Server Operating Systems: Advantages and Disadvantages

Subject: Tech & Engineering
Pages: 5
Words: 1346
Reading time:
5 min
Study level: College


Operating systems for servers have greatly simplified the operations and management computer networks in organizations. They are a combination of arranged components assembled to support and ensure efficient delivery of services in server functions. Over time, companies have designed different types of operating systems for servers according to the desired purpose. The operating systems have also been improved from time to time to ensure efficiency in network management. This paper discusses various types of server operating systems based on their strengths and weaknesses.

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Features, Advantages and disadvantages of server Operating Systems

Windows 2003

The operating system created by Microsoft in 2003 has special and improved features when compared to the earlier versions. It is the basis of the server-client procedures of networking products and businesses. It can operate either as an independent server or a domain controller. The main duties performed by windows 2003 include provision of internet facilities, sharing of hardware and user authentication (Garza 2010). The features introduced in windows 2003 include the directory systems made with a purpose to control layouts and manage files and the operational kernel which rendered security to the entire system.

According to Hunt (2005), the use of Windows 2003 has many advantages regarding its reliability. Operations carried out by the OS are reliable with a further advantage of down time since the up time of the system is approximately 99%. Another vital reason for using windows 2003 is the security provided by using it as a domain controller. This relies on its ability to add both group and local policies in the systems network. With windows 2003, an organization needs to configure only one machine as the controller for the entire network hence enhancing security.

Despite the advantages, the operating system has its limitations. These include hardware resources, which need to be added for the proper performance of the operating system. The software acquisition needs an upgraded hardware with high processing speed and faster memory. The software installation might cause difficulties to the user hence inconveniences. The use of windows 2003 involves escalated costs due to hiring of skilled support. Training of the support staff and settling the costs of software licenses might be strenuous to organizations or users of the operating system (Garza 2010).

Novell server

Commonly known as Novell Netware, the operating system is established on the Linux Server. It offers the foundation to high level delivery of services on a system network (Harris 2003). Most networking services provided by Novell Netware include file sharing and management of hardware such as printers, queue messages and other networking equipments. Novell operating system comes with unique features such as the Novell Kernel which allows for its installation and operation. It is further configured with nodes that enable the sharing of network services between the customer and server with much ease (Johnson 2003). The variety in the kernel allows users to choose suitable platforms according to their needs giving it strength over other servers.

There are several benefits associated with the use of Novell software. Firstly, once the software has been installed, it is much simpler to use, and this credits reliability since the system server does not require frequent maintenance. The reliability of Novell enables organizations to run their businesses without worries of system breakdown hence an advantage to the IT world. Another advantage for Novell is the fast delivery rate of services between the server and workstation (Johnson 2003). The use of Novell software enables easy support for large files and offers security against hackers hence no threats to users’ files.

One of the major disadvantages experienced by Novell Netware users is poor scalability due to high speeds during configuration of the operating systems. Configuration requires skilled personnel to ensure proper reconfiguration services. Another limitation for Novell is the large amount of disk space and internal memory required for installation (Harris 2003). This inconveniences the users since they have to upgrade the hardware to enable installation. Further more, the installation of the software takes long periods of time and therefore, requires patience.

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Apple Company uses various types of operating systems mainly based on the application of Mac Operating System X version 10.6. The main feature that comes with Mac is the hybrid kernel which enables configuration of the software (Singh 2007). Apple’s operating system is mainly used in personal computers for home applications. Its graphics are based on the UNIX systems and can be run on Intel processors unlike, the predecessors.

One of the main advantages in using Mac OS X over the other servers is the speed in performing simple tasks. The OS uses open office program and the word which are powerful and appropriate for simple tasks. The system has accessible drivers, and their use is easily obtainable while at the same time offering security against viruses and malware. Mac OS X comes with windows which enable the creation of WebPages and other advanced features such as puzzle slides. However, the disadvantages of the operating systems include its inability to service delivery in large businesses. This is based on the fact that other operating systems allow for more complex application packages that are vital to company offices and businesses. There are other applications such as, sledge hammer which are not very reliable hence limiting its functionality in busy environments (Singh 2007).

Windows 2008

Windows 2008 server is suitable for organizational operations since it steps down the cost of operations although still offering sufficient services. Its features simplify the management and administering of company resources at efficient and low overhead costs. This operating system applies the strategy of Microsoft virtualization, which has its basis on network management from remote work stations (Matthews 2008).

Benefits of Windows server 2008 as the best choice over other servers

Windows 2008 is the most reliable operating system since it comes with advanced features suitable for office operations. To begin with, the operating system enables the use of virtual machines which are more sufficient as they facilitate the creation of user groups across the system network (Tulloch 2007). The server operating system permits the execution of particular configurations for both the machines and users. These policies are mainly achieved by linking the policy objects to web sites and domains. Group policies enable the set up of active directories hence an enhanced administration of client and machine components. This technology facilitates network management by ensuring accessibility of users to their data applications whether they are connected to the network or not. This is achieved by special features such as implementation of roaming user profiles (Tulloch 2007). Roaming profiles on the other hand, are found in the central computer and are accessible to all server users in the network environment. The profiles are kept in the server in a common folder for sharing among the network users.

As a user of Windows 2008, the reasons for choosing the operating system is based on the fact that it has enabled faster services of file transfer. This provides efficient exchange of files within the network and between management and work stations. Further more, windows 2008 offers flexibility which gives it an advantage over other servers since both clients and administrators can access the group policies formed at great ease. This is further accomplished by implementing the infrastructure of virtual desktops which enable simple network management from one central server. According to Hassell (2008), Windows 2008, provides appropriate services better than other server operating systems thus an important tool in modern technology.


The improvement and development of operating systems for servers have been of great importance in the modern IT world. The transitions have facilitated ease in network management due to advanced features in newer versions of operating systems. This has also reduced the rates of insecurity involved with networking. The availability of various operating systems in the market is therefore advantageous to the IT world. This is for the reason that different types of operating systems play different roles according to their features and users needs. Server operating systems are therefore important in organizations since they simplify the management of organizational applications.


Garza, G 2010, Windows Server 2003 – Pros and Cons. Web.

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Harris, J 2003, Novell NetWare 6.5 Administrator’s Handbook, Que Publishing, New York.

Hassell, J., Windows Server 2008: the definitive guide, O’Reilly Media, Indianapolis.

Hunt, C & Bragg, R 2005, Windows Server 2003 network administration, O’Reilly Media, Indianapolis.

Johnson, D., Gaskin, E J. & Cheung, D (2003) Novell Netware 5.X to 6 upgrade, Que Publishing, New York.

Matthews, M., Microsoft Windows Server 2008: A Beginner’s Guide, McGraw-Hill Professional, London.

Singh, A 2007, Mac OS X internals: a systems approach, Addison-Wesley, Pennsylvania

Tulloch, M 2007, Introducing Windows Server 2008, Microsoft Press, New York.

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