The Microsoft® Windows® Server 2003 family of operating systems provides significant enhancements over the Microsoft Windows NT® Server 4.0 family of server products. The Windows Server 2003 family was designed to allow for an easy upgrade from Windows NT Server 4.0. This document provides an overview of the process for upgrading or migrating to the Windows Server 2003 Active Directory® service and provides information on some of the basic decisions to be made during the process.
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Verifying System Requirements and Hardware Compatibility 4
Choosing to Upgrade or to Perform a Migration 6
Active Directory Considerations 9
Related Links 27
The Microsoft® Windows® Server 2003 family of operating systems represents a significant advancement over the Microsoft Windows NT® Server 4.0 family of products. The Windows Server 2003 family, which includes Windows Server 2003, Standard Edition; Windows Server 2003, Enterprise Edition; and Windows Server 2003, Datacenter Edition, provides a platform that is more productive, dependable, and connected than ever before. New and improved file, print, application, Web, and communication services provide a more robust, comprehensive platform for your mission-critical business resources. Integrated features such as the Active Directory® service and enterprise-class security services allow you to provide secure yet flexible access to all the resources your users need.
Designed to be used specifically as a Web server, Windows Server 2003, Web Edition, is also available. Those desiring stand-alone Web functionality will benefit from this low-cost operating system, which is easy to deploy and manage.
Choosing the Best Operating System
One of the first decisions to make in preparation for the upgrade is choosing which version of Windows Server 2003 will best meet your needs. The Microsoft Windows Server 2003 product family includes four versions:
Windows Server 2003, Standard Edition. Designed for small organizations and departmental use, Standard Edition delivers intelligent file and printer sharing, secure Internet connectivity, centralized desktop application deployment, and Web solutions that connect employees, partners, and customers. Standard Edition provides high levels of dependability, scalability, and security.
Windows Server 2003, Enterprise Edition. Designed for medium to large businesses, Enterprise Edition is the recommended operating system for servers running applications such as networking, messaging, inventory, and customer service systems, databases, and e-commerce Web sites. Enterprise Edition delivers high reliability, performance, and superior business value. It will be available in both 32-bit and 64-bit versions.
Windows Server 2003, Datacenter Edition. Designed for businesses that demand the highest levels of scalability, availability, and reliability, Datacenter Edition lets you deliver mission-critical solutions for databases, enterprise resource planning software, high-volume real-time transaction processing, and server consolidation. Datacenter Edition will be available in both 32-bit and 64-bit versions.
Windows Server 2003, Web Edition. Designed for building and hosting Web applications, Web pages, and XML Web services, Web Edition delivers a single-purpose solution for Internet service providers, application developers, and others wishing only to use or deploy specific Web functionality. Web Edition takes advantage of improvements in Internet Information Services (IIS) 6.0, Microsoft ASP.NET, and the Microsoft .NET Framework.