What is our primary use case?
We use Windows Server to host all of our Windows-specific applications, such as Active Directory. We also use it for our systems that are running Microsoft SQL Server, since it used to be dependent on Windows. That is no longer necessary because we have an option to run it on Linux, as well.
Our infrastructure includes systems from Microsoft, Linux, and IBM.
How has it helped my organization?
Windows Server is well-integrated into what we do. It even integrates well with remote working tools like Teams.
What is most valuable?
The most valuable feature is Active Directory.
Microsoft Exchange is very valuable for us.
I am quite satisfied with the user interface.
Recently, they added a new terminal window where you can SSH into Linux machines easily. The Linux packages that are now installed with the Microsoft Store can support a miniature version of Ubuntu and Linux integration tools. When installed, it can easily connect remotely to other operating systems.
What needs improvement?
Better integration with more platforms would be useful.
For how long have I used the solution?
I have been using Windows Server for perhaps 15 years.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
It is easy to scale up and scale down Microsoft products. Expanding can be done by adding more servers, or just adding resources to a single server. For example, if I want more processing power then I can add RAM or upgrade the CPU. Then if the load on a single server becomes overwhelming then more nodes can be added.
Another case where adding more nodes is done is to have replication between data centers for Exchange or Active Directory.
We have approximately 2,000 users that access their email and we plan to continue using it in the future.
How are customer service and technical support?
Once in a while, we contact Microsoft for support on the product and they have responded well. There have been cases where the problem is too complicated to easily correct over the phone, so they sent a local technical from their support team to assist us in troubleshooting.
Overall, I would say that the support is quite good.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
We have always used Windows Server, although, with respect to email and Exchange, we switched to Windows from another product.
How was the initial setup?
Setting up Windows Server is quite straightforward and easy to follow, compared to other operating systems. The GUI makes it very easy to install both the operating system and applications.
The length of time required for deployment depends on the applications that are running. In most cases, we're deploying a single application and it will take perhaps a day or two. If we are deploying infrastructure like Exchange then it may take a week or two weeks to set up the whole Exchange infrastructure.
What about the implementation team?
We used a local Microsoft certified consultant to assist us in setting up our servers. We had internal skills as well, so it was quite easy to follow.
We have a team of ten system administrators who handle maintenance, although they are not specific to Windows Server. Rather, they take care of all of the products in our data center. Given that we also have Linux and IBM infrastructure, I would say that we have three personnel who take care of our Microsoft systems.
What other advice do I have?
This is quite a good product and one that I recommend. I wouldn't recommend anything that does not integrate well with remote working tools, as most people are now working remotely. We are able to manage our systems from home.
Overall, deployment is quite straightforward, the technical support is quite good, and we are happy with the product. That said, nothing is perfect.
I would rate this solution an eight out of ten.
Which deployment model are you using for this solution?