Windows Server Reviews

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Reviews (1-25 of 29)

Jonathan Pauley profile photo
October 18, 2019

Windows Server Review

Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Reseller
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Pros and Cons

  • 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.
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Ben Frech profile photo
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
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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 profile photo
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
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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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No photo available
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

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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No photo available
Score 6 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

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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No photo available
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

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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No photo available
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

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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No photo available
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

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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Aaron Pinsker profile photo
Score 6 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

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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Andrew Schell profile photo
Score 1 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

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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No photo available
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

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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No photo available
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

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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No photo available
Score 7 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Pros and Cons

  • 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
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No photo available
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Pros and Cons

  • 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.
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Olumayowa Mosuro profile photo
November 17, 2017

Windows Server Review

Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Pros and Cons

  • 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.
Read Olumayowa Mosuro's full review
Omar Campos profile photo
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Pros and Cons

  • 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.
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Matt Karcher profile photo
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Pros and Cons

  • 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.
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Philip D profile photo
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Pros and Cons

  • 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.
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David Svensk profile photo
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Pros and Cons

  • 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.
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Kettric Midura profile photo
December 18, 2014

WIndows Server 2012

Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Pros and Cons

  • 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.
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