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Nehad Elkordi
IT Manager at Rashideen Egypt For Trade
Real User
Top 5
Great efficiency and performance, however the GUI needs to be worked on

Pros and Cons

  • "I'm using all the features within it and find them all quite helpful."
  • "Overall, from a security perspective, Microsoft needs to improve."

What is our primary use case?

It's a platform, so it brings on a system for the servers themselves. I have multiple services running over Microsoft Servers, for example.SAP, Exchange . All of my services already running are running over this platform.

I also using it occasionally for application access.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable aspect of the solution is its operating system. It's just like Linux or UNIX. 

I'm using all the features within it and find them all quite helpful.

I love using it for the DHCP server, DNS services, and using a computer to map sites on our domain.

What needs improvement?

The security should be improved, specifically from port security & Allowed protocols,The improvement should retire all marked ports & protocols as a security breach to enhance platform risks & stability . 

Overall, from a security perspective, Microsoft needs to improve.

The Server platform GUI seems to take up a lot of resources unnecessarily.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for twenty plus years for now.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

While the solution hasn't always been stable, starting from the 2012 version, it's increasingly gotten more stable.

Since the 2012 version, we find it to be quite stable. The OS between the resources, between applicators, technical support, etc., is all very easy to handle. We don't have issues with it; it seems to be quite reliable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The company here is using this solution. Sometimes it's for remote access, however, even if they don't use it for that, they already using is as it's implemented over the Windows Server.

I'm not sure if we'll be scaling any more as everyone is using it.

How are customer service and technical support?

Registration is very easy, so we didn't need technical support for that aspect of the solution. However, it still requires continual study in order to use everything properly. In terms of speaking with someone directly, I don't have any information about that, and therefore can't comment on the quality of their service.

How was the initial setup?

The initial implementation was not complex. I'd describe the setup as straightforward.

You have to sign off the approach of the planned service, make a timeline, and start to implement a POC. Once you're done with that, you can apply for it online. 

What about the implementation team?

For Microsoft platforms, we have not needed any outside assistance. For the other services, like ERP,  we are already using consultants for implementation.

What other advice do I have?

We're just a customers. We've been using multiple versions of the solution up to the 2016 version.

I would recommend the Microsoft platform and Windows Servers in particular. It's great for implementation into any environment and is easy to use. They have enhanced some security, however, there needs more done in that respect.

That said, from an efficiency, performance, business continuity, and integration standpoint, I'd highly recommend the Microsoft platform. While Linux has a better security layer, if that is your concern, be aware it will require investment in a lot of resources, training. 

I'd rate the solution seven out of ten. To get higher marks, the solution really needs to do something about the GUI & its security, which currently consumes a lot of resources & allowing breaching. 

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Ahmed Kassab
SCADA/EMS System Programmer at GCCIA
Real User
Top 20
User friendly and it's compatible with the scalar product applications

Pros and Cons

  • "User friendly and compatible with the scalar product applications."
  • "Could use more features and more functionality."

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use case is for the SCADA system, for the ITS system, and for the station system. I'm a system programmer and we are customers of Microsoft.

What is most valuable?

The advantage of the product is that it's user friendly, it's compatible with the scalar product applications, it's well known to our own users as well as to our end-user clients. 

What needs improvement?

I'd like to see more features and more functionality to the Microsoft operating system. The solution should be able to connect remotely and create a safer channel between the user and cloud assets, or through the internet. It's one of the biggest challenges we've had this past year. There are a lot of companies competing with each other to apply these features due to the pandemic. 

For additional features, I'd like to see something like third-party applications that would create a hub to receive a connection from outside. It would handle all types of servers to enable remote access for the user from home, so they can safely connect to the system and check in if there is an emergency. You know that the SCADA system is a critical system and you can be considered on-call and notified at any time. It would enable a remote connection rather than the need for long procedures to connect to my network. It could have a third-party authentication so we could connect to the server safely.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've used this product since 2008. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The product is stable with the current application we are using for SCADA but I'm not sure of the impact if you were to use another application or another technology. For the appliances using the firewall, using switches, it's very stable, especially, the critical system which you configure once, and forget about until you need to make another vulnerability scan. For the critical asset, or for the entire system, you'll configure it once, and it's stable. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Sometimes you need a huge number of firewalls to manage all the assets, so scalability depends on the assets you have in your network. In our case we sometimes only connect seven substations, that's three or four firewalls to manage everything. That includes interconnection with the member states, meaning six countries in the Gulf area that will receive information or data from them. The total number of data is very manageable requiring only three or four firewalls. In general, it is scalable and manageable. We have just under 100 users. We have around 10 technical teams in our control center and 10 engineers monitoring the system who deal with admin, modifications and monitoring the system.

