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I am looking to develop and host my own website. On top of this, my server will also be running internal software that take care of some processes.

The website is going to be developed using ASP.NET MVC framework and will be interacting with SQL Server 2005 Express Edition. The internal software was built using C# and interacting with the same database.

The server has to be Windows. I have heard that Windows Server 2003 was considered the most secure and overall best. However, I don't just want to jump on the bandwagon I would like to know what questions I need to ask myself with regards to the operating system to understand what would be the best operating system for me.

Thanks in advance.

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"I have heard that Windows Server 2003 was considered the most secure and overall best." Ok, I'll bite. Where did you hear that? – John Gardeniers Oct 6 '09 at 10:16
I was pretty sure it wasn't the case, hence the question, however, I read it in an article I came across! – James Oct 6 '09 at 10:22
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Get Windows Server 2008 Web Edition, and make it the 64-bit version. It is by far the best platform for ASP.NET.

  • Windows Server 2008 Web Edition because it is cheaper and if you only want to use it as a web server + sql server, you'll be fine.
  • 64-bit because it is inherently more secure, performant and future-proof.
  • ASP.NET because... well you know the answer to that one since you already chose it! ;-)
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Will this still cope fine with the other software I run? It connects to Microsoft Exchange and processes emails? – James Oct 6 '09 at 9:01
My exchange server is however hosted on another machine, I would be connecting to it via IMAP4. – James Oct 6 '09 at 9:06
It will work exactly like any other Windows Server, bar the limitations that the server cannot run AD DS services for instance. Dive in to this chart for the differences in editions: – tplive Oct 6 '09 at 11:21
This page for different server roles: and other pages available from the same link.. – tplive Oct 6 '09 at 11:24
Do you know why it doesn't allow remote desktop? That could be a bit of a pain if I can't login to make changes! – James Oct 6 '09 at 11:48

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