Microsoft Windows Server 2003 | Part 1

Microsoft Windows Server 2003 | Part 1

Microsoft Windows Server 2003

Windows Server 2003 is an operating system geared server developed by Microsoft. Presented April 24, 2003 as the successor to Windows Server 2000, it is considered by Microsoft as being the cornerstone of the line of business server products Windows Server System. An updated version, Windows Server 2003 R2 has been finalized December 6, 2005. Its successor, Windows Server 2008 is released February 4, 2008.

According to Microsoft, Windows Server 2003 is more scalable and delivers better performance than its predecessor, Windows Server 2000.

Windows Server 2003: Features and upgrades

  • Internet Information Services (IIS) v6.0 – An enhanced version of IIS significantly.
  • Increase the level of default security vis-vis the older versions, thanks to built-in firewall by default and the fact that most services are disabled by default.
  • Significant Improvements Message Queuing.
  • Manage the server – A tool of administrative roles that allows an administrator to choose which features are to be made available on the server.
  • Improvements in Active Directory, such as the ability to deactivate an object class in the diagram, or the ability to run multiple instance of the directory server (ADAM).
  • Improvements to the administration and management of group policies.
  • Improvements in the management of records, including the ability to make a backup copy from a phantom (Shadow Copy) files, allowing the backup of open files.
  • Improvements to the scripting and tools from the command line as part of Microsoft’s initiative to bring a complete command shell to the next version of Windows.
  • Support hardware-based technology watchdog timer that allows an automatic restart if the server operating system does not respond after some time.

Service Pack 1 for Windows Server 2003

On March 30, 2005, Microsoft released Service Pack 1 for Windows Server 2003. Among the improvements are many updates to Windows XP with its Service Pack 2. Features that are introduced by Service Pack 1 for Windows Server 2003 include:

  • Configuration Wizard Security: A tool that allows administrators to more easily search and modifications to security policies.
  • Hot Patching: This feature extends the ability of Windows Server 2003 update DLL files, drivers, and non-kernel patches without having to reboot.
  • IIS 6.0 Metabase Auditing: this feature allows to audit changes to the IIS metabase.
  • Windows Firewall: it brings many improvements to Windows XP Service Pack 2 to Windows Server 2003, it also (through the setup wizard security) administrators to more easily manage the incoming open network ports, because it detects the configuration chosen and the default role.
  • The Other improvements relate to networks of support services Suppliers Wireless (Wireless Provisioning Services), better IPv6 support, and new protections against network attacks like TCP SYN flood.
  • Updates Security post-installation: it is the mode that is activated by default when server starts for the first time after installing Service Pack 1. It configures the firewall to block all incoming connections and prompts the user to apply the latest security updates.
  • Data
  • Execution Prevention (DEP): Support the No Execute bit (NX), which helps prevent attacks like buffer overflow which often attack vectors of Windows Server.
  • Windows Media Player version 10
  • Internet Explorer 6

A complete list of updates contained in Service Pack 1 is available in the Microsoft Knowledge Base.

Service Pack 2 for Windows Server 2003

Service Pack 2 for Windows Server 2003 is released March 14, 2007. The original release date was planned for the first half of 2006. On June 13, 2006, Microsoft made a first test version of Service Pack 2 which was made available to Microsoft Connect users with a version of build 2721. It was followed by the version build 2805, known as the Beta 2 refresh. The latest version is build 3959.

Microsoft has described SP2 as a “standard” version of service pack containing the latest security updates and still come out earlier and improved reliability and performance. In addition to this, Service Pack 2 contains Microsoft Management Console version 3.0 (Microsoft Management Console 3.0), Windows Deployment Services (which replaces the Service remote installation), support for WPA2, and improvements IPSec and MSConfig. Service Pack 2 also adds the Pack Change Network in Windows Server 2003 (Scalable Networking Pack – SNP), which allows hardware acceleration for the management of network packets and thus allowing faster traffic. SNPs were initially available as an external update to Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1.

Windows Server 2003 R2

Windows Server 2003 R2, an update of Windows Server 2003 was released in RTM December 6, 2005. It is distributed in 2 CDs, including a CD corresponding to the installation CD of Windows Server 2003 SP1. The second CD adds several optional features and installable in Windows Server 2003. The R2 update is available for x86 and x64 but not for Itanium-based versions.