Microsoft Windows Server 2003

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Windows Server 2003
Version logo: on the left the new stylized Windows "window" as in Windows XP, on the right next to it the words "Microsoft (R)" (small) and "Windows Server 2003 (R)" in the design of Windows 2000
Screenshot of Windows 2003, Standard Server R2
developer Microsoft
License (s) Microsoft EULA ( Closed Source )
First publ. April 24, 2003
Current  version 5.2 Build 3790 ( December 6, 2005 )
ancestry Windows NT
Others Development discontinued
Support discontinued on July 14, 2015

Microsoft Windows Server 2003 is an operating system and was published by Microsoft in 2003 as the successor to the Windows 2000 server products. The internal version number at Microsoft is NT 5.2. Compared to Windows 2000 Server, it does not contain any fundamental innovations, but rather many small innovations in detail. Many improvements have been made, especially in the area of ​​security, especially with some particularly criticized standard settings. For example, special applications such as the Internet Information Server are no longer installed by default, so that a system that is better related to the task can be built.


Windows Server 2003 was originally planned as Windows 2002 . The product was later renamed .NET Server to connect to .NET . However, they later turned away from the project and finally renamed the product Windows Server 2003 .


The system supports, among other things:

  • HTTP server
  • SMTP server
  • POP3 server
  • DNS server
  • DHCP server
  • Active Directory
  • File server with quota management, file screening, reporting, DFS management, SAN management
  • Cluster with SAN connection or even as a virtual cluster with local quorum (from Enterprise Edition)
  • Application server
  • Web server ( Internet Information Server )
  • Print server
  • Application server additional edition


  • Web Edition : supports single (1) or dual (2) processor systems and up to 2 GB RAM
Specially intended for use as a web server . Only available to selected partners and not in retail stores. No support for Active Directory administration.
  • 32-bit Standard Edition : supports single (1) to quad (4) processor systems and up to 4 GB RAM
For small organizations and departments.
  • 32-Bit Enterprise Edition : supports single (1) to oct (8) processor systems and up to 32 GB RAM (via PAE )
For medium-sized to large companies, increased availability and scalability.
  • 32-bit Datacenter Edition : supports single (1) up to 32 processor systems and up to 64 GB RAM (via PAE )
Stands for maximum performance for companies that require the highest level of scalability, availability and reliability. Only offered as an OEM (as part of the "Windows Datacenter Program"). The main difference to the Enterprise Edition is the support for more powerful hardware.

Especially for systems with x64 processors ( AMD's Opteron , Athlon 64 and Turion 64 with AMD64 ; Intel's Pentium 4 , Core 2 and Xeon with Intel 64 ) there are the following variants:

  • Windows Server 2003 Standard x64 Edition : supports single (1) to quad (4) processor systems and up to 32 GB RAM
  • Windows Server 2003 Enterprise x64 Edition : supports single (1) to oct (8) processor systems and up to 1 TB RAM
  • Windows Server 2003 Datacenter x64 Edition : supports Oct (8) to 64 processor systems and up to 1 TB RAM
  • Windows Compute Cluster Server 2003 : support per node / server Single (1) - to quad (4) processor systems and up to 32 GB of RAM - is a high-performance computing - cluster of multiple servers

There are also 64-bit versions (Enterprise and Datacenter editions) that have the same hardware support as the x64 editions, especially for systems with Intel Itanium processors.

There are also the variants especially for small businesses:

See also:

What's new in Windows Server 2003

  • Support for 64-bit processors
  • Internet Information Services 6.0 (completely rewritten HTTP server)
  • Improved Domain Name System (DNS) server
  • More options for administration from the command line
  • Changes in Active Directory services (transitive trust relationships between forests)
  • Application directories, special partition in the Active Directory
  • Volume Shadow Copy Service enables e.g. These include, for example, quick snapshots for backup purposes and versioning of files so that users can easily restore previous versions of files.
  • Ability to rename domain controllers and even entire domains.
  • Domains can be moved in the forest (only in Win2003 mode of the AD).
  • Since Service Pack 1, SSL encryption has been possible for RDP connections .
  • SharePoint Services

