Windows Server 2003 R2

Windows Server 2003 R2 is an improved version of Windows Server 2003 that was released in December 2005, but older users are not free to update to the new version, but require a paid update. However, R2 is currently on the market. In addition to Win2K3 SP1, the content of R2 has another CD, which contains more new features.

Windows Server 2003 is a server oriented operating system developed by Microsoft. Introduced on April 24, 2003 as the successor to Windows 2000 Server, it is considered by Microsoft to be the cornerstone of the Windows Server System professional server product line. An evolved version titled Windows Server 2003 R2 was finalized on December 6, 2005. Its successor, Windows Server 2008, was released on February 4, 2008. The July 14, 2015, Microsoft stops supporting it, which means stopping the release of security patches, and encourages migration to Windows Server 2012 R2.

According to Microsoft, Windows Server 2003 is more scalable and provides better performance than its Windows 2000 Server predecessor.

Service Pack 2 (SP2)

On March 12, 2007, Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2 was released. This SP2 is intended as an update for Windows Server 2003 R2, in turn an update of the original Server 2003 that Microsoft released in December 2005. However, this service pack is installed both on R2 versions of the system and on the original version.

Among the novelties that we can find in this Service Pack we highlight:

  • Microsoft Management Console (MMC) 3.0, which makes the process of creating group policies (policy) introduced in the previous service pack, something more intuitive and manageable.
  • Windows Deployment Services in substitution of Remote Installation Services for the realization of remote installations of the system (without being in front of the computer in which it is going to be installed or having the DVD of the system in the reader of this one).
  • Scalable Networking Pack (SNP) allows you to scale corporate networks (grow them and control such growth in the direction we want) to meet the growing demands for bandwidth by some specific applications.
  • The wireless network connection client now supports WPA2 authentication.
  • It includes all security updates and patches released to date.

This service pack can now be downloaded for installation or in an ISO image format to burn to CD or DVD for 32-bit and 64-bit platforms. The Technical Support for this Service Pack will end 12 or 24 months after the next Service Pack, or when the product life cycle ends, whichever comes first.

New features of R2

Windows Server 2003 R2, an update of Windows Server 2003, was released in RTM on December 6, 2005. It is distributed in 2 CDs, including a CD that corresponds to the Windows Server 2003 SP1 installation CD. The second CD adds several optional and installable features to Windows Server 2003. The R2 update is available for x86 (32-bit) and x64 (64-bit) versions, but not for Itanium-based versions.

  • Branch office server management
    • File and printer central management tool
    • Enhanced Distributed File System (DFS) namespace management interface
    • More efficient WAN data replication using remote differential compression
  • Identity and rights management
    • External network single sign-on and identity federation
    • Centralized management of application access to the external network
    • Automatically disable external network access based on Active Directory account information
    • User access log
    • Cross-platform web single sign-on and password synchronization using Network Information Service (NIS)
  • Storage management
    • File utilization reporting
    • Enhanced quota management
  • virtual server
    • New copyright agreement allows up to 4 virtual instances (in Enterprise and above)
  • UNIX-based add-on utilities and development tools provide a relatively complete Unix development environment.
    • Basic utility
    • SVR-5 utility
    • Basic development tools
    • GNU development tools
    • GNU utility
    • UNIX Perl
    • Visual Studio Debugger add-on
  • Integrated Print Manager: For businesses that need to manage a large number of printers, the new plug-in allows administrators to manage all of the printers in the company and their respective print jobs on a single screen.


  • Windows Server 2003 Standard Edition retails for 999.00 USD, including five Active Directory. Customers can also by the original manufacturers OEM and volume licensing is acquired.
  • The 32-bit version of Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Edition retails for $3,999.00, including 25 Active Directory, customers can also get it through OEM OEM and volume licensing. As for the 64-bit version of Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Edition, it can only be obtained through OEM and volume licensing.
  • The Open NL for Windows Server 2003 Web Edition is priced at $399 and does not require client access authorization. This version is not available in retail and is available only through OEM and volume licensing.
  • Windows Server 2003 Data Center Edition must be obtained by OEM, regardless of whether it is a 32-bit version or a 64-bit version. Therefore, there is no concept of "selling price".

Windows Storage Server

Windows Storage Server 2003, a member of the Windows Server 2003 series, is an operating system that specializes in Network Attached Storage (NAS). It is optimized for use in file and printer sharing and also in Storage Area Network (SAN) architectures. This edition is only available through reseller through the purchase of specific hardware (OEMs). Unlike other editions of Windows Server 2003 that provide file and printer sharing features, Windows Storage 2003 Server does not require a CAL.

Windows Storage 2003 Server NAS devices can be headless, which means they are without a screen, keyboard, and mouse, and are managed remotely. Such devices are connected to any existing IP network and the storage spaces are made available to all users. Windows Storage 2003 Server can use RAID cluster technology to provide data redundancy, fault tolerance, and high performance. Multiple NAS servers can be clustered to appear as a single storage location. This allows for great performance as well as keeping the storage service available even if one of the member servers goes down.

