What Is Windows Server and How Is It Different From Windows?

What is Windows Server and what is it used for ? here ‘s how Windows Server differs from consumer editions of the OS. If you ‘re a unconstipated calculator drug user, you may have only come across the consumer-facing editions of Windows. But did you know that Microsoft besides publishes an entire Windows Server line of its operate system ?
Let ‘s take a count at the differences between Windows Server and regular Windows. We ‘ll see what Windows Server includes, what it leaves out, and why it ‘s so different .

What Is Windows Server?

Windows Server 2016 Wallpaper

Image Credit: Ana Mercedes Gauna/Wikimedia Commons

In encase you ‘ve never heard of Windows Server, we ‘ll inaugural explain what it is. basically, Windows Server is a line of operating systems that Microsoft specifically creates for habit on a server. Servers are highly powerful machines that are designed to run constantly and provide resources for early computers. This means in about all cases, Windows Server is only used in occupation settings .
Microsoft has published Windows Server under this name since Windows Server 2003 launched in April 2003. however, even before this, server versions of Windows were available. For exemplify, Windows NT 4.0 was available in both workstation ( for cosmopolitan practice ) and server flavors .
In about all cases, convention users do n’t need to worry about Windows Server. You wo n’t find it on the ledge in stores or by chance download it from Microsoft when you mean to get the standard interpretation of Windows. But it ‘s still matter to to learn about thus you ‘re mindful .

Windows Server vs. Regular Windows: The Basics

With equitable a flying glance, you might have trouble oneself telling the dispute between Windows Server and normal versions of Windows. The desktop looks the lapp, including the taskbar, background icons, and Start button .
MAKEUSEOF VIDEO OF THE DAY As it turns out, every Windows Server release corresponds to a consumer translation of Windows. Windows Server 2003, for case, is the waiter version of Windows XP. stream versions include Windows Server 2016, which is based on the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, and Windows Server 2019, based on version 1809 of Windows 10 .
Related : The Latest Windows 10 Version Wo n’t Be the last one
Because Windows Server and Windows share a code base, you can perform many of the like functions on both. You can download and install programs like browsers and photograph editors on Windows Server, and many Windows basics like Notepad are included in Windows Server .
however, Windows Server and Windows Pro/Home have more differences than similarities. Let ‘s review some of them .

Windows Server Includes Enterprise Management Software

Windows Server Role Selection
Because Windows Server is intended for businesses, it includes batch of enterprise software. Below are a few roles that a server can perform thanks to these tools :

  • Active Directory: Active Directory is a user management service that allows a server to act as a domain controller. Instead of each user logging into a local computer, the domain controller handles all user account authentication. See our explanation of Windows domains for more on this.
  • DHCP: Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol is a protocol that lets a server automatically assign IP addresses to all devices on the network. At home, your router probably handles this. But in a business setting, IT staff can take advantage of the greater DHCP functionality in Windows Server.
  • File and Storage: Having a file server for your company is another common use. This allows you to keep important data in a central location and set permissions to control who can access which files.
  • Print Services: If a business has dozens of printers across the building, it’s a waste of time for IT staff to configure them individually for each new workstation. Setting up a print server allows you to easily map printers to computers and reduce redundant work.
  • Windows Update Services: Often, businesses don’t want all Windows updates to come through right away. By setting up a server as a Windows Update controller, you can route all workstation updates through that server and configure specific rules for how they should work.

These are only a few of the server roles Windows Server can handle. Often, a company will have more than one waiter and split the above roles across multiple devices .
Standard copies of Windows do n’t include these capabilities out of the box. You can install some third-party tools to replicate some of this functionality, but it wo n’t be ampere robust .

Windows Server Has Fewer Hardware Limitations

Windows Server RAM Installed

Image Credit: Robert/Flickr
Most people do n’t worry about the maximum measure of RAM they can put in their calculator. A 64-bit installation of Windows 10 Pro allows you to install up to a huge 2TB of RAM. however, the majority of users do n’t have more than 32GB of RAM in their systems, so tied installing 1TB of RAM is far out of the interrogate .
Knowing this, can you believe that Windows Server supports up to 24TB of RAM ? It besides allows you to use up to 64 CPU sockets, which is much greater than the two sockets that Windows 10 Pro supports .
This might sound pathetic, but there are good reasons for these high hardware caps. A server can world power crucial functionality for hundreds of people in a business, so it often needs to be highly potent .
For case, a server running dozens of virtual machines needs loads of RAM in order to keep them all running smoothly at the same prison term. This points out another significant factor of Windows Server : it does n’t always run on physical hardware. Some businesses purchase a few physical servers, then run many virtual machines ( with Windows Server ) on them to handle different functions, like those discussed above .

Windows Server Doesn’t Include Extraneous Features

No Microsoft Store Windows Server
As you ‘d expect, Windows Server retains ability user features like the Command Prompt and other administrative tools. however, Server editions of Windows strip out a lot of the quality-of-life features that Windows 10 includes .
For model, in Windows Server 2016 and 2019, you wo n’t see the Microsoft Store, Cortana, and other modern Windows 10 features. It does n’t bundle in apps like Your Phone, and tied on Windows Server 2019, you have to download Microsoft Edge individually .
Windows Server OSes besides do n’t let you log in with a Microsoft history. Because they ‘re designed for enterprise use, you do n’t need these consumer-facing tools on a server OS.

additionally, some apps check to see if you ‘re using Windows Server before you install them. In some cases, the app wo n’t work on a waiter version of Windows .
Windows Server is besides a lot more engage down by default option. It still uses Internet Explorer as the nonpayment browser, but the security settings are much more restrictive than usual. This makes sense, as having a server compromised would be catastrophic, compared to barely one workstation .

Windows Server’s Pricing Differs

Buy Windows Server 2019
As you may expect from a business-oriented merchandise, Windows Server does n’t come cheap. It ‘s a lot more expensive than a consumer version of Windows, and comes in assorted flavors depending on your needs .
Microsoft ‘s Windows Server 2019 pricing foliate gives an mind of what you might pay for the server OS. Depending on how many people will access the server, you besides need to pay for CALs ( Client Access Licenses ) to use the services legally .
Businesses historically installed Windows Server on a physical onsite waiter, which has a lot greater hardware capabilities than a workstation as mentioned above. however, you besides have the option of running Windows Server in a obscure service like Microsoft Azure .
This allows you to offload the effect of maintaining a physical server to a defile supplier like Microsoft. In addition, this enables companies to spread the price of upgrading out over a subscription rather of paying all at once for a new physical waiter. What works best depends on the specific organization ‘s needs .

Now You Understand Windows Server

In the goal, though Windows Server and even Windows share common code and look alike, they ‘re for wholly unlike uses .
Consumer editions of Windows 10 are designed for maximum serviceability and do n’t include software intended for enterprise practice. interim, Windows Server is n’t concerned with looking pretty. Its purpose is to run many services faithfully that enterprise users need .
These are far from the only Windows versions, either. For model, Microsoft offers Windows 10 Enterprise that includes more functionality than Windows 10 Pro .

Windows Enterprise Edition Featured
Windows 10 Pro vs. enterprise : What Are the Differences ?
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Ben Stegner
( 1807 Articles Published )

Ben is the Editor in Chief at MakeUseOf. He left his IT speculate to write full-time in 2016 and has never looked back. He ‘s been covering technical school tutorials, video game recommendations, and more as a professional writer for over eight years .
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