Microsoft IIS Server - Honest review by a FullStack developer
Updated September 21, 2019

Microsoft IIS Server - Honest review by a FullStack developer

Rahul Dhangar | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 7 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with Microsoft IIS

We use Microsoft IIS for specific requirements on client deliverables. Certain projects require us to implement Microsoft IIS for overall project hosting and delivery. Microsoft IIS is very easy to install, and its GUI is very informative. The Microsoft Server facilitates implementation of SQL database seamless. It is very useful due to its simplicity for small projects which primarily require CRUD operations in SQL.
  • Troubleshooting problems is very easy due to the server logs, which are maintained by default in Microsoft IIS.
  • Awesome integration with Visual Studio and dot NET applications.
  • Best performance with Microsoft tools and services, because of its native nature with them.
  • Microsoft IIS' performance, in comparison with lean web-servers like Nginx and Apache, has a lot of room for improvement.
  • Since it is a non-open source solution and a proprietary Microsoft software, it is tied with Microsoft Windows OS, which is prone to new security vulnerabilities on a frequent basis.
  • The logging of errors is very vague in nature sometimes, which makes it difficult to get to the root cause of the error, and means it takes more time in debugging.
  • The security risk is greater in the case of public facing websites, which impacts the trustworthiness of the solution offered.
  • Relatively easy installation boosted productivity for us.
  • Tracking down the root cause of a problem takes a long time, which increases the cost and is a very tedious process.
Nginx is hard to support for smaller multiple projects, which is one reason we use the Microsoft IIS server, which is best fit for a set-up once and forget scenario. The Apache server is more recommended for smaller sized projects due to its cost factor, as the Microsoft IIS server turns out to be costly in the initial server setup costs because of the licensing of every proprietary software, including the Windows OS.
Well suited for small websites which need to be hosted on the same environment without getting into the trouble of managing services differently. Clustering is a costly offense if you want to deal with a high volume of data, because of IIS' costly licensing for the server, and the OS also makes it less favorable.

Microsoft IIS Feature Ratings

IDE support
Security management
Administration and management
Application server performance

Evaluating Microsoft IIS and Competitors

  • Product Usability
  • Prior Experience with the Product
The product usability played an important role in selecting the Microsoft IIS Server over other solutions, because of its comparatively simple GUI and simple learning curve when compared to its competitors. Since we needed a very basic website for doing CRUD operations from the SQL database, we implemented the Microsoft IIS Server, which helped us speed up the development process.
I would be more than happy to select it as a preferred server solution if Microsoft considers cutting the cost associated with the Microsoft IIS Server and the other dependencies bundled with it (Microsoft Windows Server OS, Microsoft SQL Server Enterprise, etc), because then it will be more affordable to implement for smaller-sized projects where the cost of management and recurrent costs of subscription plays an important role in decision making.

Using Microsoft IIS

Overall product usability is good due to its ease of use for new developers, which is a plus point because it is slightly easier for inexperienced system admins, due to its ease of installation on modern Windows OS. A single person can maintain the Microsoft IIS server, which makes administration more convenient for small sized teams.

Microsoft IIS Reliability

Microsoft IIS Server is scalable if the underlying server configuration is done correctly. Use x64 edition v/s 32bit and using 32bit mode application pools are some of the tweaks to be done to make the IIS server scalable. There are too many small configurations need to be carried out in order to make a highly scalable IIS server hence not giving full score in this area.
ARR (application request routing) in Microsoft IIS Server enables the web-admins to increase the web app reliability and availability through the rule based routing and load balancing of HTTP requests which in turn provides highly available server. IIS 7.0 Manager also provides kernel as well as user mode caching for faster performance and in case if the server fails, the IIS server has good amount of details logged in its log files which help understand and debug the cause quickly. Load balancing facilitates IIS server to fight against availability issues.
Microsot IIS is good for small projects involving simple data in SQL, which requires CRUD operations frequently. But when the data increases in size, the Microsoft IIS server starts slowing down. Page loading is good if the caching module is installed and configured correctly. Heavy applications like MongoDB and other open source software which require high memory consumption are not recommended on the Microsoft IIS server, and would be better migrated to a Linux environment with an Nginx or Apache server running on it.

Integrating Microsoft IIS

Integration with Microsoft services is best with Microsoft IIS Server because of the native nature. Asp and .NET applications perform great on it, but when it comes to a larger open source community, it falls steeply down because of its closed source nature and performance issues for big data. Node.js integration on the Microsoft IIS Server is intimidating because of the complexity involved.