IT Central Station is now PeerSpot: Here's why

Windows Server OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

Windows Server is #4 ranked solution in top Operating Systems for Business. PeerSpot users give Windows Server an average rating of 8 out of 10. Windows Server is most commonly compared to Windows 10: Windows Server vs Windows 10. The top industry researching this solution are professionals from a comms service provider, accounting for 39% of all views.
What is Windows Server?

Windows Server is an operating system that is designed to run on servers and service networked applications. It includes technology that was inspired from their experiences in the public cloud. When compared to earlier Microsoft products, Windows Server 2016 is greatly improved in terms of its security, software-defined infrastructure, and technologies. It enables developers to build modern microservice-based applications in the cloud or on premises.

Windows Server has many features that make it a most effective product. Included in these are a wealth of security features that enable administrators to both protect their networks from attack and limit the potential damage if malware does enter their system. It has a feature called the Local Security Authority, which protects user credentials from being stolen and exploited. All credentials are authenticated in a digital space that is kept separate from the rest of the system. This virtual space prevents any code not belonging to the Local Security Authority from running. It also has security tools that identify, isolate, and limit any potential system damage should an intrusion take place.

Benefits of Windows Server

Some of the benefits of using Windows Server include:

  • A wide array of security features that allow administrators to both secure themselves against digital intrusions and limit the damage should a breach occur. The Device Guard allows administrators to dictate what types of applications can run on their servers. This ensures that only applications that are trusted will be active in their systems. However, should a breach take place, administrators can use features like the Distributed Firewall to isolate the problematic software and prevent it from infecting the rest of the system.
  • Windows Server 2016 allows you to automate various server management tasks. The PowerShell feature enables administrators to turn over some of the more routine server management operations to this software so that they can focus their attention and resources on more complex and pressing tasks.
  • The ability to engage in innovation without having to compromise your security and efficiency. Application and software creators are able to run their software on the server without first having to modify it. In addition, any business looking to run proprietary software has a place where they can safely conduct their business.

Reviews from Real Users

There are a number of characteristics that make Windows Server an extremely effective solution. Two major ones are its inherent flexibility and its user-friendly nature.

PeerSpot user Antonio D., a sales manager at INFOSEC, takes note of Windows Server 2016’s flexibility when he writes, “The product is a good operating system. The features fit our needs very well. For example, with Windows Server, you can use a machine for printing, accessing the internet, or using some applications. You can do it all with one server. You don't need several servers. One is enough.”

Himanshu T., a system administrator and DevOps engineer at a tech-services company, takes note of the various way in which Windows Server 2016 is easy to use when he writes, “This solution is very user friendly, easy to use for any system administrator, simple to deploy applications, has a wide range of applications available, great UI, and takes less technical skills to operate than some other competitors. Additionally, the active directory has great functionality; if we want to integrate any assets, then we can easily do it.”

Windows Server Buyer's Guide

Download the Windows Server Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: April 2022

Windows Server Customers

Rakuten, Rackspace, Tyco

Windows Server Video

Archived Windows Server Reviews (more than two years old)

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Helps with migration to Hyper-V, reduces costs, and improves infrastructure

What is our primary use case?

We use this solution for the deployment of virtual machines on Hyper-V.

How has it helped my organization?

We moved from having more than twelve physical servers to only five, reducing costs and improving the infrastructure during the process.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature of this solution is Hyper-V Live Migration for Critical applications.

What needs improvement?

It would be great to have support for direct USB recognition for the virtual machines. This will allow us to easily move files from a USB drive connected to our host to one of our VM's without having to mount and share a drive trough the network to move the files.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using this solution for five years.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
reviewer1099098 - PeerSpot reviewer
User with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Replacing our physical servers provides HA and is less prone to hardware failure
Pros and Cons
  • "Provides workspaces for the entire organization with fewer resources."
  • "One area that needs improvement is the management console."

What is our primary use case?

We started virtualizing servers to reduce the number of physical servers and to optimize the data center. We started with standalone installations of the Hyper-V server and synchronized with our virtual machine. After that, we built a cluster and all of the VMs were hosted in that environment.

How has it helped my organization?

The organization spent a lot of money buying a large number of physical machines, which made up the workspace. With a physical machine, it is easy to incur damage with hardware faults, such as the loss of a disk or another component. With a cluster environment, we obtain an HA solution.

What is most valuable?

We like all of the features connected with sharing resources, typical of a Hyper-V cluster manager. Several of these further stand out, including:

  • The ability to Hot Add resources to the VM.
  • The ability to work on the physical server without disconnecting services.
  • Provides workspaces for the entire organization with fewer resources.

What needs improvement?

One area that needs improvement is the management console. It seems very easy to use but it is not as powerful as those of other vendors, such as VMware. Their solution allows for operation in a more granular and simpler way. For example, there is a wizard to migrate a VM from one node to another, or from one datastore to another.

For how long have I used the solution?

Six years.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Buyer's Guide
Windows Server
April 2022
Learn what your peers think about Windows Server. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: April 2022.
596,362 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Andrew S. Baker (ASB) - PeerSpot reviewer
Cybersecurity & IT Operations Professional (VirtualCxO) at BrainWave Consulting Company, LLC
Consultant
The improvements in live migrations have been a plus in availability

What is most valuable?

Hyper-V and the updated PowerShell are among the best features that I have taken advantage of.

How has it helped my organization?

I have been able to support more VMs on Windows 2016 than on 2012 R2, using the same hardware. Additionally, the improvements in live migrations have been a plus in availability.

