Windows Server Overview

Windows Server is the #2 ranked solution of our top Operating Systems for Business. It's rated 4.1 out of 5 stars, and is most commonly compared to Windows 10: Windows Server vs Windows 10

What is Windows Server?

Windows Server 2016 is the most cloud-ready server Microsoft has ever built and includes a lot of technology that was inspired from our experience in the public cloud. It has big improvements in security, software-defined infrastructure and technologies to help developers build modern microservice-based applications, in the cloud or on-site. 

Windows Server Buyer's Guide

Download the Windows Server Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: August 2020

Windows Server Customers

Rakuten, Rackspace, Tyco

Windows Server Video

Windows Server Reviews

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reviewer1392543
Database Administrator at a comms service provider with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Top 5
Aug 28, 2020
Good user interface and technical support, and Active Directory is very helpful for us

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.

Pros and Cons

  • The most valuable feature is Active Directory.
  • Better integration with more platforms would be useful.

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.
reviewer1174590
System Architect at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
Reseller
Jul 30, 2020
Good active directory, offers consistently evolving features, and very stable

What is our primary use case?

Most of the time we use it for user account access. We also deploy Microsoft on machines that must run on Windows. Beyond that, we use it for the remote desktop, and obviously for its mobile Microsoft features.

Pros and Cons

  • The active directory that the server provides is the solution's most valuable aspect.
  • The solution could offer higher availability.

What other advice do I have?

We handle both on-prem and cloud deployments. We're in IT services, so we often sell these solutions to our clients. We use the Windows Server ourselves as well. I'd recommend the solution. It works well, however, users still have to understand Windows and the Windows interface in order to use it correctly. I'd rate the solution eight out of ten.
Learn what your peers think about Windows Server. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: August 2020.
447,654 professionals have used our research since 2012.
hugodpereira
Computer engineering student at a K-12 educational company or school with 501-1,000 employees
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Nov 21, 2020
Straightforward with good stability and an easy initial setup

What is our primary use case?

I primarily use the solution for college assignments. We are using it just to learn how to configure all the options that Windows Server provides for the active directory and basically all the necessary configurations. It's for enterprise infrastructure, so to speak. We are mainly focusing on group policy and remote authentication, the main controller, and all the functionalities that a Windows server provides through the access directory.

Pros and Cons

  • The solution, in general, is quite straightforward. A beginner could probably use it with ease. It's always more or less simple to understand how this works.
  • We are finding some of the configurations inside the group policy not very straightforward. We had some difficulties, for example, just trying to figure out how to configure and how to block the usage of MP3 files, and so on.

What other advice do I have?

I'm not really a customer. I'm just a student learning the ins and outs of the product itself. We are using in virtual machines the Windows Server 2019. I'd recommend this solution. It's quite complete. For a company that wants all the necessary components to administer their infrastructure and so forth, it's quite good. Overall, I would rate the solution eight out of ten. If they offered better documentation that wasn't as dated I might rate it higher.
Nehad Elkordi
IT Manager at Rashideen Egypt For Trade
Real User
Top 5
Jul 14, 2020
Great efficiency and performance, however the GUI needs to be worked on

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.

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 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…
Noor Parkar
Sr. System and Storage Administrator at a government with 51-200 employees
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Sep 29, 2020
Easy to use, simple to set up, and offers good stability

What is our primary use case?

We primarily use the solution for our different applications.

Pros and Cons

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

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.
reviewer1379898
Senior IT Specialist at a manufacturing company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Aug 11, 2020
Easy to use and is constantly improving its functionality, including upgrades to security

What is our primary use case?

We're primarily using the solution mostly for the file server and communication and so on.

Pros and Cons

  • Every time they perform a new release, the solution gets better and better.
  • Right now what is needed on the server-side is an easier release process. Every year or every third year they are releasing a newer version and it could go smoother.

What other advice do I have?

We're just a customer. We don't have a business relationship with Microsoft. We're using a standard out of the box deployment. We always update the solution to the newest possible version. We update regularly. I'd advise that new users learn about the solution before jumping in. It's always good to take a class or study up on it a bit so that you know what you can do with the server and how to navigate around in it. It's a good idea to take a certification course. That said, users can always Google answers or use the Microsoft Flow tool. I'd absolutely recommend the solution. I'd rate the…
reviewer1404948
IT Infrastructure Manager at a consumer goods company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Aug 28, 2020
A good solution for applications that require Windows

Pros and Cons

  • The main features that we are using are active directory, domain, and DNS.
  • They can simplify the utilization and control of the system when you have a lot of setups. They provided something called Windows Center or Control Center in version 2019. It's a free tool that comes with the Windows Server. You can install it on your desktop and use it. This tool simplifies the control and monitoring of all servers. If I have 200 servers, I don't need to log in to each one to configure it. I can manage them from this tool. However, this tool needs quite a lot of improvements. It's difficult to use, and they need to improve it.

What other advice do I have?

They had an issue in version 2016 related to the slowness of update management, but they already solved it in version 2019. It was impacting batch management. The time that Windows required was a lot, but it was fixed in version 2019. That was the only issue we faced in Windows Server. Other than that, it's fine. I would advise on the version, not on the solution itself, that is, whether to use Windows Server or not. If Windows Server is a required solution, you have to take it. It's not an option. However, I would advise to not use version 2016. I would rate Windows Server a ten out of ten…
reviewer1085004
ICT System Engineer at a financial services firm with 5,001-10,000 employees
Real User
Sep 15, 2020
PowerShell is a very valuable feature, as is the ease of scalability

What is our primary use case?

I'm an ICT system engineer and we are customers of Microsoft.

Pros and Cons

  • PowerShell is a great feature of the solution.
  • Sometimes the PowerShell has an overly complicated syntax.

What other advice do I have?

I would recommend this solution but it depends on the software you are going to use it on. When it's about a high performance web server, I would prefer Linux because you would choose to stick to engines as a web server and this product does not run very well on Windows, so you'd end up with Linux anyway. I would rate this solution an eight out of 10.
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Buyer's Guide
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