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Microsoft® Windows Server™ 2003 White Paper

Scalable Solutions

Picking a scalable solution is the hardest part of building the scalable architecture. The Windows Server 2003 family includes a range of solutions, allowing IT Professionals to right-size their server operating system for their particular application requirements.

The Windows Server 2003, Web Edition is a platform designed for developing and deploying Web services and running local applications. It is optimized to give businesses a comprehensive and robust platform for Web serving and hosting that is easy to deploy and manage. As with all versions of Windows Server 2003, it includes Network Load Balancing for building scalable server farms for Web applications and .NET Remoting hosts. It is appropriate for Web serving and hosting, but it is not an application server for running applications such as SAP or Exchange.

The Windows Server 2003, Standard Edition is designed for everyday business needs such as file and printer sharing, secure Internet connectivity, centralized desktop application deployment, hosting Web and .NET Remoting applications, and rich collaborative applications. Because it is an application server, it can run applications like Microsoft Exchange.

The Windows Server 2003, Enterprise Edition is the platform of choice for applications, Web services, and infrastructure. It runs everything that the Windows Server 2003 Web Edition and Standard Edition do, and it also scales up to 8 CPUs each with up to 32 GB RAM (64 GB for Itanium processors) to deliver high reliability, performance, and superior business value.

The Windows Server 2003, Datacenter Edition is for business-critical and mission-critical applications demanding the highest levels of scalability and availability. It is the most powerful and functional server operating system Microsoft has ever offered, supporting up to 32-way symmetric multiprocessing (SMP) and providing both eight-node clustering and load balancing services as standard features. Windows Server 2003, Datacenter Edition supports up to 64 GB RAM per CPU (128 GB for Itanium processors).

For more details on the Windows Server 2003 family of products, see Table 1 in the “Windows Scalability Flexibility” white paper.

Windows Server 2003 Scalable Architectural Changes

The Windows Server 2003 family includes numerous application, utilities, and technologies that facilitate scalability at all levels. They work in concert to deliver a scalable architecture that is also reliable, manageable, and secure.

The performance enhancements in Windows Server 2003 and Internet Information Services (IIS) are too numerous to discuss at length here, but we’ll touch on a few items that have practical importance to scalability. For this discussion, we address only IIS 6.0 worker process mode, not its IIS 5.0 isolation mode used for backward compatibility.

IIS has four main components:

The IIS Admin Service (Inetinfo.exe) handles the IIS Metabase, FTP, SMTP, NNTP, and Web services

Implementing a Scalable Architecture5

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