How are customer service and technical support?

Any patching is tested in Dubai before applying it to the production system. We have minimal contact with the IT technical team. Given that the system is very stable, we rarely talk to the Microsoft technical team. 

How was the initial setup?

There is usually a factory acceptance test, but because of the pandemic we have an agreement with our vendor for the latest project that we will carry out the merger in Saudi Arabia.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

We're engaged with a reseller who deals with licensing for us. 

What other advice do I have?

I rate this solution a nine out of 10. 

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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Learn what your peers think about Windows Server. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: November 2021.
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LC
Programma / Project Manager at a transportation company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Top 20
Easy to set up, scalable, and secure

Pros and Cons

  • "The solution has a sufficient amount of stability and performance that meets my needs."
  • "The cost to use the solution is quite high."

What is our primary use case?

I primarily use it for my day-to-day business tasks. 

What is most valuable?

As an end-user, the experience of the solution is that it's very reliable. It just works. As long as it doesn't affect my daily operation and we can work safely and securely with each other, that's all I care about.

The solution has a sufficient amount of stability and performance that meets my needs. 

I can work securely and all the files are easily accessible.

The initial setup is very simple and straightforward. 

The scalability potential is quite good. 

What needs improvement?

The cost to use the solution is quite high.

Our main problem is the Citrix environment we're still in. However, we're migrating from that to the Windows 10 environment, so Citrix will be out within two or three years. Therefore,  performance is not really an issue - on the operating system at least. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I've used the solution for more than three years at this point, It's been a while now. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is stable and the performance is good. I've found it to be reliable. It doesn't give me trouble. There are no bugs or glitches. It doesn't crash or freeze. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution can scale if you need it to.

We have about 70,000 users on this product currently.

How are customer service and technical support?

I don't have any experience with technical support. I cannot speak to how helpful or responsive they are. 

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We did not previously use a different solution. It's always been Windows, although we may at some point have also used Unbuntu Linux.

How was the initial setup?

The initial implementation is easy. It's not overly complex or difficult. It's just pushed with the build we have and that way it doesn't affect the end-user. It's just ready to go. We find that the installation is simple and efficient.

While we have a technical team of about 5,000 or 6,000 users, I'm not sure how many were involved in the initial deployment. 

What about the implementation team?

The initial setup was handled internally. They did it themselves. There's sufficient knowledge of the Windows Server products to do it in-house. We have a rather large IT department. It's over 5,000 people.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The pricing is quite high on Microsoft products. It would be ideal if they were made to be more affordable. 

With the magnitude of our organization, every three years, a proper review of the contracts would be handled.

Although it's my understanding that we have some special deal with Microsoft, I cannot speak to the exact cost or the licensing agreement that was reached. 

What other advice do I have?

We are customers and end-users of the product.

In general, if you're asking me if I'm happy with Windows Server, yes, I am.

On a scale from one to ten, I would rate it at an eight. I'm satisfied with its overall capabilities. 

I would recommend the solution to other users and organizations. 

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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MZ
IT Manager at a healthcare company with 201-500 employees
Real User
Top 20
Offers a host of features and is stable, scalable and easy to setup, but is excessively priced

Pros and Cons

  • "The initial setup is very simple."
  • "The security should be improved."

What is our primary use case?

I use the solution for all my servers, for the domain, the file server and other applications with which it is compatible. 

What is most valuable?

I consider Bixby, DNS, Active Directory, File Servers, Print Servers, Windows Defender and a host of other features to be valuable. 

What needs improvement?

It would be nice if the the Windows Defender feature would be enhanced to be similar to that of other antiviruses or endpoint features on the market that have whole and individual features and are reliable. At present, Defender cannot be relied on independently. Another endpoint must be installed. It would be better could we rely on the more compatible endpoint features that already accompany Windows.

There should be inbuilt endpoints, such as we find with Linux, Unix, Apple Macintosh and other browsers, which don't require the installation of additional endpoints. 

Patch updates should be less frequent. Instead of them being put out daily, they should be put out weekly or monthly. 

If the storage is not installed on the SSD hard disk, it affects the performance. I am not referring to the processor, RAM or GUI, just the storage. Windows 7 worked fine on the HDD. 

The security should be improved. There are many services on the Windows Server which are enabled or started by default and this is unnecessary. Xbox would be an example of this. These should be removed. Only the minimum number of services needed to get the solution up and running should be included. The existence of services means open board and this opens one up to hackers and attackers. As an IT person, it should not be my role to come up with workarounds for such occurrences. This should be in Microsoft's domain. 

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using Windows Server for around 12 years. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is stable. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution is scalable. 

How are customer service and technical support?

