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Popular Windows Server definitions you need to know

As we move into the second half of 2013, we decided to look at some of the most popular Windows Server definitions from the year so far. We highlighted the most popular terms and additional information that will help you have a better understanding of how each term fits into the larger Windows Server picture.

Internet Information Server (IIS)

Microsoft Internet Information Server (IIS) is a web server that includes programs to build and manage web sites. It also includes support for search engines and web-based applications to access databases.

The latest iteration of IIS is IIS 8, which has features to help users build large-scale web hosts. The previous version of IIS, IIS 7, included updates for user rights, the installation process and troubleshooting.

Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2012 (SCCM 2012)

System Center Configuration Manager 2012is a product that lets admins manage the deployment and security of devices and applications in an enterprise. SCCM 2012 discovers devices connected on a network and installs client software on each node.

SCCM is  a solid mobile device management option for enterprises. It takes a “user-centric” approach to application delivery and management while providing endpoint protection. Configuration Manager can also be an option for admins looking for something that goes further than Exchange ActiveSync.

Active Directory (AD)

Active Directory is Microsoft’s trademarked directory service that automates network management of distributed resources, user data and security. It is designed for distributed networking.

When Windows Server 2012 was released, AD received a number of updates. Windows Server 2012 can now support AD cloud deployments. Microsoft also made significant fixes to help AD work well with Windows Failover Clusters, including more flexible organizational unit administration and AD cluster protection from deletion.

Group Policy Object (GPO)

A Group Policy Object  is a collection of settings in AD that define what a system looks like for a group of users. GPOs are associated with select AD containers, including domains, organizational units and sites.

With the release of Windows Server 2012, GPOs received major changes. New GPOs were introduced for Windows 8 and for controlling the Setting Sync feature. There were also new GPOs in the Group Policy Update option in the Group Policy Management Console.

Domain controller (DC)

A domain controller (DC) is an assigned role for a server in a computer network. Primary domain controllers (PDCs) manage the master user database for the domain. Backup domain controllers (BDCs) are other servers in the network that balance a busy network’s workload and step up as a PDC is the PDC server fails.

In Windows Server 2012, a new AD feature changes the way DCs are provisioned. The deployment Wizard, which is built on PowerShell, promotes cloud-based servers to DCs and makes it easier for admins to perform large-scale AD deployments.

What definitions have been most helpful for you this year? Let us know in the comments below, or on Twitter @SearchWinServer.

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