What is Windows Server Hosting?
Windows Server Hosting is a type hosting where the server hosting the website is operating with a Windows Server operating System. A Windows Server is basically a more powerful version of their Windows Desktop Operating systems counterparts and is designed for a more efficient handling of networking, internet and intranet hosting, enterprise-scale messaging and database handling. It is intended to provide services that are server-oriented like hosting a website, user management functions, resource management functions as well as security and authorization and messaging.
Windows Server has already released a number of versions of the operating system such as
Windows Server 2003, released on April of 2003 and was followed by its successor Windows Server 2003 R2 that was released on December 2005. By the month February of 2008, Microsoft released Windows Server 2008, which followed closely by Windows Server 2008 R2, released a year later. The latest release, the server version of Windows 8, was called Windows Server 2012 R2 and was released on October of 2013. It was the successor of Windows Server 2012 that was released on September of2012, the server version of Windows 7. Microsoft also released the Windows Server Essentials, also known as Windows Small Business Server, and the Windows Essential Business Server, which included a Windows Server operating system among other Microsoft Server products.
What are the features of a Windows Server?
Windows Server brings a lot of features that should be beneficial to its users. Some of these features are as follows:
- Work Folders – enables its users to have access to their data through replication of all user data to corporate file servers.
- Tiered Storage Spaces – provide greater performance and scalability as well as allowing a mix of SSD and HDD in a single space.
- Built in Site-to-Site Virtual Private Network gateway.
- The ability to graphically create a 3-way mirrored virtual disk on its storage space.
- in-box iSCSI target which is able to leverage VHDX, allowing larger LUNs.
- IPAM support for virtualized environments – provide consistent IP management experience.
- PowerShell Desired State Configuration (DSC) extensions – ensure that components of the data center have the correct configuration.
- Thin Provisioning feature on Windows Storage System – allows clients start small and let your storage grown as needed thus reducing storage waste as well as effectively eliminating wasted and unused storage spaces.
- Dynamic NIC Teaming – allows better granular balancing of flowlets; for optimal performance and better management and utilization of available resources.
- Diskless Boot feature – allows clients to boot across the network, eliminating the need for hard disk space within the server saving much needed storage space and ease in management.
- Hyper-V – supports importing and/or exporting virtual machines (VMs) between Windows Server and can handle live migrations.
What are benefits of Windows Server hosting?
Windows Server, being designed to give its clients with a hassle-free, optimal hosting experience, should be able to give its clients with a lot of benefits. Among these benefits that you should expect to enjoy are:
- Windows Server is an open server platform and all-encompassing which should give you a big leverage in terms of supporting a large number of applications and solutions, as well as support for hardware and software.
- It is designed for heavy and enterprise-level workloads which should enable you to enjoy fast and powerful performance despite the mission-critical workloads.
- With Windows Server 2012 R2, you have in your possession one of the most power-efficient server available to date.
- Its Hyper-V feature allows you to enjoy the power of a complete virtualization platform.
- Its PowerShell feature allows you to enjoy full customization and automated management capacilities.
- Some of the more common advantages are:
- It allows you to use Active Server Pages (ASP), which is used to develop a database-driven website using Microsoft Access and Microsoft SQL;
- Microsoft has a superb support system which continuously gives you support and updates directly from Microsoft itself, and not from third-parties;
- It is more comfortable to use because of your familiarity with Windows;
- It allows you to develop a website which uses familiar Microsoft interfaces such as Microsoft Frontpage, Microsoft Access and Visual Interdev;
- You will have peace of mind as Windows Server is a stable and reliable operating system;
- You have the option to install only what you need and exclude or remove those that you don’t need, greatly reducing hard disk and memory requirements;
What are the drawbacks of using Windows Server?
Like any other platforms, Windows Servers has its own share of drawbacks. Some of its noted drawbacks are as follows:
- Unlike its UNIX/Linux counterpart, Windows Server needs more system resources to operate which means that you need a more powerful machine in order to run Windows Server;
- Some users complained that operating Windows Server requires more frequent rebooting;
- There may be a need to invest more money as you need to spend for the development tools which are mostly Microsoft products as well as pay for the licenses.
Is Windows Server Hosting a good choice?
Despite the number of drawbacks the Windows Server hosting brings, the fact is that the benefits that it brings far outweigh the number of drawbacks, which means that Windows Server hosting is a very good hosting platform for a website. However, the decision whether it is a good choice for you or not lies upon your needs and requirements. One tip in choosing whether Windows or UNIX is the language that you used to build your site, as each has its preferred language.