Microsoft has added a new edition to its Windows Server 2008 family: Windows Server 2008 Foundation. The basic idea is a stripped down version which allows small businesses to harness the power of Server 2008 without killing their budget. Foundation is built on the same code as the rest of the family so it is 64-bit only.
Windows Foundation Server provides you with a dependable and affordable technology foundation for running your business applications as well as sharing information and resources. Being based on Windows Server 2008, you can run not only core infrastructure, terminal services and identity management solutions for your business – you can support you core LOB applications built on the simplicity and technical capabilities that Windows Server 2008 provides.
Windows Server 2008 is a great way to get your first Server 2008 in your business, especially if you have no servers in your infrastructure yet. It will allow you to grow and use the best technologies right away. It is limited to 15 users, so the recommended applications are the following:
- Core Infrastructure: Windows Server Foundation is an excellent option for use with single or multiple workloads, such as file sharing, print sharing, networking, Terminal Services, remote connections, and other common server roles. Also, Windows Server Foundation can be used for Internet Web services and as a Web server platform for intranets and extranets where user authentication is required.
- Active Directory: Windows Server Foundation can be used as an Active Directory server or domain controller, and can also join a domain as a member server or domain controller (but the 15 user limit still applies across AD scenarios)
- Terminal Services (Remote Desktop): Windows Server Foundation is also ideal for multiple-user computing, such as sharing Microsoft Office or using Terminal Services.
- Line of Business Applications (LOB): Your line of business applications that are built for the Windows Server 2008 family can be deployed on your server. If they have the “Certified for”, or “Works with” accreditation for Windows Server 2008 Standard, then they will be supported on Windows Server Foundation, as well as being able to deploy many third party software which is currently available for Windows Server 2008.
Server Foundation is probably a great server solution for the above-mentionned applications, but the 15-users limit might be reached pretty quickly if you plan on expanding. Microsoft’s Small Business Server 2008 might be a better solution if you want to get all the bells and whistles without the huge price tag.