Windows Server Definitions

This glossary explains the meaning of key words and phrases that information technology (IT) and business professionals use when discussing Microsoft Windows Server and related software products. You can find additional definitions by visiting WhatIs.com or using the search box below.

  • M

    Microsoft Office 2016

    Microsoft Office 2016 is a suite of productivity applications that includes Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft PowerPoint and Microsoft Outlook.

  • Microsoft Office 365 Admin Center

    The Microsoft Office 365 Admin Center is the web-based portal administrators use to manage user accounts and configuration settings for the Office 365 subscription services, including Exchange Online and SharePoint Online.

  • Microsoft Office 365 admin roles

    Microsoft Office 365 admin roles give users authorization to perform certain tasks in the Office 365 admin center. Only the global administrator can assign or modify an admin role, which grants the permissions required to control certain functions in Office 365.

  • Microsoft Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection

    Microsoft Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) is Microsoft's optional cloud-based service that scans and filters email to protect subscribers from malware in attachments and hyperlinks to malicious websites.

  • Microsoft Office SharePoint Server (MOSS)

    Microsoft Office SharePoint Server (MOSS) is the full version of a portal-based platform for collaboratively creating, managing and sharing documents and Web services. MOSS enables users to create "Sharepoint Portals" that include shared workspaces, applications, blogs, wikis and other documents accessible through a Web browser. The free version, Windows SharePoint Server (WSS), usually referred to as simply "Sharepoint," is available as a free download included with every Windows Server license. (Continued...)

  • Microsoft Online Services Sign-In Assistant

    The Microsoft Online Services Sign-In Assistant is a software application that provides common sign-on capabilities for a suite of Microsoft online services, such as Office 365.

  • Microsoft Operations Management Suite

    The Microsoft Operations Management Suite is a software as a service offering that allows an administrator to manage on-premises and cloud assets from one console. Microsoft OMS handles log analytics, IT automation, backup and recovery, and security and compliance tasks.

  • Microsoft Outlook

    Microsoft Outlook is the preferred email client used to access Microsoft Exchange Server email

  • Microsoft Outlook 2013

    Microsoft Outlook 2013 is the email client that was included in the Office 2013 suite release.

  • Microsoft Outlook MailTips

    Microsoft Outlook MailTips is an opt-in tool for Exchange Server 2013 that will send alerts to end users when they are about about to click "reply all" to a large distribution list, send sensitive information to someone outside the organization or send a message to someone who is out of the office.

  • Microsoft Outlook on the web (formerly Outlook Web App, OWA)

    Outlook on the web is the browser-based email client for users to access email, calendars, tasks and contacts from Microsoft's on-premises Exchange Server and cloud-based Exchange Online.

  • Microsoft Outlook Web App (OWA) 2013

    Microsoft Outlook Web App (OWA) 2013 is the Web-based email client included in Exchange Server 2013.

  • Microsoft Powershell Core

    Microsoft PowerShell Core is the open-source version of the Microsoft PowerShell automation and configuration management tool built on the .NET Core that runs on Windows, Linux and macOS systems.

  • Microsoft RD Virtualization Host (Remote Desktop Virtualization Host)

    Microsoft RD Virtualization Host (Remote Desktop Virtualization Host) is a Remote Desktop Services role service in Windows Server 2008 R2.

  • Microsoft Remote Desktop Web Access (Microsoft RD Web Access)

    Microsoft Remote Desktop Web Access (Microsoft RD Web Access) is a feature in Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows Server 2012 that allows users to access RemoteApp and Desktop Connection through the Start menu or a Web browser.

  • Microsoft Scale-Out File Server

    Microsoft Scale-Out File Server is an active-active clustered file server feature based on Server Message Block (SMB) 3.0 to provide continuous availability of file shares in Windows Server.

