are lots of features that are available.
  • Industry-wide acceptance: it is very easy to find other people who have the same configuration or setup as you do.
  • Compatibility: Just about every single application supports it.
  • Lack of openness: Any Linux-based applications are not supported on Windows.
  • Microsoft provided support is non-existent. You need to find a trusted VAR to work with if you have issues.
It's really not necessary to recommend Windows Server to a colleague. Nearly all IT professionals have experience using Windows Server. It would be like asking a cow to recommend grass. It's just something that everyone uses and acknowledges that it is a requirement for being an IT professional. I would definitely discuss my positive and negative experiences, but recommending or not recommending this is not something that anyone, including me, would ever do.
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Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
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Windows Server underpins our core domain and file server requirements. It is used to supplement our single sign-on technology and two-factor authentication technology. Application database servers are also built on Windows server OS including SQL server. Windows server solves our most critical and transparent business needs.
  • Option for minimalistic and low resource install
  • Robust and mitigative design
  • Mature
  • Improvement in Docker Containers to allow both Windows and Linux images to run concurrently.
  • During install the ability to offer the choice of configuring the OS and its policies to meet a desired standard template e.g, PCIDSS.
  • Make the Windows Firewall more like Azures Security Groups.
Windows file server is well suited to hosting on-premise and Azure connected domains. No other platform, in my opinion, is suited to this. I also find Windows file server offering SMB file sharing Microsoft implement this better than any third party solution such as SAMBA. Windows File server still has a built-in S3 storage client or server implementation and hopefully, this is on the product roadmap soon.
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Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
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I am using a Windows server as a database server for our Accounting program. Before using the server, the database was hosted locally and was slow. When we made the switch to using a Windows Server, we saw an increase in the speed of the accounting program. The setup of the server was very easy, and auto updates, and so far has not been an issue. The server has been running for several years with little maintenance involved. We use a cloud-based software for backups, in addition to a locally attached hard drive, as safeguards in addition to the built-in Raid drive cloning.
  • Easy setup.
  • User-friendly for those used to the Windows GUI.
  • Low cost.
  • Had to buy Anti-virus specifically for Windows Servers, and it was pricey for only 1 license.
  • The attached Hard Drive backup took a lot of tinkering to get functioning properly, which shouldn't be the case in this day and age.
  • Some of the built-in settings and programs were bloatware.
In our case, if you needed a low-cost server that was already set up, this is a great solution for you. Such as, you can buy a low-end server via Dell or HP, and have it delivered with all the software and drivers already installed and tested. I know Linux is a good option for those who are more tech-savvy, but Windows does make it easy to buy it and be up and running quickly.
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Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
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As a software company, we develop our products and do integration projects for our customers. Since MS technologies are mostly used by the developers, MS infrastructure has to be used to test the builts. My company also is a software reseller and a solution partner. The vendors some of the modules require the Windows Server platform. Thus, we have to use Windows Server for self-study, tests, and experiments for pre-deployment and pre-implementation tasks. Briefly, the selected development and software infrastructure drove us to use Windows Server.
  • Having an integrated GUI eases management.
  • Windows Servers' uptime is fairly well.
  • There are many third-party management tools where there is no solution brought by Microsoft.
  • The requirement to restart after updates is the worst thing about Windows Server.
  • Windows Service infrastructure sometimes has issues to start an application as a service.
  • There is an event and troubleshooting mechanism which doesn't help much mostly. Also, IDs which were given for a problem are not user-friendly.
  • Some configurations require deep diving into the registry and sometimes it feels like it doesn't work due to complicated documentation.
If you prefer MS technologies for development, Windows Server is very well. MS development SDKs bring many tools that ease integrations, there are many companies that are well integrated with MS and there are many talented developers experienced on MS technologies. On the other side, if you need just a server for open technologies and you think Windows Server has a GUI and that makes it easy to manage, consider this again. Even Windows Server has a complete GUI, it still requires a high level of experience to have a well-managed server.




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Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
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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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Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
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 | TrustRadius Reviewer
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.
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Omar Campos | TrustRadius Reviewer
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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