Microsoft develops something bigger than that Windows 7 or 8 that powers your laptop. From the same technology giant that created the world’s most used operating system comes the Windows Server. The Windows Server is Microsoft’s own brand of server operating systems, all composing the Microsoft Servers. Still confused?

Your computer versus the server computer

Let us use this analogy: if your computer serves only you, a server computer “serves” other computers. It is essentially a computer for others, which explains the name. The server computer runs on a computer program that basically fulfills the requests of other programs such as HTML pages or files through a local or remote network.

Microsoft’s Windows Server runs these administrative tasks for a large population of datacenters, small businesses, and different organizations worldwide. Since its birth, the Windows Server has arrived in several versions, listed below from the first to the most recent:

  • Windows 2000 Server (February 2000)
  • Windows Server 2003 (April 2003)
  • Windows Server 2003 R2 (December 2005)
  • Windows Server 2008 (February 2008)
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 (July 2009)
  • Windows Server 2012 (September 2012)
  • Windows Server 2012 R2 (TBA)
  • Others: Windows Server Essentials (formerly Windows Small Business Server) and Windows Essential Business Server (discontinued)

What can your Windows Server do for you?

The Windows Server delivers several functions, which you can read below:

  • Returning a list of local disk drives on a server
  • Listing all visible servers of a particular type or types in a specified domain
  • Returning configuration information about a specified server
  • Setting the operating parameters for a server

As with most applications, only a user defined with administration functions can serve these administrative tasks to control Microsoft Server’s operation, user access, and resource sharing. Although local workstations can also be used, majority of management functions can only be done on a remote server.

What is Windows Server 2012 R2?

Like most if not all technology products, the Windows Server has undergone its fair share of evolution. Its most recent, upcoming version is the Windows Server 2012 R2, and of course is plugged as the best to exceed its predecessors. What can this version do for you?

  • Server Virtualization – Windows Server 2012 R2 comes with what they call Hyper-V, a virtualization platform that allows businesses of all scales and sizes to realize both dollar savings and operational efficiency in their critical tasks.
  • VDI – Virtual Desktop Infrastructure or VDI actually allows employees to use their mobile devices to boost their productivity without the worries of device compatibility and security issues.
  • Networking – Windows Server 2012 makes it convenient for businesses to manage an entire network as easy as if they were managing only a single server. This allows these businesses to take full and easy control of new technologies available such as mobile workforces and cloud computing.
  • Access and Information Protection – Access and security are easily the more recognizable problems in any technology used. Windows Server 2012 answers these important concerns through new capabilities such as an enhanced Active Directory and new deployment options for Direct Access. These improvements allow businesses to better manage the protection of their data access, user identities, and deployment of data and information.
  • Storage – Windows Server 2012 realizes the key importance of storage for a business, and has made improvements on its storage functions such as stack up, provisioning, clustering, transferring, and accessing the data.
  • Server Management and Automation – Windows Server 2012 makes it easy for businesses by installing new management capabilities such as the use of a single interface in connecting to many machines.
  • Web and Application Platform – Windows Server 2012 comes with already a wide array of applications ready for use.

Similar to other Microsoft products, the Windows Server promises to be economical as well as user-friendly with reliable customer after sales support. Its price starts at $501 and differs according to its edition and desired purpose.