  • Microsoft SCOM (System Center Operations Manager)

    Microsoft's SCOM dashboard uses traffic light color-coding to indicate object health states. Green is healthy, yellow is a warning and red indicates there is a critical issue.The data center administrator can adjust these levels as needed.

  • Microsoft Security Configuration Wizard (SCW)

    Microsoft Security Configuration Wizard (SCW) is an administrative tool used to change the default security settings on a server and to apply a security policy on multiple servers.

  • Microsoft SharePoint Online

    Microsoft SharePoint Online is a collection of cloud- and web-based technologies that makes it easy to store, share and manage digital information within an organization.

  • Microsoft Software Assurance (SA)

    Microsoft Software Assurance is a software maintenance program that helps organizations gain access to the latest software versions and releases, without incurring additional licensing costs.

  • Microsoft Storage QoS (Storage Quality of Service)

    Microsoft Storage QoS (Storage Quality of Service) is a feature for monitoring and managing the performance of storage resources allocated to individual virtual machines (VMs) running on Hyper-V and scale-out file servers or cluster shared volumes.

  • Microsoft Storage Replica

    Microsoft Storage Replica is a feature in Windows Server 2016 that provides synchronous block-level, volume-based replication for high availability and disaster recovery needs.

  • Microsoft Storage Spaces Direct

    Microsoft Storage Spaces Direct is a feature in Windows Server 2016 that uses local server storage to build highly available and scalable software-defined storage systems for Hyper-V virtual machines.

  • Microsoft System Center

    Microsoft System Center is a suite of individually sold systems management products... (Continued)

  • Microsoft System Center 2012

    Microsoft System Center 2012 is a bundled suite of systems management products that offers tools to monitor and automate virtualized environments, including private clouds based on Microsoft Hyper-V.

  • Microsoft System Center 2012 Data Protection Manager

    Microsoft System Center 2012 Data Protection Manager (DPM) is a tool in System Center 2012 that provides file servers, virtual servers, Exchange Server, SharePoint and SQL Server with disk-based, tape-based and bare metal recovery capabilities.

  • Microsoft System Center 2012 R2

    Microsoft System Center 2012 R2 is the newest version of the server management suite of products.

  • Microsoft System Center 2012 Service Manager (SCSM 2012)

    Microsoft System Center 2012 Service Manager (SCSM 2012) is a management product in the System Center 2012 suite that can help an enterprise automate and adapt its IT service management.

  • Microsoft System Center 2012 SP1(Microsoft System Center 2012 Service Pack 1)

    Microsoft System Center 2012 SP1 is a service pack for System Center 2012 that brings management capabilities and support to Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 machines.

  • Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM)

    Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) is a Windows product that enables administrators to manage the deployment and security of devices and applications across an enterprise.

  • Microsoft System Center Global Service Monitor (GSM)

    Microsoft System Global Service Monitor (GSM) is a tool that helps administrators extend the capabilities of System Center 2012 into a cloud-based infrastructure.

  • Microsoft System Center Operations Manager Management Pack (Microsoft SCOM Management Pack)

    A System Center Operations Manager (SCOM) Management Pack is a pre-fabricated rule set intended to extend and configure SCOM for specific services or applications.

  • Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012

    Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012 (SCVMM 2012) is Microsoft's virtualization management product. It is part of the System Center 2012 systems management suite.

  • Microsoft TechEd

    TechEd is an annual Microsoft technical conference for IT professionals.

  • Microsoft Virtual Academy (MVA)

    The Microsoft Virtual Academy (MVA) is a free online school with courses that cover Microsoft-related topics and specific Microsoft products.

  • Microsoft Virtual Machine Bus (VMBus)

    Microsoft Virtual Machine Bus (VMBus) is a mechanism within the Hyper-V architecture that enables logical communication in partitions.

  • Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter (MVMC)

    Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter (MVMC) is a supported stand-alone option that can convert VMware virtual machines and virtual disks into Hyper-V VMs and virtual hard disks.

