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  • {2003, 2008},
  • {64, 32}

Its stage webserver with mssql

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how about windows NT 4 ? – Nick Kavadias Feb 9 '10 at 13:41
Please edit your question and include more information, especially what the server's purpose will be. – ThatGraemeGuy Feb 9 '10 at 13:45
What Graeme said...depends on the purpose. If it's for something non-Windows specific, I'd almost say not to put Windows on it, since you'll probably get Linux to do general purpose things more efficiently in less memory. Again, depends on your expertise, resources, and purpose(s). – Bart Silverstrim Feb 9 '10 at 13:47
@Nick: Win2k should run pretty well in that spec. 32 bit of course. – Bart Silverstrim Feb 9 '10 at 13:49
your in for a world of pain if you expect to run anything real world & cram IIS & SQL Server ontop of it. Tell your boss to go without lunch for a day & use the money to buy more RAM – Nick Kavadias Feb 9 '10 at 15:34
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Assuming this isn't a performance sensitive role, 2008 x86 will run just fine on 512MB of ram for basic core services like DC, DNS, File/Print and so on in a limited scope. Especially a 2008 Core will do wonders down to 256MB of memory actually. 64bit version will tend to draw a bit more so 2008 R2 isn't perfect for this constraint - but not impossible.

I'd heavily recommend against 2003 as you want to run an up-to-date operating system no matter the platform to prevent stability, vulnerability and support issues. 2000 and earlier should not even be considered.

Getting MSSQL to run on top of this, especially with an application server like IIS, will be more of a problem though - but that certainly won't change with an older version of Windows Server.

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2003 without a doubt. Earlier versions of Windows (NT4, 2000) will certainly run better, but in practical terms you might have trouble getting apps (like a version of MSSQL) that are supported on them. Security-wise 2003 will also be more robust against newer threats than NT4 or 2000 can ever be these days.

With that amount of memory (any specific reason why you can't upgrade it to a gig or 2?) 32 bit is the way to go - there is no real advantage to the larger address space of 64 bit here, and in fact 64 bit will consume quite a lot more RAM and push you to the limit sooner.

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