We plan to take advantage of the improved storage replication functionality in Q1 2018.

What needs improvement?

Some of the elements of the Windows Server UI from 2012 R2 are better than what is found in 2016, especially the patch management. While it is nice to have the configuration options more centralized than in earlier versions of Windows, the patch/update options in Windows Server 2016 are less flexible than those of earlier versions Windows, and downloads (from Microsoft Update or WSUS) can be more finicky.

For how long have I used the solution?

One year.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

None.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No. The stability has been stellar.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

So far, scalability has not been a problem.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

We have not needed to use Microsoft support, but have utilized online forums for support. (We do have Microsoft support available.)

Technical Support:

We have not needed to use Microsoft support, but have utilized online forums for support. (We do have Microsoft support available.)

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Not applicable.

How was the initial setup?

Very straightforward deployment.

What about the implementation team?

In-house.

What was our ROI?

ROI was not calculated for this project.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Pay close attention to the licensing, as there is a focus on core licensing under Windows 2016.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

None.

What other advice do I have?

Windows 2016 continues the trend of solid, stable, high-performing Windows Server products from Microsoft.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
John ONeill - PeerSpot reviewer
Principle consultant at Active Data Consulting Services Pty Ltd
Real User
I'm on a 16GB system with a 500GB SSD and I can run multiple VM's on VirtualBox, client sessions, multiple displays and so forth without any issues at all.

What is most valuable?

Speed and ease with integrating into Microsoft Azure AD environment, security, being able to log in the 'Hello' service.

How has it helped my organization?

In my small development environment, speed and security are important, we actually make use of the Microsoft's Edge browser -- which is getting better with each update. Simplified management of Windows 10 machines is also nice.

What needs improvement?

Intrusive 'You have updates' notification can be annoying -- as it blocks the middle of the screen, but this can be turned off.

When setting a new machine up, users should be given a bit more of information in regards to creating a Microsoft account vs a local account, as being unaware of this can cause a user some confusion down the track if they install an application that needs 'local' user credentials to function.

For how long have I used the solution?

Since it was released.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

No, Windows 10 has deployed onto legacy systems fine.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Very stable, Haven't had any issues with instability whatsoever.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Being a Desktop operating system, scalability is really a function of the resources of the desktop or VM it's running in.

I'm on a 16GB system with a 500GB SSD and I can run multiple VM's on VirtualBox, client sessions, multiple displays and so forth without any issues at all.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

Very good, Microsoft makes it easy to get most things set up fairly easily.

Technical Support:

Very high, I had the need to contact Microsoft customer support on a matter, and their engineer was able to remotely assume control of the screen (with my permission and after following instructions) and in a few minutes had resolved the problem.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Windows 7, which had become old, bloated with patches and security updates, and was generally just getting slow.

How was the initial setup?

Very straightforward. So far, the installer has identified all of our hardware and everything is running.

What about the implementation team?

In-house.

What was our ROI?

Difficult to calculate, improved efficiency, less time to get things done, less downtime...can't put an exact dollar amount on it, but our environment is more efficient with Windows 10 installed.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

I can't see any reason why anyone would want to downgrade a new machine (if that's even possible now) to Windows 7...

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We looked at Remaining on Windows 7, but decided we would make the move to Windows 10.

What other advice do I have?

TEST your applications, especially legacy applications. Most things work just fine on Windows 10, but very old applications that may have just worked under windows 7 may encounter problems.

If that's the case and there's an application you absolutely must have, then consider setting up a dedicated VM with Windows 7 on it just for that application or look at replacing the ancient software.

We only had one old 90's era application that wouldn't run on Windows 10, so we just replaced it and dealt with the change.

The benefits of moving to Windows 10 far outweigh the costs of replacing some old applications (that are probably no longer supported and may have serious security issues).

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
Manager IT at a energy/utilities company with 51-200 employees
Vendor
Top 5
Work Folder Synchronization provides offline synchronization of users’ data whether it resides in a desktop, laptop or hand-held device.

What is most valuable?

Work Folder Synchronization: This feature provides offline synchronization of users’ data whether it resides in a desktop, laptop or hand-held device. It also facilitates the BYOD policy if implemented in the company. Its single point of access provides users access to files in online and offline mode with convenience. When the device is connected to the network, data is synched to the storage point as per policies set by the user. The procurement department uses this feature for their purchase-related documents that are shared within department.

Storage Tiering and Pinning: This feature is designed by keeping the data usage frequency in mind. Data that is accessed frequently is stored on a faster hard drive by the operating system. Suppose if you have SSD and SATA or other type of drives, the system will move frequently accessed data to SSD.

What needs improvement?

Performance-related defaults should be set according to role of the server. Windows 2012 provides a thumbnail view of different roles that a server is configured for. Click on any role, check the event, services and log data for quick review and solution of any issue. These thumbnails of installed roles are pre-configured and disturbing them is not recommended. If any issue with the installed role is detected, the affected part is highlighted with a red-colored font.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using it for about one year.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I have not encountered any stability issues at all.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I have not encountered any scalability issues at all.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is good.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We were using Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2008. We were upgrading our hardware, so decided to upgrade the OS version as well.

How was the initial setup?

Initial setup went through very smoothly.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Licensing is a complex issue when it comes to Microsoft. Read all the detail and assess your requirements before finalizing any licensing option.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Before choosing this product, I did not evaluate other options.

What other advice do I have?

Plan according to your environment.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Buyer's Guide
Download our free Windows Server Report and get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions.
Updated: April 2022
Buyer's Guide
Download our free Windows Server Report and get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions.