Microsoft Windows Server 2008

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Windows Server 2008
Version logo: on the left the new stylized Windows “window” in the design of Windows XP, but instead of the 3D structure a circular gradient that lightened towards the center, on the right the lettering "Windows Server 2008 (R)" in the design of Windows 2000
Windows Server 2008 Enterprise screenshot
developer Microsoft
License (s) Microsoft EULA ( Closed Source )
First publ. February 27, 2008
Current  version 6.0 Build 6003 (SP2) (May 26, 2009)
ancestry \ Windows NT
Architecture (s) x86 , x64 , IA-64
Others Development discontinued
Support discontinued on January 14, 2020

ESU (Extended Security Updates) probably end of support: January 10, 2023

Microsoft Windows Server 2008 is an operating system from Microsoft . It is the successor to Microsoft Windows Server 2003 .

On February 27, 2008 Microsoft released the operating system together with Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 . The software had previously achieved RTM status on February 4, 2008 . It was originally planned to publish Microsoft SQL Server 2008 at the same time, but this date has been postponed. In contrast to its predecessor, Windows Server 2003 , Windows Server 2008 has the same codebase as the associated Windows Vista client , because the internal version number is the same as for Vista NT 6.0. This close relationship makes it possible to use the same patches as e.g. B. Apply service packs .

Support for Windows Server 2008 and thus the delivery of security updates was discontinued on January 14, 2020.

Development history

Windows Server 2008 was known as Windows Server, code name Longhorn , until May 16, 2007 , when the final product name was announced by Bill Gates at WinHEC .


Windows Server 2008 is available in the following editions:

  • Windows Server 2008 Standard Edition ( 32- and 64-bit )
  • Windows Server 2008 Enterprise Edition (32- and 64-bit)
  • Windows Server 2008 Datacenter Edition (32- and 64-bit)
  • Windows Web Server 2008 (32- and 64-bit)
  • Windows Server 2008 for Itanium- based systems (last IA-64 version. Regular support for Itanium is expected to expire on January 13, 2015 - extended support until January 14, 2020)

On November 12, 2008, additional versions were released for small and medium-sized companies:

In addition, Windows Server 2008 can be installed as a text-based core server that only supports file or infrastructure server functions (as of May 2007).



Several modes are available for managing the Server 2008. The server manager is a Microsoft Management Console version 3.0. The roles and functions can be managed centrally via the server manager. In addition, the server manager gives an overview of the system status and any notifications of the components through an embedded event display . The server manager combines several server 2003 administration tools. Features and roles can also be installed and uninstalled via the manager.

The server can also be managed directly via the MMC and embedded snap-ins.

The integrated WMI interface offers another option . The host provides functions for administration via script.

The server can also be administered text-based via PowerShell . However, cmd.exe and batch are still supported. Existing scripts (.bat, vbs, perl) can also be reused via PowerShell.

Active Directory

Active Directory is used to manage resources and users. An RODC has been added to the already known DCO types . The RODC is a host with reduced functionality. This domain controller is write-protected and can therefore be used in unsecured areas, as only cached password hashes can be found on the hardware in the event of theft. No passwords are managed in RODCs. For write functions, the member must establish a connection to a regular DCO. Delegates for the administration of the RODC can be distributed to groups and domain users. This allows users without domain administrator rights to manage the RODC.

Comprehensive password and lockout policies can be distributed within a domain. This minimizes the number of domains required in a network.

Terminal Services

In Server 2008, the terminal services have been expanded to include some additional functions:

The functionalities mean that local and remote applications can be used mixed on the guest computer.


With Hyper-V , Microsoft provides a virtualization environment that enables IT companies to virtualize entire server systems under Windows Server 2008. Hyper-V enables the organization of both physical and virtual resources via its own management tools. The Hyper-V environment is offered with Windows Server 2008. However, Microsoft is planning a separate Hyper-V server version that can be easily integrated into existing IT environments. This virtualization environment can also be found in Windows Server 2012, which is installed and managed in both versions via the server role in the Server Manager.

Hyper-V completely isolates the guest systems from the host system. However, this requires a virtualization-capable mainboard and processor. Resources that can be changed during runtime can be linked to the system. This allows hardware resources such as B. RAM, processors and processor time as well as network adapters can be dynamically adapted to the requirements of the guest system at runtime.

Hyper-V supports all common processor architectures (x86, x86-64). A guest system can be assigned up to four processors.

Hyper-V virtual servers do not support exclusive PCI and USB device assignment.

The pass through to local storage means that high-load systems can also be mapped in a guest system.

Windows PowerShell

Windows PowerShell screenshot

Windows Server 2008 is the first Windows operating system to be delivered with Microsoft's object-oriented command line interpreter Windows PowerShell . PowerShell is based on the .NET framework in version 2.0 and represents a modern alternative to the well-known command line program cmd.exe and the Windows Script Host , which are still fully available to the user. Similar to other operating system shells, such as Unix shells and the aforementioned cmd.exe, the user can execute commands interactively on a command line and link them with one another using pipes . Complex shell scripts can be written in the specially developed PowerShell Scripting Language .

Data transfer

The data throughput rate could be increased under Windows Server 2008 and Windows Vista by redesigning the communication stacks. In the case of connections between a Server 2008 and Vista, an increase by a factor of 3 could be measured compared to Server 2003 and XP SP2 .

Failover clustering

The server 2003 cluster model was transferred to the failover clustering under Server 2008. Cluster nodes can be located in different subnets. The failover cluster supports GPT with a maximum of 128 partitions and can manage 18 exabytes . Failover clustering can only be used in the Enterprise and DataCenter editions. In addition, the cluster can be used for Unixoid clients via NFS . The cluster supports the dynamic addition of resources at runtime.

Network load balancing

The network load distribution distributes the load over several systems. Server 2008 supports IPv4 and IPv6.

IIS 7.0

The IIS 7.0 serves as a web server for static and dynamic websites and supports HTML, SSL and PHP.


Network Access Protection

The integrated network access protection (NAP) continuously evaluates the status of the clients. In this way, an insecure access or state of the client can be detected and the network can be secured. The NAP guidelines also prevent a client who violates these guidelines from being able to connect to the server. NAP supports IPsec , VPN , DHCP , TS gateway and IEEE 802.1X connections.


The integrated firewall supports both the guidelines for IPsec and the firewall settings in the new administration snap-in. This makes overlapping settings easier to recognize thanks to a common front end.


Server 2008 integrated the BitLocker tool to encrypt the data . BitLocker is suitable for the security regulations for data in companies according to Sarbanes-Oxley and HIPAA . The entire system is encrypted. Components that are started before the operating system kernel are protected by an integrity check.

CNG Cryptography Next Generation

Server 2008 supports CNG , an SDK designed for developers of cryptographic applications. It is the direct successor of the CryptoAPI and supports the common Suite B algorithms as well as ECC .

Read only domain controller RODC

The server 2008 domain controller implements another controller structure in the form of an RODC. The RODC is a read-only controller that does not save any passwords. It can optionally be managed by additional roles. This enables use in a safety-critical area.

Isolation strategies DC

The isolation feature allows domains and resources to be managed in isolation. Thus, a logical network can be created completely isolated within a physical network. Two isolation options are implemented for this purpose: Domain isolation prevents access from clients outside the isolated domain, with server isolation controlled via IPsec, only access from registered clients is permitted.

Server Core

Servers that do not require a graphical user interface can be installed as core servers. A minimal system is installed, which can be administrated through a text-based surface. Only required features are integrated. The installation option is primarily intended for installation in the parent partition of a Hyper-V host. Originally no managed code was supported, but with Service Pack 1 of Server 2008 R2 the .NET Framework 4 for Core was added to the functionality. The Server Core cannot be upgraded.

System requirements

component Requirement
  • At least: 1 GHz (x86 processor) or 1.4 GHz (x64 processor)
  • Recommended: 2 GHz or higher
Note: Windows Server 2008 for Itanium-based Systems requires an Intel Itanium 2 processor.
random access memory
  • At least: 512 MB RAM
  • Recommended: 2 GB RAM or more
  • Maximum (32-bit systems): 4 GB (Standard Edition, Webserver Edition) or 64 GB (Enterprise and Datacenter Editions)
  • Maximum (64-bit systems): 32 GB (Standard Edition, Webserver Edition) or 2 TB (Enterprise Edition, Datacenter Edition and Itanium-based systems)
hard disk
  • At least: 10 GB free
  • Recommended: 40 GB (full installation) or 10 GB (server core installation) free
Note: Computers with more than 16 GB of memory require more space for swap, hibernation, and dump files.
  • DVD-ROM drive
Display and peripherals
  • Super VGA (800 × 600) or higher resolution monitor
  • keyboard
  • Microsoft mouse or compatible pointing device

Technical specification of the editions

function Web Foundation default Enterprise Data center Itanium
X86 sockets 4th - 4th 8th 32 -
X64 sockets 4th 1 4th 8th 64 -
IA64 sockets - - - - - 64
X86 RAM 4 GB - 4 GB 64 GB 64 GB -
X64 RAM 32 GB 8 GB 32 GB 2 TB 2 TB -
IA64 RAM - - - - - 2 TB
Hot add memory No No No Yes Yes Yes
Hot replace memory No No No No Yes Yes
Failover cluster nodes No No No 16 16 8th
Terminal Services Gateway No 50 250 Unlimited Unlimited No
Virtual Image Use Rights No No 1 4th Unlimited Unlimited


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Build number changing to 6003 in Windows Server 2008
  2. ESU program - Support for Windows 7 ends on January 10, 2023. In: Lifecycle of the extended security updates. Microsoft, accessed February 8, 2020 .
  3. Windows Server 2008 will be available at the end of February 2008
  4. Microsoft's SQL server available as a preview
  5. Frequently Asked Questions: Windows Server 2008 Service Pack 2 and Windows Vista Service Pack 2. Accessed September 6, 2017 (English).
  6. Support for Windows Server 2008 ends on January 14, 2020. In: Windows Support. Microsoft, accessed January 12, 2020 .
  7. Windows Server 2008 R2 to Phase Out Itanium ( Memento of the original from April 28, 2010 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. from April 2, 2010 (English) Blog of the Windows Server Division @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  8. a b c Technical library for Windows Server 2008 on MSDN
  9. Server Management , Microsoft Windows Server 2008 Product Information
  10. a b c News regarding failover clusters under Windows Server 2008 , on MSDN
  11. a b Technical Overview of Windows Server 2008: Security & Policy Enforcement, Microsoft Technet
  12. Overview of Hyper-V on Windows Server 2008 , Microsoft Technet
  13. Study by the Tollygroup on the TCP / IP stack ( memento of the original from January 5, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. (PDF; 1.3 MB) @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  14. Performance Enhancements in the Next Generation TCP / IP Stack , Microsoft MSDN
  15. a b c Network Access Protection , Microsoft MSDN
  16. Security on the test bench: PKI improvements in Windows , Microsoft MSDN
  17. Security and Protection , Microsoft MSDN
  18. .NET Framework 4 for Core
  19. Technical features and specifications of Windows Server 2008 (German) , Microsoft Germany