Windows Server

Microsoft has made several versions of the Windows operating system adapted to act as a server in local networks.

Microsoft’s first attempt at creating an operating system with network features was Windows 3.11 (1992). Another name for Windows 3.11 is Windows for Workgroups, and this version had some additional features that gave network support:

· Network cards and cables

· Sharing directories, disks and printers

· E-mail and instant messaging functionality

However, it was with Windows NT that Microsoft began developing a network operating system intended to act as a server.

Windows NT 4.0 Server

It was first with Windows NT 4.0 that Microsoft got a proper network operating system adapted to the task as a server in a local area network, as the Windows NT 4.0 Server could serve many users in a network.

Windows Server 2000

The sequel to Windows NT 4.0 Server was Windows Server 2000. The main novelty in Windows Server 2000 was Active Directory, which is Microsoft’s directory service for managing users and resources in a local area network.

Windows Server 2003

Built on Windows XP, Windows Server 2003 had several improvements over Windows Server 2000. New in Windows Server 2003 was the Internet Information Services (IIS) used to create web pages for servers.

Windows Server 2008 

Launched in February 2008, Windows Server 2008 was an upgrade of Windows Server 2003. Windows Server 2008 had enhancements to Active Directory, Group Policy, disk management and security. 

Windows Server 2012 

Windows Server 2012, also called Windows Server 8, debuted in September 2012. New with Windows Server 2012 was better support for server virtualization and the use of the cloud (Cloud Computing). Windows Server 2012 includes a new file system (ReFS), but this file system is only used by file servers. 

Windows Server 2016 

With Windows Server 2016, Microsoft aims to assist customers in modernizing on premise data centers, making it easier to move workloads out to its Azure public cloud. New in Windows Server 2016 is Nano Server. Nano Server is a scaled down, purpose-built operating system designed to run modern cloud applications and act as a platform for containers. Support for containers is another of the standout features for Windows Server 2016.


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