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Choosing Windows 2003 for Web Hosting

Shortly after Microsoft launched its latest web server on April 24, 2003, the Windows 2003 server, it won an e-week award in the e-business foundation category. Touting improved security features due to its IIS 6.0 server shipped with it, the Windows 2003 server claims to be faster and more reliable as well. Its cost saving/productivity enhancing benefits make it better suited as a deployment platform target. With great anticipation from the web hosting community, it is now available to both small and larger businesses. Hosting companies can begin offering it to their clients as an option.

The Windows 2003 Server is a multi-purpose operating system, which handles a diverse set of server roles depending on business needs. It does this in a centralized or distributive manner. Powerful tools for management and administration to maximize productivity are at the core of the design. It helps to build a secure IT infrastructure that provides:

1.      A powerful application platform and quickly builds connected solutions

2.      An information worker infrastructure for enhanced communication & collaboration

 Various design elements are offered in the Windows 2003 Server, each designed for a specific purpose and targeting a specific business segment. Customers can now choose from the following versions:

          Standard Edition

         Web Server Edition

         Enterprise Edition

         Data Center Edition

         Small Business Edition

Standard Edition

 The Standard Edition of Windows 2003 Server was designed to assist businesses with their departmental and standard workloads. This version delivers support for file and printer sharing and offers Internet connectivity that is more secure.

Enterprise Edition

 The Enterprise Edition was designed for more specific needs of larger businesses. This version offers higher performance and supports high performance servers. It offers clustering of servers for handling greater loads.

Data Center Edition

 The Data Center Edition offers customers the ability to deploy high-end hardware that is used on “business critical” and “mission critical” applications where the highest level of scalability and availability are required. Supports server consolidation as well.

Small Business Edition

The Small Business Edition of Windows 2003 Server allows small businesses to get 20% more of their tasks done every day. It enables the customer to reach customers faster and to server them better. Business information is fully protected and a “Windows Server Network” can be set up rather quickly. Centralized “desk-top” application deployment is a key feature.

Web Server Edition

 

The Web Server Edition was designed to be a “single purpose solution” for Internet Service Providers, application developers and to those looking to deploy specific web functionality. It is targeting low-end and entry-level web host environments. Specific web functionality deployment is the underlying feature, by providing a specific platform for deploying web services and applications with ease. Day-to-day needs of the average were in mind during development.  No Client Access Licensees (CAL’s) are required and the cost is significantly lower that other versions being offered.

Security

Microsoft claims that the Windows 2003 Server is shipped secure. They are making this claim because of the introduction and migration of a new version of IIS (Internet Information Server), IIS 6.0. The reason for the heightened sense of security is because in default configuration, IIS is disabled, securing the software. Web hosting companies must turn on the server to serve web pages for their clients. The big question is if the software will still be secure once the web server is turned on. It is a question that the computer industry as a whole is waiting to be answered.

 
     
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