Q. What is Windows Server 2008 Foundation edition?

Learn what Windows Server 2008 Foundation edition is.

John Savill

April 6, 2009

2 Min Read
Q. What is Windows Server 2008 Foundation edition?

A. Microsoft has released a new edition of Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 Foundation, which is a scaled down version of Windows Server 2008 designed for small organizations. The Foundation edition only has a subset of the Windows Server 2008 roles and features.

This edition will only be available pre-installed on servers sold through OEMs. Foundation edition is basically an entry-level server—it's a cheap version of Windows Server 2008 aimed at servers running a Linux distribution. Microsoft has referred to it as a netbook-level OS for servers.

Foundation has a limit of 15 users and is licensed on a per-user account basis. The good news is that Windows Server 2008 foundation could be a company’s first Server 2008 OS, but as the company grows the company can upgrade to higher versions to get access to enhanced features and support for more users.

Features that are part of Windows Server 2008 Foundation include:

  • Active Directory: Foundation can be a domain controller (DC) in a domain only with other foundation server DCs (you can't mix Foundation DCs with non-Foundation DCs)

  • Terminal servicesfor remote access

  • Remote access

  • Web services

  • File and print services

  • Application platform

You don't need CALs to connect to Foundation, but you still need Terminal Services (TS) and Windows Rights Management Services CALs if you use those features.

Unlike Windows Small Business Server or Windows Essential Business Server, which bundle mail, collaboration, and management features with the OS, Foundation is just a scaled down Windows Server 2008 OS.

Windows Server 2008 foundation will be available in English, Spanish, Turkish, Portuguese, Japanese, and Chinese. Language packs aren't supported.

Foundation will be available only in 64-bit and has the following connectivity limitations:

  • 1 physical processor socket, which can have multiple cores (4 in standard)

  • 8GB RAM (32GB in standard)

  • 30 Server Message Block connections (unlimited in standard)

  • 50 RRAS connections (250 in standard)

  • 10 Internet Authentication Service connections (50 in standard)

  • 50 TS Gateway sessions (250 in standard)

  • 2 Remote Desktop administrator connections

  • No Hyper-V or virtual instance rights

See the Foundation site for more information.

Related Reading:

Check out hundreds more useful Q&As like this in John Savill's FAQ for Windows. Also, watch instructional videos made by John at ITTV.net.

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