  • Microsoft Web Platform Installer (Web PI)

    Microsoft Web Platform Installer (Web PI) is a free tool Microsoft offers organizations so they can receive components in the Microsoft Web Platform.

  • Microsoft Windows

    Windows is a personal computer operating system from Microsoft that, together with some commonly used business applications such as Microsoft Word and Excel, has become a de facto 'standard' for individual users in most corporations as well as in most homes.

  • Microsoft Windows Azure Active Directory (Windows Azure AD)

    Microsoft Windows Azure Active Directory (Windows Azure AD or Azure AD) is a cloud service that provides administrators with the ability to manage end-user identities and access privileges.

  • Microsoft Windows Background Intelligent Transfer Service (BITS)

    The Microsoft Windows Background Intelligent Transfer Service (BITS) is a component in Microsoft Windows operating systems that takes unused network bandwidth to perform concurrent file transfers between machines.

  • Microsoft Windows Control Panel

    The Microsoft Windows Control Panel is a management tool for the Windows operating system (OS) that allows end users to change settings and manage tasks within the OS. 

  • Microsoft Windows Features on Demand

    Microsoft Windows Features on Demand is a feature that allows system administrators to add or remove roles and features in Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012, and later versions of the client and server operating system to alter the file size of those operating systems.

  • Microsoft Windows Insider Program for Business

    Microsoft Windows Insider Program for Business is a service for IT professionals who want to test preview builds of Windows 10 and Windows Server in the enterprise before general availability.

  • Microsoft Windows Live Migration compression

    Live Migration compression is a Windows Server 2012 R2 process to compress memory data before it's sent over a network. Once the data reaches its destination, the memory is decompressed.

  • Microsoft Windows MultiPoint Server

    Microsoft Windows MultiPoint Server is a shared resource computing solution that enables hosting for multiple simultaneous independent computing stations or terminals connected to a single computer.

  • Microsoft Windows MultiPoint Services Role

    Windows MultiPoint Services Role is a role in Windows Server 2016 that allows multiple users to share a single computer while having their own Windows experience.

  • Microsoft Windows Performance Monitor

    The Microsoft Windows Performance Monitor is a tool that admins can use to examine how programs running on their computers affect their performance.

  • Microsoft Windows PowerShell 4.0

    Microsoft Windows PowerShell 4.0 is the version of the PowerShell scripting language found in Windows Server 2012 R2.

  • Microsoft Windows PowerShell Direct

    Microsoft Windows PowerShell Direct is a feature of Windows Server 2016 and Windows 10 that allows a user to manage a VM without requiring changes in the network connection or remote management settings.

  • Microsoft Windows PowerShell DSC (Desired State Configuration)

    Desired State Configuration (DSC) is a feature in PowerShell 4.0 and above that helps administrators to automate the configuration of Windows and Linux operating systems.

  • Microsoft Windows PowerShell Integrated Scripting Environment (ISE)

    The Windows PowerShell Integrated Scripting Environment (ISE) is a graphical user interface and front-end hosting application for Windows PowerShell.

  • Microsoft Windows Server 2008

    Windows Server 2008 is the server operating system developed by Microsoft.

  • Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2

    Windows Server 2012 R2 is the second iteration of Windows Server 2012.

  • Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2 System Health

    Windows Server 2012 R2 System Health is a reporting feature that alerts the administrator to critical updates, missing malware protection and other issues that require action to be taken.

  • Microsoft Windows Server 2012 Remote Access

    Remote Access is a Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012 R2 feature that combines DirectAccess, Routing and Remote Access Service features. 

  • Microsoft Windows Server 2016

    Microsoft Windows Server 2016, previously referred to as Windows Server vNext, is a server operating system (OS).

  • Microsoft Windows Server Antimalware

    Microsoft Windows Server Antimalware is a tool in the Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview that protects against malware.

  • Microsoft Windows Server Datacenter Abstraction Layer (DAL)

    The Microsoft Windows Server Datacenter Abstraction Layer (DAL) is a software framework intended to enable consistent monitoring and management of hardware found in the typical data center environment.

