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Can anyone point me at very specific details of what the limitations of the Web Edition of Windows Server 2008 are? I have seen the higher level comparisson charts of the various editions but no detailed specifics.

I understand they removed the inability to install SQL Server and significantly raised the RAM and CPU limits. But a little googling indicates that in Server 2003 the Web Edition has a limit of 10 inbound UNC connections to keep people from using it as a file server. Does this limit still exist in Server 2008? Are there other limits?

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up vote 6 down vote accepted


Windows Web Server 2008 is designed to be used specifically as a single-purpose Web server, and delivers on a rock-solid foundation of Web infrastructure capabilities in the next-generation Windows Server 2008. Integrated with the newly re-architected IIS 7.0, ASP.NET, and the Microsoft .NET Framework, Windows Web Server 2008 enables any organization to rapidly deploy Web pages, Web sites, Web applications, and Web services.

There are some really good pages under the "editions" link at the top of that page as well. Specifically states that the Web edition does NOT support File Services.

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Yep, I saw these comparrisons and the fact that it does not support the File Services Role. But does that mean that it in fact cannot even create a Share or is it more subtle (like the 10 inbound UNC connections limit of 2003)? – BrettRobi Jul 14 '09 at 18:15
AFAIK it means you cannot even create a Share, because you cannot install the File Server role. I guess one way to see would be to get the eval version (…) and see. – Adam Brand Jul 14 '09 at 18:45
So it turns out you can in fact create shares. I have been unable to find any limitations with them either. However you cannot access the "Share and Storage Management" mmc snap-in. It appears the StorageMgmt snap-in is missing even though the menu item exists within the Administrative Tools menu. All share mgmt must be done through right clicking a shared folder and choosing Properties then using the Share and Permissions tabs. – BrettRobi Jul 24 '09 at 20:56
Your link in the post is broken – Zapnologica Apr 14 '15 at 13:54

In addition to the comparison pages on the Microsoft website, be sure to check the Licensing page.

Windows Web Server 2008 can be used solely to deploy Internet-accessible Web pages, Web sites, Web applications, Web services, and POP3 mail serving

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Thanks, I did not consider the legal aspect. – BrettRobi Jul 14 '09 at 18:16

Following on from the answers above (the pdf isn't that easy to see on the pages).

Here is a direct link to a PDF overview on Microsoft's site of each server role (feature set) available in each edition.

Comparison of Server 2008 R2 Editions

Screen shot of the Windows Server 2008 R2 Edition Comparison by Server Role

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We are running a Server 2008 Web Edition with SQL server 2008 on it.

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As noted by the OP: "I understand they removed the inability to install SQL Server and significantly raised the RAM and CPU limits." – Adam Brand Jul 14 '09 at 20:38
Apparently, you can install SQL Server on Windows Web Server.… – Josh Yeager Jan 25 '11 at 18:35
@Josh Yeager, Yep, thats why i mentioned it. – DanBig Jan 25 '11 at 18:41
How well does SQL Server run on it? What edition of SQL Server is there? – Andrei Rinea Mar 21 '12 at 17:47

See here for comparison

Edition Comparison by Server Role

Also see here: Server 2008 Web Edition limitations

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Link is broken. – Zapnologica Apr 14 '15 at 13:53

You cannot use the Web Edition to be a Domain Controller, Terminal Server, Hyper-V host, etc. It is a Web Server only.

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According to Microsoft the main difference is that the "web edition" includes Microsoft's own web server (IIS). More differences can be seen on the following page:

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All versions of Windows include IIS. – Josh Yeager Jan 25 '11 at 18:32

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