Windows Server 2008 analysis.

Windows Server 2008 comes in several major editions derived from the same code base. The most important differences among editions are in the number of processors, amount of physical memory, and high-availability features supported.

Windows Server 2008 Datacenter

This is the ultimate operating system when it comes Windows Server 2008. It delivers an enterprise-class platform for deploying business-critical applications and large-scale virtualization on small and large servers. Improve availability with clustering and dynamic hardware partitioning capabilities. Reduce infrastructure costs by consolidating applications with unlimited virtualization licensing rights. Scale from 2 to 64 processors. Windows Server 2008 Datacenter provides a foundation on which to build enterprise-class virtualization and scale-up solutions.

Windows Server 2008 Enterprise

Windows Server 2008 Enterprise delivers an enterprise-class platform for deploying business-critical applications. Help improve availability with clustering and hot-add processor capabilities. Help improve security with consolidated identity management features. Reduce infrastructure costs by consolidating applications with virtualization licensing rights. Windows Server 2008 Enterprise provides the foundation for a highly dynamic, scalable IT infrastructure.

Windows Server 2008 Standard

Windows Server 2008 Standard is the most robust Windows Server operating system to date. With built-in, enhanced Web and virtualization capabilities, it is designed to increase the reliability and flexibility of your server infrastructure while helping save time and reduce costs. Powerful tools give you greater control over your servers, and streamline configuration and management tasks. Plus, enhanced security features work to harden the operating system to help protect your data and network and provide a solid, highly dependable foundation for your business.

Windows Server 2008 Foundation

Windows Server Foundation provides organizations with a foundation to run most business applications. It’s an affordable platform for the core portfolio of IT capabilities, including file and print sharing, remote access and security features. A familiar Windows experience makes it easy for organizations to get up and running. As the heart of a true local area network, Windows Server Foundation lets employees exchange data very securely, without requiring email or the Internet. An easy upgrade path to higher-end versions of Windows Server allows your IT solution to grow as your business grows.

Windows Web Server 2008

Windows Web Server 2008 is designed to be used specifically as a single-purpose Web server, and delivers on a rock-solid foundation of Web infrastructure capabilities in the next-generation Windows Server 2008. Integrated with the newly re-architected IIS 7.0, ASP.NET, and the Microsoft .NET Framework, Windows Web Server 2008 enables any organization to rapidly deploy Web pages, Web sites, Web applications, and Web services.

Windows HPC Server 2008

Windows HPC Server 2008, the next generation of high-performance computing (HPC), provides enterprise-class tools for a highly productive HPC environment. Windows HPC Server 2008 can efficiently scale to thousands of processing cores and includes management consoles that help you to proactively monitor and maintain system health and stability. Job scheduling interoperability and flexibility enables integration between Windows and Linux based HPC platforms, and supports batch and service oriented application (SOA) workloads.

The Table below shows the comparison of these Server Editions


Windows Server 2008 Standard Edition

Windows Server 2008 Enterprise Edition

Windows Server 2008 Datacenter Edition
Supersedes Windows Server 2003 R2 Standard Edition

Windows Server 2003 R2 Standard x64 Edition

Windows Server 2003 R2 Enterprise Edition

Windows Server 2003 R2 Enterprise x64 Edition

Windows Server 2003 R2 Datacenter Edition

Windows Server 2003 R2 Datacenter x64 Edition

Hyper-V virtualization technology Included1 Included1 Included1
OS instances permitted per server license One physical instance plus one virtual instance2 One physical instance and up to 4 virtual instances2 Unlimited number of OS instances
Maximum server RAM supported 3 32-bit: 4GB

64-bit: 32GB

32-bit: 64GB

64-bit: 2TB

32-bit: 64GB

64-bit: 2TB

Maximum number of CPUs 4 8 64
Hot swap RAM and CPUs No No4 Yes
Cluster Service (failover) No Yes, up to 16 nodes per cluster Yes, up to 16 nodes per cluster
Terminal Server Yes5 Yes Yes
Network Access Protection Yes6 Yes Yes
U.S. estimated retail price 7 US$800 per server

(US$772 without Hyper-V)

US$3,000 per server

(US$2,972 without Hyper-V)

US$3,000 per processor

(US$2,972 per processor without Hyper-V)

CALs or External Connector required 8 Yes Yes Yes

1 Windows Server 2008 Standard, Enterprise, and Datacenter are also offered in “without Hyper-V” editions that do not include the hypervisor technology.

2 When customers exercise the maximum number of OS instances permitted by the server license, the physical OS instance may not be used to run any workload beyond hosting the virtual machines.

3 A single package contains both 32-bit and 64-bit versions. The server license grants the customer the option to use either the 32-bit version or the 64-bit version of the software.

4 Supports hot addition of memory, but not hot replacement of memory, nor hot add or replacement of processors.

5 Use of Windows Server 2008’s new Terminal Services Gateway capability is limited to 250 connections.

6 Includes restrictions limiting scalability.

7 Volume licensing customers typically receive additional discounts of 10% to 30%.

8 Client Access Licenses (CALs) retail for US$40 apiece but are offered to volume customers for as much as 50% off. External Connectors are available only via volume licensing programs. Pricing for an External Connector starts at approximately US$1,800 in the least-discounted programs.