  • Microsoft Windows Server Desktop Experience

    Microsoft Windows Server Desktop Experience is a feature that allows admins to install various Windows 7 features on servers running Windows Server 2008, Windows 8 features on servers running Windows Server 2012 and Windows 8.1 features on servers running Windows Server 2012 R2.

  • Microsoft Windows Server Event Viewer

    Microsoft Windows Server Event Viewer is a monitoring tool that shows a log of events that can be used to troubleshoot issues on a Windows-based system.

  • Microsoft Windows Server LTSC (Long-Term Servicing Channel)

    Microsoft Windows Server LTSC (Long-Term Servicing Channel) is a servicing option for Microsoft's server operating system that follows the familiar track of two to three years between feature updates.

  • Microsoft Windows Server Manager

    Microsoft Windows Server Manager is a tool for managing a server's identity and the roles installed on the server.

  • Microsoft Windows Server OS (operating system)

    Microsoft Windows Server OS (operating system) is a series of enterprise-class server operating systems designed to share services with multiple users and provide extensive administrative control of data storage, applications and corporate networks.

  • Microsoft Windows Server Semi-Annual Channel (SAC)

    Microsoft Windows Server Semi-Annual Channel (SAC) is a servicing option that delivers a feature update twice a year for organizations that want the latest Windows Server functionality.

  • Microsoft Windows Subsystem for Linux

    Microsoft Windows Subsystem for Linux is a series of Microsoft components that allow native Linux 64-bit Executable and Linkable Format (ELF64) binaries to run on the Windows kernel in the Windows 10 operating system.

  • Microsoft Windows Update

    Microsoft Windows Update is a free Microsoft tool that installs security updates on machines.

  • Microsoft Windows Update Agent

    Microsoft Windows Update Agent is a tool that can work in conjunction with Windows Server Update Services on each client computer in an enterprise that checks for available updates.

  • Microsoft Windows Update for Business

    Microsoft Windows Update for Business is a service in Windows 10 that will allow administrators to control which client devices will receive updates and when by choosing a 'fast' or 'slow' distribution ring.

  • MinWin

    MinWin is the lowest level of the Windows operating system. It runs the kernel, the TCP/IP stack and basic system services; it is self-contained and has no understanding of, or dependence upon, the rest of the Windows operating system.

  • Monad Manifesto

    The Monad Manifesto is a document written by Jeffrey Snover in 2002 that outlined his idea for a new Windows systems administration tool named Monad, which was changed to Windows PowerShell.

  • mscorsvw.exe

    Mscorsvw.exe is a process that is used to precompile Microsoft .NET framework assemblies in the background.

  • MTS (Microsoft Transaction Server)

    This definition is generally duplicated under Viper.

  • Windows Admin Center (formerly Project Honolulu)

    Windows Admin Center, formerly Microsoft Project Honolulu, is a browser-based utility that manages Windows Server and client operating systems, hyper-converged clusters and failover clusters.

  • Windows containers

    Windows containers are abstracted, isolated and portable operating environments supported by the Microsoft Windows Server 2016 operating system and managed with tools such as Docker and PowerShell.

  • N

    NDIS (Network Driver Interface Specification)

    NDIS (Network Driver Interface Specification) is a Windows specification for how communication protocol programs (such as TCP/IP) and network device driver should communicate with each other.

  • NetBEUI (NetBIOS Extended User Interface)

    NetBEUI (NetBIOS Extended User Interface) is a new, extended version of NetBIOS, the program that lets computers communicate within a local area network.

  • Network Access Quarantine Control (NAQC)

    Network Access Quarantine Control (NAQC) is a Resource Kit tool in Windows Server 2003 and  Windows Server 2008 that allows administrators to prevent remote client computers from connecting to their network with machines that aren't secure.

