We're trying to setup an ASP.NET Web Farm (for load balancing purposes). My question is since we've already have a Windows Server 2003 Standard 64bit, can I get a similar server but with Windows Server 2008 Web Edition.

I just want to know for sure so I can order the correct license on the server we'll be ordering. I don't want to order it with 2008 and run into a bunch of, "oh yeah, it's changed from 2003 to 2008" kind of thing.


I would avoid 2008 if you are already running 2003. I have not attempted to put them in a farm together, but I think you would have trouble. As David mentioned, a lot changed between IIS 6 (Windows 2003) and IIS 7 (Windows 2008). There were even changes within the MetaBase, which could quickly keep things from working, unless MetaBase compatability helped.


There were also many changes with how Identity / authentication is handled... I just doubt that it would even be worth the risk of wasting money to try and get working. You'd be better off just using 2003 or moving everything to 2008.

  • I agree with you and David, I should stick with what will work. – Hondalex Aug 4 '09 at 19:02

IIS is completely different between Server 2003 & Server 2008. It might work, but I wouldn't mix operating systems in a web farm.

  • Thanks David, any issue I could run into? – Hondalex Aug 4 '09 at 15:30
  • Thanks David, I've decieded I'll just get a server with 2003 for the moment. – Hondalex Aug 4 '09 at 19:03

If you're concerned why not fire up some instances of each in Amazon EC2 to test before you commit? It's great for playing with things temporarily.

I tested out some configs on different server/IIS versions 2 weeks ago on it and my bill was less than a dollar which is pretty cool given what I ran through it.

  • Thanks for this suggestion. I'll defintely keep this in mind. – Hondalex Aug 4 '09 at 18:59

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