Jul
31

Windows 2008 R2 Web Edition

 Software
Windows 2003 Server Web Edition was really limited in what it was licensed to do.  Essentially it limited you to using the server as a web server.  By not allowing you to run any of the server services, it prevented you from installing enterprise applications and limited the hardware specifications.  The biggest limitation was the inability to install SQL Server. 
 
If you ran Windows 2003 Server Web Edition, you were limited to SQL Server Express (unless you wanted to install an open source alternative or hack the OS).  I think Microsoft made a huge mistake there, many web applications require some kind of database backend.  Most web sites (even ones that get a decent amount of traffic: top 20,000 worldwide) can be run from a single server.  Furthermore, any web application worth its weight usually is dynamic and has some kind of backend database. If Windows 2008 Server Web Edition were the same, then this was obviously not an option for most deployments.
 
Windows 2008 Server Web Edition is different than its 2003 counterpart.  While the 2008 Web Edition still had the hardware/service limitations, the OS did eliminate the big limitation of not being able to install SQL Server on the OS (SQL Server Enterprise editions still do require a higher version of Windows 2008 Server).  The Windows 2008 Server Web Edition does support a decent amount of RAM (32 Gig on x64 hardware) and allows you to run on a max of 4 processors (which is definitely a fairly decent server) this is equivalent to the Windows 2008 Server Standard Edition.  Therefore, Windows 2008 Server Web Edition is actually a pretty good equivalent to Windows 2003 Server Standard as a web server.
 
I have heard many people say you cannot use RDP to manage the server which has turned out to be false as well. You can see by this comparison there are 2 administrator connections the same as in the past.