  • Ntdsutil

    Ntdsutil.exe is a command-line tool for accessing and managing a Windows Active Directory database. 

  • NTFS (NT file system; sometimes New Technology File System)

    NTFS (NT file system; sometimes New Technology File System) is the file system that the Windows NT operating system uses for storing and retrieving files on a hard disk.

  • O

    OAB (offline address book)

    An Offline Address Book is a downloaded copy of a Microsoft Outlook user's address list which allows the user access to email addresses when disconnected from Exchange Server.

  • OCX

    An OCX is an Object Linking and Embedding (OLE) custom control, a special-purpose program that can be created for use by applications running on Microsoft's Windows systems.

  • offline folder file

    An offline folder file is the location for offline folders (OST files) in Microsoft Outlook.

  • OLE (Object Linking and Embedding)

    OLE (Object Linking and Embedding) is Microsoft's framework for a compound document technology.

  • OOXML (Office Open Extended Markup Language)

    OOXML (Office Open Extended Markup Language), also called Open XML, is a file format for documents, spreadsheets and presentations that is intended for use with the 2007 and later versions of the Microsoft Office suite... (Continued)

  • Open Document Format (ODF)

    The Open Document Format (ODF) is an XML-based open source file format for saving and exchanging text, spreadsheets, charts, and presentations...

  • organizational unit (OU)

    An organizational unit (OU) is a container within a Microsoft Active Directory domain which can hold users, groups and computers.

  • Outlook Anywhere

    Microsoft Outlook Anywhere is a software feature that allows end users with Microsoft Office Outlook 2010, Outlook 2007 or Outlook 2003 to access corporate email and calendars over the Internet from outside the corporate domain without having to log into a virtual private network (VPN). 

  • P

    PCI (Peripheral Component Interconnect)

    PCI (Peripheral Component Interconnect) is an interconnection system between a microprocessor and attached devices in which expansion slots are spaced closely for high speed operation.

  • PCI-X (Peripheral Component Interconnect Extended)

    PCI-X (Peripheral Component Interconnect Extended) is a computer bus technology (the "data pipes" between parts of a computer) that increases the speed that data can move within a computer from 66 MHz to 133 MHz.

  • PCMCIA card

    A PCMCIA card is a credit card-size memory or I/O device that connects to a personal computer, usually a notebook or laptop computer.

  • peer-to-peer network (P2P network)

    A peer-to-peer (P2P) network is a network in which each computer functions as a client or server for other computers in the network.

  • Personal Computer Memory Card International Association (PCMCIA)

    The PCMCIA (Personal Computer Memory Card International Association) is an industry group organized in 1989 to promote standards for a credit card-size memory or I/O device that would fit into a personal computer, usually a notebook or laptop computer.

  • ping storm

    A ping storm is a condition in which the Internet ping program is used to send a flood of packets to a server to test its ability to handle a high amount of traffic or, maliciously, to make the server inoperable.

  • Plug and Play (PnP)

    Plug and Play (PnP) is a capability developed by Microsoft for its Windows 95 and later operating systems that gives users the ability to plug a device into a computer and have the computer recognize that the device is there.

  • PowerShell

    PowerShell is an object-oriented automation engine and scripting language with an interactive command-line shell that Microsoft developed to help IT professionals configure systems and automate administrative tasks.

  • PowerShell provider (Windows PowerShell provider)

    A Windows PowerShell provider is a .NET program that allows the data in a specialized data store to be accessable in Windows PowerShell.

  • PowerShell v3

    PowerShell v3 is a task-automation framework found in client and server versions of Windows

  • problem management

    Problem management, in information technology, is a process aimed at resolving incidents and problems caused by end-user errors or IT infrastructure issues, and preventing recurrence of such incidents.

  • ProLiant

    ProLiant, an "industry standard" computer server from Compaq, typifies the popularly-priced server that is designed to satisfy general computing needs at various levels in an enterprise.

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