During a project that involves the choice of the operating system, know the differences and the features between the candidates is crucial to better argument within the negotiation. This article aims to show the differences between the editions of Windows Server 2008 family.

Windows Server 2008 Standard

It is the standard edition of Windows Server 2008 and is directed to the SMB sector, the servers with this operating system will often play the roles of domain controller, file and print server, DNS, DHCP server and application server. These functions do not require much memory. When planning the installation of such system it must been take into account that the functions of failover cluster and AD Federation Services are functions of the Enterprise edition or Datacenter edition. The 32-bit version supports up to 4GB of RAM and up to 4 processors in SMP configuration has a 64-bit version supports up to 32GB of RAM and up to 4 processaodres SMP configuration. It supports cluster Load Balancing Network, but does not support failover clustering.

Windows Server 2008 Enterprise

The Enterprise edition will be indicated for large companies running heavy applications like SQL Server 2008 or Exchange Server 2007, these applications will require more memory than the Standard edition supports. In addition, the Enterprise has the resources Failover cluster and ADFS. The wise thing to do is put the Standard and Enterprise working together when these demands exist, the Standard running the most plain papers and Enterprise applications running the heavier ones or working in failover cluster. the 32-bit version supports up to 64GB of RAM and up to 8 processors in SMP configuration has a 64-bit version supports up to 2TB of RAM and up to 8 processaodres SMP configuration.

Windows Server 2008 Datacenter

The Datacenter edition is intended only to large enterprise market, the main difference from the Enterprise is on the number of virtual machines that can be used with a single license is unlimited . Normally a license of the Datacenter will be associated with a physical server in the form of OEM, meaning that they can be only been bought together. The reason is that these servers typically cost tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars and the support from those who sold is given about the software and hardware, is not permissible for a server to stop due to a faulty motherboard much less by a system error.

Windows Web Server 2008

This edition is indicated only for servers that run IIS service, the Microsoft web server. The 32-bit version supports up to 4GB of RAM and up to 4 processors in SMP configuration as the 64 bit supports up to 32GB of RAM and up to 4 processors in SMP configuration.

Windows Server 2008 Server Core

All editions of Windows Server 2008 have two types, Full and Server Core Installation, Full installation is where most functions are managed via the GUI (graphical user interface) or CLI (command line interface), Server Core run only in CLI, and it has two direct implications: First, a reduction in the attack interface, which means that the attacks of malicious agents is decreased. The second implication is that once running the server will have fewer components requisites for the installation are simpler, as less memory and processing. The most of time, you can use MMC, and add a snap-in for use configure you're Server Core (after enabling preferences with sconfig.cmd)

Just to serve as supplementary materials, Microsoft released a table with the differences between the editions of Windows Server 2008 R2 that can be seen in http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2008/pt/br/r2 -overview.aspx-editions.

Reference:

Training kit 70-646, Microsoft Press