Windows Storage 2003 Server can also be used to create a Storage Area Network (SAN), where data is transferred in blocks rather than files, providing more granularity to the data that can be transferred. This provides greater performance for databases and transactional applications. Windows Storage 2003 Server also allows NAS storage to be attached to a SAN.

Windows Storage 2003 Server R2 is a follow-up to Windows Storage 2003 Server and provides File Server performance optimization, Single Instance Storage (SIS), and index-based search functionality.

Single instance storage (SIS) scans storage volumes for duplicate files, and moves these duplicates to a common SIS repository. The files on the volumes are replaced by a link to the SIS file. This replacement reduces the amount of storage space required by up to 70%.

Windows Storage Server R2 provides a full-text search engine based on an index whose indexing engine is native to Windows server. The updated search engine speeds searches indexed to network shares. Storage Server R2 also offers the ability to apply filters to search multiple standard file formats such as .zip, AutoCAD, XML, MP3, and .pdf, and all Microsoft Office file formats.

Windows Storage 2003 Server R2 includes native support for Windows SharePoint Services and Microsoft Office SharePoint Portal Server 2003, and adds the Storage Management snap- in to the Microsoft Management Console. It can be used to centrally manage storage volumes, including DFS shares, from a Windows Storage Server R2 server.

Windows Storage Server R2 can be used as an iSCSI mount with Windows Storage Server R2 standard and enterprise editions, incorporating the iSCSI WinTarget technology that Microsoft acquired in 2006 through the StringBean software. This is an additional feature available for purchase through OEM partners as an "iSCSI Feature Pack", or it is built into some WSS versions configured by OEMs.

Datacenter Edition

Windows Server 2003 Datacenter Edition is intended for infrastructures requiring high security and high reliability. It is available in x86 32-bit, Itanium, and x64 versions. It supports a minimum of eight processors and a maximum of 64 processors; however, it is limited to 32 processors when running on a 32-bit architecture. 32-bit architectures also limit memory addressing to 4 GB, while the 64-bit version supports up to 16 TB of memory. Windows Server 2003 Datacenter Edition also allows you to limit processor and memory usage in "per application" mode.

Windows Server 2003 Datacenter Edition also supports Non-Uniform Memory Access. If the hardware supports it and with the help of the hardware firmware, Windows creates a Static Resource Affinity Table that defines the system's NUMA topology. Windows then uses this table to optimize memory access and provides a NUMA link to applications, increasing the efficiency of process planning and memory management.

Windows Server 2003 Datacenter Edition benefits from better Storage Area Network (SAN) support. It has a service that uses Windows sockets to simulate TCP/IP communications to a SAN provider, allowing access to a SAN through a TCP/IP tunnel. With this, any application that can communicate over TCP/IP can use a SAN without modifying the application.

Windows Server 2003 Datacenter Edition also supports eight-node clusters. The clustering increases availability and server installations fault tolerance by distributing and replicating services on the nodes. Windows supports clustering with each cluster with its own storage space, or all clusters attached to a common Storage Area Network (SAN), which can run on Windows as well as on a non-Windows operating system. The SAN can also be interconnected to other servers.

Windows Compute Cluster Server

Windows Compute Cluster Server 2003 (CCS) released in June 2006, is intended for applications requiring very high performance computing servers. It is intended to be deployed on a large number of servers being clustered and thus able to perform high-speed calculations. Each Compute Cluster server network consists of at least one master management node and subnodes of operations that do most of the work.

Computer Cluster Server uses Microsoft Messaging Passing Interface v2 (MS-MPI) technology to communicate between the compute nodes on the cluster network. It links the nodes together with a powerful inter-processing communication mechanism that can be complex because of communications between hundreds, or thousands of processors working in parallel.

The application programming interface consists of more than 160 functions. A job executor allows users to perform jobs on the compute cluster. MS MPI has been designed to be compatible with the MPI2 open source reference specification which is widely used in High Performance Computing (HPC) systems. With some exceptions ready because of security aspects, MS MPI covers all the features of the MPI2 implemented in MPICH2, except for the upcoming functionality of publication and management of dynamic processes.

Editions of Storage Server 2003

Windows Unified Data Storage Server is a version of Windows Storage 2003 Server R2 that includes standard iSCSI mount point support, available only with standard and enterprise editions.

Microsoft defines a CPU/physical processor as a single socket/node on the motherboard. For operating system licensing issues, a single-core dual-socket processor (Intel Pentium/4 Xeon, AMD Athlon/64) counts for 2 processors, while a single-socket quad-core CPU (such as AMD Barcelona and Intel Core 2 Quad) counts for a single processor. Microsoft's policy does not care how third-party publishers (such as Oracle) manage their processor licensing mode for their application server.

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Windows Server 2003 R2
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