Microsoft Windows Server 2008 Overview


Windows Server 2008 is one of Microsoft Windows' server line of operating systems. Released to manufacturing on 04 Feb. 2008, and officially  released on 27 Feb. 2008, it is the successor to Windows Server 2003, released nearly five years earlier. A second release, named Windows Server 2008 R2, was released to manufacturing on22 July 2009. Like Windows Vista and Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 is built on Windows NT  6.x.
Release date           RTM: February 4, 2008;
                                   Retail: February 27, 2008
Current version     Windows Server 2008 Service Pack 2
                                   (Build 6002.18005.090410-1830),
                                   Windows Server 2008
                                   (Build 7600.16385.090713-1255
                                   (July 22, 2009; 15 months ago)
Source model        Closed source / Shared source
License                    MS-EULA
Kernel type              Hybrid
Update method      Windows Update, Windows Server Update Services, SCCM
Platform support    IA-32, x86-64, IA-64

Windows Server 2008 is built from the same code base as Windows Vista; therefore, it shares much of the same architecture and functionality. Since the code base is common, it automatically comes with most of the technical, security, management and administrative features new to Windows Vista such as the rewritten networking stack (native IPv6, native wireless, speed and security improvements); improved image-based installation, deployment and recovery; improved diagnostics, monitoring, event logging and reporting tools; new security features such as Bit Locker and ASLR; improved Windows Firewall with secure default configuration; .NET Framework 3.0technologies, specifically Windows Communication Foundation, Microsoft Message Queuing and Windows Workflow Foundation; and the core kernel, memory and file system improvements. Processors and memory devices are modeled as Plug and Play devices, to allow hot-plugging of these devices. This allows the system resources to be partitioned dynamically using Dynamic Hardware Partitioning; each partition has its own memory, processor and I/O host bridge devices independent of other partitions.

  • Server Core
  • Active Directory roles
  • Failover Clustering
  • Self-healing NTFS
  • Hyper-V
  • Windows System Resource Manager
  • Server Manager
  • Other features
  • Core OS improvements
  • Active Directory improvements
  • Policy related improvements
  • Disk management and file storage improvements
  • Protocol and cryptography improvements
  • Improvements due to client-side (Windows Vista) enhancements
  • Miscellaneous improvements
Editions Most editions of Windows Server 2008 are available in x86-64 (64-bit) and x86 (32-bit) versions. Windows Server 2008 for Itanium-based Systems supports IA-64 processors. Microsoft has optimized the IA-64 version for high-workload scenarios like database servers and Line of Business (LOB) applications. As such it is not optimized for use as a file server or media server. Microsoft has announced that Windows Server 2008 is the last 32-bit Windows server operating system. Windows Server 2008 is available in the editions listed below, similar to Windows Server 2003.
  • Windows Server 2008 Standard (x86 and x86-64)
  • Windows Server 2008 Enterprise (x86 and x86-64)
  • Windows Server 2008 Datacenter (x86 and x86-64)
  • Windows HPC Server 2008 (Codenamed "Socrates") (replacing Windows Compute Cluster Server 2003)
  • Windows Web Server 2008 (x86 and x86-64)
  • Windows Storage Server 2008 (Codenamed "Magni") (x86 and x86-64)
  • Windows Small Business Server 2008 (Codenamed "Cougar") (x86-64) for small businesses
  • Windows Essential Business Server 2008 (Codenamed "Centro") (x86-64) for medium-sized businesses
  • Windows Server 2008 for Itanium-based Systems
  • Windows Server 2008 Foundation (Codenamed "Lima")
System requirements

Minimum for Windows Server 2008

Recommended for Windows Server 2008

Minimum for Windows Server 2008 R2

Recommended for Win. Server 2008 R2


1 GHz (x86) or 1.4 GHz (x64) or Intel Itanium2

2 GHz or faster

1.4 GHz (x64 processor) or Intel Itanium 2


512 MB RAM (may limit performance and some features)

1) 2 GB RAM or higher

Maximum (32-bit systems): 4 GB RAM (Standard) or 64 GB RAM (Ent,Datacenter)

2) Maximum (64-bit systems): 8 GB (Foundation) or 32 GB RAM (Standard) or 2 TB RAM (Enterprise, Datacenter and Itanium-Based Systems)

512 MB RAM

Maximum: 8 GB (Foundation) or 32 GB (Standard) or 2 TB (Enterprise, Datacenter, and Itanium-Based Systems)

Video adapter & monitor

Super VGA (800 x 600)

Super VGA (800 x 600) or higher resolution

Super VGA (800 x 600)

Super VGA (800 x 600) or higher resolution

Hard drive disk free space

1) 10 GB      or

2) Minimum (32-bit systems): 20 GB or greater

Minimum (64-bit systems): 32 GB or greater Foundation: 10 GB or greater.

3) Computers with more than 16 GB of RAM require more disk space for paging , hibernation, and dump files

40  GB or higher

1) 32 GB or greater

2) Foundation: 10 GB or greater

3) Computers with more than 16 GB of RAM will require more disk space for paging, hibernation, and dump files




Super VGA (800 x 600) or higher-resolution monitor, keyboard and mouse