These days, almost three-quarters of all servers are operating with Windows Server. It is one of the most popular options for many reasons, including its usability and its performance. So, what even is Windows Server and why might you want it for your company?
In this business guide, we explain what this piece of software is and what it can do for you moving forward.
What Is Windows Server?
Since 1993, Microsoft has offered a form of Windows with the intent of giving people a reliable and scalable place to run services.
While most versions of Windows you are likely to have used in the past are for single consumers, Windows Server is for businesses. It exists to manage a server, and as such includes systems people use to manage network infrastructures and data storage. This means it has less focus on accessibility for the average user and might be much more complex to install and run than you are used to.
The software aims to work for businesses of any size. As such, a user can scale how much they use it anywhere from a small hosting server for a small business up to a company with thousands of users.
Any administrator using the server will also have access to powerful user-management controls. This means such scaling will not become overcomplex.
Are There Multiple Versions?
Windows Server is not a single piece of software. Several SKUs cater to the different needs of users or businesses.
Windows Server Standard
This is the core product for users who have a physical server. It allows multiple people to connect to it, although will only offer two virtual machines (VMs) at any time. These VMs are emulated computer environments people can connect to and run, as though separate computers.
Windows Server Datacenter
This is one of the most powerful versions of Windows Server available. Its intended use is for data centers where an organization expects most of its employees to be logging in virtually. Thus, Microsoft built it to handle large numbers of logins and manage systems existing in the cloud instead of on any single physical device.
Windows Server Essentials
This version of Windows Server is cut down compared to the other offerings. While it is cheaper to buy, it only offers access to 25 users and 50 devices at any one time. At the same time, it only allows the use of a single virtual machine at any one time, and when that occurs it will suspend all other processes.
Over the years, Microsoft has updated Windows Server several times. Not only do new versions appear every few years, but individual iterations receive patches and updates on a very regular basis.
The most recent version as of writing is Windows Server 2022 Edition 10.0.20348.1668, released on April 11, 2023. Although there is every chance that is no longer the case due to the speed of updates.
If you want to update Windows Server to its latest patch, you can do so by running its Windows Update software. This will guide you through the process of getting the latest security boosts and other improvements.
If you want to pick up the latest version of the software, you can find more details on this page.
What Can It Do for a Business?
There are many reasons people might want to use Windows Server. It has a wide range of powerful features that companies could use to enhance business productivity. These include:
Create and Maintain User Accounts
To allow a company to control access to its systems, it needs to have the ability to set up and edit user accounts. This helps it maintain strict security by offering a very fast method of altering settings for any individual.
By giving users templated profiles, for example, you can create groups with specific settings. You could then change the settings for a template to change the status of a group all at the same time. This can control things like:
- Access to specific resources
- Password rules
- Network bandwidth
This list is not exhaustive but gives a small selection of things that people can use to help set limits on users.
This is the process by which a server allows users to access virtual machines, as described above. Windows Server software gives admins the tools they need to ensure this occurs with the least slowdown for the whole system.
Windows Server optimizes hardware resources and thus lowers the power used at any time. In doing so, it can offer savings to the host.
Because the machines are all virtual it also allows a company to scale with ease. They do not need to provide powerful physical devices to all users, and people can log in from other secure locations instead, or work remotely.
The administrators of a network need to ensure they institute an effective data storage solution for their business. Windows Server offers several options to help with this.
For example, it allows IT to control the amount of storage people have as set “pools” of data. People will then not have the ability to use too much and block others from storing files.
Windows Server also has robust backup facilities, allowing any company to create regular data copies for safe storage.
Data security has become more important in recent years. This is especially true with concepts such as GDPR existing. As such, regulation compliance has become a mandatory feature in all servers.
Giving IT the control they need to get their job done means having several levels of security in place. In combination, this range of security features means you can adhere to regulations without difficulty.
Examples of the kinds of things a Windows Server system offers include:
- Robust Firewalls
- Encryption capabilities
- Azure Active Directory security
- Other network security features
Install a Windows Server
With all the above information, you should now have a better understanding of what a Windows Server can add to your organization. Still, you might need to know a little more about your options before you dive in. Whatever you choose to do, we can help you out.
We have articles about many different pieces of software and how to use them. So, check out our blog today for more information.