While the recent release of Microsoft's (Redmond, WA) Windows Server 2003, a server platform for the enterprise, is an update from Windows 2000, it is not the type of upgrade that should have IT leaders moving entire operations to the new platform, say experts.
"Windows Server 2003 is an update and a polishing of the Windows Server 2000 product," says Steve Kleynhans, vice president, end-user platforms at META Group (Stamford, CT). "It has everything that Windows 2000 has, is a little more secure and Microsoft has improved some things, like the active directory. Overall it is not a huge release, but it is significant."
An important feature of Windows Server 2003 is that it is completely integrated with Visual Studio .NET 2003, Microsoft's Web services development tool. "If you have Windows 2000, you could add on the .NET functionality, but it may not let you do all of the things that come with Visual Studio .NET 2003," Kleynhans says.
According to Microsoft's Josh Lee, global lead technical strategist, financial services, "Windows Server 2003 exceeds many benchmarks when it comes to scalability, disk space, memory capacity, availability and security."
For now, notes META Group's Kleynhans, most companies will take a tactical approach to implementing Windows Server 2003. "If I was a 2000 user, I would look at it and implement it based on pain points, because 2003 does some things much better," he says. "If you were planning to change a server out anyway, it may be time to consider 2003. And if you are an NT 4.0 user, you should be looking to get off of NT 4.0, and 2003 is where you should go."
Greg MacSweeney is editorial director of InformationWeek Financial Services, whose brands include Wall Street & Technology, Bank Systems & Technology, Advanced Trading, and Insurance & Technology. View Full Bio