Service Pack 1

Service Pack 1 for Windows Server 2003, released March 30, 2005, slightly improves the performance, reliability, and security of the operating system. The improvements often include the same updates as those of Service Pack 2 for Windows XP users. The following features have been added with Service Pack 1:

  • Security Configuration Wizard : A tool that allows administrators to easily make changes and research into security guidelines.
  • Hot Patching : This function extends Windows Server 2003 with the possibility of having DLL, drivers and non-kernel patches take effect without a restart.
  • IIS 6.0 Metabase Auditing: Allows you to track metabase edits.
  • Windows Firewall : brings many of the improvements of Windows XP Service Pack 2 for Windows Server 2003, also with the Security Configuration Wizard (SCW), IT administrators can more easily manage the incoming open ports; standard roles can be assigned and automatically recognized become
  • Networking improvements include support for wireless provisioning services , better IPv6 support and new protection mechanisms against SYN flood attacks TCP.
  • Post-Setup Security Updates : A standard mode that is activated after the Server Service Pack 1 installation has booted. It configures the firewall to block all incoming connections and directs the user to install updates.
  • Data Execution Prevention (DEP): Support for the No Execute (NX) bit , which helps prevent buffer overflow exploits , one of the most common attack methods against Windows servers.
  • Windows Media Player version 10
  • Internet Explorer 6 SV1 (e.g. IE6 SP2)
  • Support of data management for hard disks with the help of the GUID partition table system

A full list of updates can be found in the Microsoft Knowledge Base .

Windows Server 2003 R2

Version Release 2 appeared in February 2006 and is an updated version of Server 2003 (SP1) with expansion packs for all versions (with a limitation of Itanium support for the Enterprise Edition ).

Official list of changes in R2:

  • Identity and access management
  • Branch server administration
  • Storage setup and management
  • Application development inside and outside the traditional boundaries of the organization

Microsoft has set up a product page for Windows Server 2003 R2 for a detailed list of the innovations.

Service Pack 2

Service Pack 2 for Microsoft Windows Server 2003 was released on March 12, 2007. Security and stability have been improved and new functions and updates for existing components have been added.

Supported versions

Service Pack 2 can be installed on the following operating systems:

  • Windows Server 2003 All Editions (32-bit x86)
  • Windows Server 2003 Itanium-based Editions
  • Windows Server 2003 x64 Editions
  • Windows Server 2003 R2 Editions
  • Windows Server 2003 Storage Server R2 Edition
  • Windows Server 2003 Computer Cluster Edition
  • Windows Server 2003 for Small Business Servers R2 Edition
  • Windows XP Professional x64 Edition

List of selected updates

In addition, some new functions are provided ( see also "The list of updates in Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2" ):

  • The Remote Installation Services (RIS) will be replaced by the Windows Deployment Services (WDS).
  • Windows Vista clients can be installed through WDS.
  • The Management Console 3 can snap-ins are added flexible.
  • Better performance for the SQL server.
  • Higher performance for the operation of the server under Microsoft's virtualization solution Windows Virtualization .

Windows Storage Server 2003

Windows Storage Server 2003 (WSS2003) is a version for Network Attached Storage . This version has limited functionality, but is cheaper. Areas of application are SQL servers, file servers or mail and exchange servers. Since 2006 it has only been available in the R2 version. The server is delivered pre-installed on hardware and can be managed via the web interface .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. What is Windows 2002?  ( Page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.@1@ 2Template: Dead Link /  
  2. Interview: Microsoft's David Treadwell | Developer World - InfoWorld
  3. Documentation Windows Server 2003 operating-system
  4. Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 list of updates (KB 824721) . Microsoft. Retrieved September 2, 2006.
  5. ↑ What's new in Windows Server 2003 R2
  6. Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2  - Download Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2
  7. List of updates in Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2
  8. Windows Storage Server. Microsoft , accessed July 6, 2012 .