I have never had need for Microsoft's technical support, as the solution is simple and easy to manage and maintain. There are also many communities and a host of references that can be found on the internet. The internet is very helpful and makes finding the relevant answers easy. 

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is very simple.

The solution is easy to install and to maintain. These processes are user-friendly.

What about the implementation team?

There was no need for help from the vendor. I handled the installation on my own. 

The maintenance that is required involves the patching of the operating system with the latest fixes and security fixes, in addition to the updates which are downloaded by Microsoft.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The price needs to be reduced. Users find it prohibitive. It is exorbitant for the value one gets with the solution. 

What other advice do I have?

There are around 300 users making use of the solution in my organization.

I would certainly recommend the solution to others. I must, as it simplifies the administration and operation. 

I rate Windows Server as a seven out of ten. 

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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MS
Head of Technical Support at a real estate/law firm with 51-200 employees
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Reliable with good online documentation and a pretty easy setup

Pros and Cons

  • "The initial setup is not overly difficult."
  • "The security needs to be improved."

What is our primary use case?

Mostly we use the product for file sharing, and then for database applications. That's about it. We're not running cloud services and other things. 

What is most valuable?

We're required to support it, however, for the most part, it works well and is reliable. 

Technical support is helpful. There's a lot of documentation and helpful information online as well.

The initial setup is not overly difficult.

What needs improvement?

The security needs to be improved. That's its weakest area. It's my understanding that they cannot do anything about it at this stage. We have to wait when they are able to, more or less, integrate with Ubuntu, or with Canonical. Then, we will have a server that is quite stable in terms of security. Maybe in five years or six years, then you could see a Window Server which is going to be very impressive.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution likely for 20 years. It's been two decades. I've used it for a while at this point.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is reliable and the performance is good.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have lots of users, especially those running Oracle. We have close to about 200 users for Oracle that are connected to Windows Server.

How are customer service and technical support?

We don't have any issues when it comes to Microsoft and technical support. Most of the time it is straightforward. Right now, you can go to the internet, and there are many people who post helpful information for Microsoft products. In the same way for a Linux operating system, we have a lot of users that are posting tutorials for you to be able to learn. It's not something which is very, very hard. It's quite easy already.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I also use Unbuntu and find them comparable. It's like to be able to integrate them together.

How was the initial setup?

The initial installation is pretty straightforward. I wouldn't describe it as complex.

We have about 30 staff members that are able to handle deployment and maintenance.

Per installation, the deployment time, including the updates, is maybe about three or four hours.

What about the implementation team?

We do have assistance when I'm using an HP serve. They have a way of making the installation much easier.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

We do have to pay a licensing fee in order to use the servers.

We've got open licenses for the Windows Server OS, as well as the SQL Server database, and then we have to pay for the device CALs, client access license. 

What other advice do I have?

In terms of versions, right now, we're hooked on OS. We have 2012, and I have 2016. I'm interested in 2019 as well.

I'd rate the solution at an eight out of ten.

I'd recommend the solution to others for business use cases. 

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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Noor Parkar
Sr. System and Storage Administrator at a government with 51-200 employees
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Easy to use, simple to set up, and offers good stability

Pros and Cons

  • "The solution is easy to learn. It doesn't take much training."
  • "The system needs to offer better integration capabilities."

What is our primary use case?

We primarily use the solution for our different applications.

What is most valuable?

We appreciate how many different applications can be on the server at any given time.

The solution is easy to learn. It doesn't take much training.

The implementation is simple.

The graphic interface is very nice.

What needs improvement?

The technical updates need to be improved upon. How they are delivered isn't ideal.

Technical support in and of itself needs to be better. The experience we have isn't very good. It's hard to get timely answers to our questions.

The system needs to offer better integration capabilities.

The solution's availability could be better in future releases.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've subscribed to Windows for many years now. It's been at least over two, but probably longer.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is stable. We don't have problems with reliability. It doesn't crash or freeze at all. We don't experience bugs either.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution can scale. If a company needs to expand, they can do so.

Currently, our organization has 3,000 users.

We may not continue with Windows. We're moving towards graduating to Linux instead.

How are customer service and technical support?

I've dealt with technical support in the past and I can say that we are not satisfied with their level of service. They are slow to respond. They need to act faster to get us the help we need.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We have always used some form of Windows products before we began implementing Windows Server. We originally decided to implement the server as we felt it was simple and easy to use. It also had a good graphic interface.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was pretty straightforward. I wouldn't describe it as complex. It was rather simple. In terms of people getting trained on the system, it shouldn't take up too much time so a company can get up and running quickly. That said, the time it takes to deploy is directly linked to the training. However long it takes to get your team comfortable with it, that's how long it will take to deploy.

