Windows Foundation Server a Good Choice for Small Business
by Steve Maurer, Account Manager for Data Network Group.
Windows Server 2008 R2 Foundation is a low cost alternative to Small Business Server and was created to provide an affordable entry level platform for small businesses. Foundation server is an ideal first server and can be deployed easily to create a single –server network, that’s reliable and secure. Let’s take a quick look at what’s included with this version of the Windows Server Family, what limitations Microsoft has put on it and what is the upgrade path.
Windows server Foundation is targeted at the smallest of server environments with basic IT needs. File and print sharing, network security and remote access are the core functions that this server brings to companies at this level. The Foundation server also gives small companies the ability to centrally manage settings on all your Windows based computers connected to the network. Foundation is capable of running most line of business server applications approved for Windows 2008. 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.
Microsoft has designed this server with some limitations, the number of users allowed, processors and memory, are all factors for small companies to consider before choosing this server version. Windows Server 2008 R2 Foundation is licensed by user accounts. You may create up to 15 user accounts that can access and use the server software. Each User Account must be assigned to one user, and each User Account permits one user, using any device, to access and use the server software on the licensed server. Because Windows Server 2008 R2 Foundation is licensed in this way, you do not require Windows Server client access licenses (CALs). This also makes Windows Server 2008 R2 Foundation much more cost effective for small businesses. This Server Software is only available through original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and only on single processor servers. You cannot obtain installation media for Windows Server 2008 Foundation at retail locations. In addition, Windows Server 2008 Foundation only supports X64 bit OS and provides access to a maximum of 8 GB of available memory. There is no virtualization support on this server. Foundation has built-in protections to keep it from doing more than what it is intended to do; specifically, the Foundation server is not intended to be part of a domain trust and will eventually shut down if it is in a trust for more than 10 days.
As your business grows, Foundation server provides an easy upgrade path to higher end versions of Windows Server and can be upgraded in place to Windows Server Standard. However, because of the hardware restrictions of foundation, the original hardware may not be a good choice for running the more advanced versions of Windows Server 2008.
Windows Foundation provides the familiar windows experience, is easy to get up and running, affordable, and provides the core portfolio of IT capabilities. This makes Windows Foundation server a good choice for small companies looking for their first server.