Windows Server Reviews

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Reviews (1-25 of 39)

Aaron Pinsker | TrustRadius Reviewer
February 18, 2020

Windows Server - extremely powerful, but extremely complex

Score 7 out of 10
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Pros and Cons

  • 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.
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Chris Saenz | TrustRadius Reviewer
March 25, 2020

Windows Server is built for stability and reliability.

Score 8 out of 10
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Pros and Cons

  • Stable operating system environment
  • Reliable file system (NTFS)
  • Native services like file, print, DNS, Active Directory, etc.
  • Native SSH support
  • Native configuration management
  • Some configuration locations mixed with old control panel are hard to find
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Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
May 08, 2020

Windows Server, the standard go-to operating system for most businesses.

Score 9 out of 10
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Pros and Cons

  • Hosting common business applications.
  • Easy file sharing and security.
  • Simple user management and authentication.
  • As a leader in the industry it is also a target for security flaws and exploits. Regular patching required.
  • At times there are things you would expect to be able to do from a GUI but have to do at the command line.
  • Cost, competitors in the Linux world can often provide a good value alternative.
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Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
April 28, 2020

Windows Server Vs. FOSS

Score 8 out of 10
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Pros and Cons

  • Permissions Management within Active Directory - It can be complicated, but it is as granular as you could ever want.
  • Management of the Server can be done with a GUI or CLI - this lowers the barrier of entry for learning the environment.
  • Roles and Features are installed within a wizard - this is safer than adding or changing repositories.
  • Windows Server normally could benefit from trimming. There are non-essential services that are enabled by default, and sometimes when they do not auto-start, it will trigger an alarm, which is false. Nobody wants to see anything but green across the board!
  • Windows Server's power comes from Active Directory - so if you want a server that is not tied to your domain, you will probably be crippling yourself if you choose windows outside of a few select use cases.
  • I would like to see a licensing shift from per core back to per socket. This makes HA environments tricky to license.
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Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
March 13, 2020

Windows Server - we all know it and love it (or not).

Score 8 out of 10
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Pros and Cons

  • 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.
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Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
November 20, 2019

Windows Server - The only way to manage your Microsoft Environment.

Score 8 out of 10
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Pros and Cons

  • 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.
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Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
January 06, 2020

The best server operating system on the market today

Score 9 out of 10
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Pros and Cons

  • 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.
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Ben Frech | TrustRadius Reviewer
July 19, 2019

Windows Server is the best you can get until someone makes something better.

Score 8 out of 10
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Pros and Cons

  • 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.
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Cameron Rainey | TrustRadius Reviewer
May 23, 2019

A must for any medium sized business

Score 10 out of 10
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Pros and Cons

  • 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.
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Andrew Schell | TrustRadius Reviewer
March 16, 2019

Microsoft is an architectural dinosaur in the world computing

Score 1 out of 10
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Pros and Cons

  • 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
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Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
July 05, 2019

Windows Server Review

Score 6 out of 10
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Pros and Cons

  • 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.
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Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
June 18, 2019

Windows Server - It's what everyone uses!

Score 8 out of 10
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Pros and Cons

  • 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.
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Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
June 11, 2019

Windows Server: the mature and stable alternative

Score 10 out of 10
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Pros and Cons

  • 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.
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Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
May 22, 2019

Windows Server was the perfect Solution for Hosting our Accouting Database

Score 9 out of 10
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Pros and Cons

  • 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.
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Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
April 26, 2019

A Story of Windows Server

Score 9 out of 10
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Pros and Cons

  • 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.
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Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
December 15, 2018

Windows Server: sometimes you just have to use it.

Score 10 out of 10
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Pros and Cons

  • 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.
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