We had an IT staff of around ten people that assisted with the implementation. We also has a team that handles any maintenance as necessary.

What about the implementation team?

As the implementation process was pretty straightforward, we handled it internally ourselves. We didn't need an external consultant or integrator to help us.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We've looked into Linux. We may move over to that in the future.

What other advice do I have?

We're just a Windows customer. We don't have a business relationship with the company.

We're using the latest version of the solution.

I'd recommend the solution to other companies.

Overall, from one to ten, I'd rate this product at a nine.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
KM
SAP Architecture Manager at a consultancy with 11-50 employees
Real User
Top 5
Problem-free, extremely stable, and scales well

Pros and Cons

  • "The product can scale very well."
  • "If it had more integration capabilities, that would be ideal."

What is our primary use case?

The solution is used both as a security measure and basically for all operating systems which are mostly for the ERP systems. They need to be installed in a Windows Server so that it has a link to the domain. It makes it a secure network.

What is most valuable?

The Windows Server is mostly to host our SAP application. It's just that basic operating system. We are using the backend as a database, a Microsoft SQL Server is there also in front of them.

Over the ten years we have used the servers, we've never had a problem. They are robust and reliable. 

The solution is quite stable.

The product can scale very well.

What needs improvement?

We could always use more security on the product.

If it had more integration capabilities, that would be ideal.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've been using the solution for about ten years now. It's been a decade or so. We've had it for a while.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is reliable and the performance is great. We literally never have any issues. There are no bugs or glitches. It doesn't crash or freeze. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution scales quite well. If we need to expand it, it has the capacity to do so.

Windows Server acts basically as the SAP application that is being hosted on this server. We have not given access to our internal employees. Basically, we give access of SAP to several of our clients and there are more than 200 people using SAP and the backend Windows Server.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is from the provider. So they are the ones who contact the Microsoft support team if there is an issue with the server.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We also use Windows 10.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is handled by our service providers. I do not handle the implementation process myself. Everything comes pre-installed and ready to go.

Maintenance is being done by the hosting service provider. We don't maintain the operating system; they do it from their end.

What about the implementation team?

The installation is done by the hosting service providers. They provide us the servers in which they pre-install Windows Server 2019. That comes as part of the servers which we take from the internet solution providers.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

We don't pay for the license. That is as part of a contract in which we pay a monthly charge for having the servers in the hosted environment.

What other advice do I have?

We have several servers. The oldest are the 2012 versions. The newest servers we have are from 2019.

I'd rate the solution at a nine out of ten. I cannot say enough that, over the decade of use, we have had zero issues. It's been great.

I'd definitely recommend the product to other users and companies.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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DM
ICT Manager at a hospitality company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Top 5
Stable and easy to use, but the initial setup could be simpler

Pros and Cons

  • "It is very easy to use. The system is very user-friendly."
  • "The solution is rather expensive and could be more affordable."

What is our primary use case?

We primarily use the solution on our DNS network. It's the de facto operating system in our organization.

What is most valuable?

The solution is very stable. We haven't run into any performance issues so far.

It is very easy to use. The system is very user-friendly.

The solution allows for many applications to run on it.

What needs improvement?

The initial setup could be easier. Right now, it's more difficult than it needs to be.

The solution is rather expensive and could be more affordable.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've used the product in many different places and therefore have used it for a long time by this point. It's been many years now, as far as I know.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We've found the stability of the product to be excellent over the years. It's reliable. There aren't really bugs or glitches. It doesn't crash or freeze. It's very reliable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution can scale quite well. If you need to expand it, you can do so. It works for companies of all sizes.

We have about ten servers in our organization at this time that are Windows Servers. We have two people that manage them for us.

We will continue to use Windows unless, at some point, something else comes along that is cheaper and easier to use.

How are customer service and technical support?

I haven't really dealt with technical support much. I wouldn't be able to effectively comment on their level of service or their knowledgeability. 

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I have some experience with Linux. However, I find it limiting in terms of the number of applications you can actually run on it.

How was the initial setup?

The implementation process for Windows isn't exactly straightforward. It could be easier and more efficient. It can be a bit difficult sometimes.

The initial installation typically takes two to three hours or so.

What about the implementation team?

I handled the implementation with a partner.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Of course, the solution itself is expensive. However, they are not many alternatives. There's very little choice on the market.

What other advice do I have?

We have servers that range from 2012 to 2016 to 2019. We're using both the older and the newest versions of the solution currently.

I would definitely recommend this product to other organizations. If you look at Linux, for example, it's not really a viable option as very very applications run on Linux. In the case of Windows, you don't have that shortcoming. You can run many, many applications on it, which is a good selling point. Many people who have legacy products like to use Windows.

I would rate the solution six out of ten overall.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.