Server Roles and Features in WS 2008

I am going to understand the difference between server role and features in Ws 2008. One more thing I  learnt was that Server Core is neither a server role or feature.

A server role describes the primary function of a server. Administrators may choose to dedicate an entire server to one role, or to install multiple server roles on a single computer.Server Roles that are shipped with WS 2008 can be viewed here. Some sever roles I would like to learn more are Application Server, Hyper-V, File Services and Web Services.

  • Application Server provides an integrated environment for deploying and running custom, server-based business applications that are built with the Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0, 3.0. The Application Server role supports applications that use COM+, Message Queuing, Web services, and distributed transactions.
  • The Web server role lets you share information with users on the Internet, an intranet, or an extranet. Windows Server 2008 delivers IIS 7.0, which is a unified Web platform that integrates IIS, ASP.NET, Windows Communication Foundation, and Windows SharePoint Services.
  • Hyper-V provides software infrastructure and basic management tools in Windows Server 2008 that you can use to create and manage a virtualized server computing environment.
  • File Services provides technologies that help manage storage, enable file replication, manage shared folders, ensure fast file searching, and enable access for UNIX client computers.

A feature  describes the auxiliary or supporting function  of the server.  Consequently, an administrator typically installs a feature to augment the functionality of an installed role. For example Failover Clustering is a feature that administrators can choose to install after installing specific roles, such as File Server. Features that are shipped with WS 2008 can be viewed here.Some sever roles I would like to learn more are Windows PowerShell,Microsoft Message Queuing (MSMQ), Windows Process Activation Service, XPS viewer.

  • Windows PowerShell is a new command line shell and task-based scripting technology and is supported on x86, x64, and IA64.
  • Windows Process Activation Service generalizes the Internet Information Services (IIS) process model, removing the dependency on HTTP. All the features of IIS  are now available to applications  using non-HTTP protocols. Do not run Windows Process Activation Service unless you are supporting a .NET Framework 3.0 application or IIS 7.0

Server Manager console is a new Microsoft Management Console (MMC) snap-in which provides a consolidated view of the server, including information about server configuration, status of installed server roles , windows features and commands for adding and removing roles and features. Roles and features installed by using Server Manager are secure by default. Server Manager offers a command-line tool, ServerManagerCmd.exe, which automates deploying roles and features on computers running Windows Server 2008.