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Clearing up the Nano Server vs. Server Core confusion

The debut of Windows Server 2016 contained a lighter server OS deployment to replace Server Core, but then Microsoft made a drastic change that still has some admins puzzled.

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Career development

Windows system administrators need access to resources that build their technical capabilities, whether their focus is data center resource management or cloud administration. IT career development articles also cover automation, such as how to use PowerShell to operate Microsoft Exchange.

Recent Definitions

  • ISA (Industry Standard Architecture)

    ISA (Industry Standard Architecture) is a standard bus (computer interconnection) architecture that was associated with the IBM AT motherboard.

  • enterprise content management (ECM)

    Enterprise content management (ECM) is a set of defined processes, strategies and tools that allow a business to effectively obtain, organize, store and deliver critical information to its employees, business stakeholders and customers.

  • Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT)

    Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) is a system of transferring money from one bank account directly to another without any paper money changing hands.


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Cloud and virtualization

Enterprises are virtualizing applications on Hyper-V and moving workloads into the Microsoft Azure cloud platform, spurring IT teams to deploy and manage cloud-based workloads. This Microsoft cloud and virtualization topic center offers expert advice on technologies such as Hyper-V, Azure and Docker containers.

Recent Definitions

  • Microsoft Windows Azure Active Directory (Windows Azure AD)

    Microsoft Windows Azure Active Directory (Windows Azure AD or Azure AD) is a cloud service that provides administrators with the ability to manage end-user identities and access privileges.

  • Microsoft Azure ExpressRoute

    Microsoft Azure ExpressRoute is a service that provides a private connection between an organization's on-premises infrastructure and Microsoft Azure data centers.

  • Linux Secure Boot

    Linux Secure Boot is a feature in Windows 10 and Windows Server 2016 that allows some Linux distributions to boot under Hyper-V as Generation 2 virtual machines.


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Messaging and collaboration

The Microsoft messaging and collaboration services topic center features articles tailored to the needs of an Exchange Server or Office 365 administrator, and includes how to run a hybrid deployment, data security best practices, automation via PowerShell, troubleshooting tips and tricks, and insights into Microsoft's roadmap for these platforms.

Recent Definitions

  • Exchange Online

    Exchange Online is the hosted version of Microsoft's Exchange Server messaging platform that organizations can obtain as a stand-alone service or via an Office 365 subscription.

  • Microsoft Outlook on the web (formerly Outlook Web App, OWA)

    Outlook on the web is the browser-based email client for users to access email, calendars, tasks and contacts from Microsoft's on-premises Exchange Server and cloud-based Exchange Online.

  • Microsoft Connectivity Analyzer (MCA)

    The Microsoft Connectivity Analyzer (MCA) is a diagnostics tool for troubleshooting and testing connectivity to several Microsoft messaging products from a client machine on an organization's network.


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Server management

The Windows Server management topic center contains tips and tutorials to help administrators with Windows Server monitoring, provisioning and cluster management to ensure Microsoft's server operating system runs as it should.

Recent Definitions

  • Microsoft Software Assurance (SA)

    Microsoft Software Assurance is a software maintenance program that helps organizations gain access to the latest software versions and releases, without incurring additional licensing costs.

  • Group Policy Object (GPO)

    Microsoft’s Group Policy Object (GPO) is a collection of Group Policy settings that defines what a system will look like and how it will behave for a defined group of users.

  • Internet Information Services (IIS)

    Internet Information Services (IIS) is a flexible, general-purpose web server from Microsoft that runs on Windows systems to serve requested HTML pages or files.


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Windows Server versions

Windows Server operating systems range from full server OSes to streamlined deployment options, such as Server Core. Windows administrators can find independent expert management advice and in-depth coverage of key Windows Server features.

Recent Definitions

  • Microsoft Exchange Server

    Microsoft Exchange Server is Microsoft's email, calendaring, contact, scheduling and collaboration platform. It is deployed on the Windows Server operating system for business use.

  • System Insights

    System Insights is a feature that debuted in Windows Server 2019 that processes data and uses predictive analytics to warn administrators of potential issues with Windows Server deployments.

  • configuration drift

    Configuration drift occurs naturally in data center environments when changes to software and hardware are not recorded or tracked in a comprehensive and systematic fashion.


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Storage management

This Windows Server storage management topic center keeps administrators educated on the latest storage management technologies and techniques, with details on how to maintain reliable backups and restore data. These articles help admins solve performance issues by using native Windows Server storage monitoring tools as well as utilities from third-party vendors.

Recent Definitions

  • wbadmin

    Wbadmin is an elevated command prompt that allows administrators or backup operators to backup and restore an operating system (OS), volume, file, folder or application.

  • read-only

    Read-only is a file attribute which only allows a user to view a file, restricting any writing to the file.

  • Resilient File System (ReFS)

    Resilient File System (ReFS) is a file system developed by Microsoft for use on the Windows operating system (OS) that's designed to overcome some of the limitations in the New Technology File System (NTFS).


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Windows systems and networks

The Windows systems and network management topic center offers information for Windows administrators who want to learn the latest in PowerShell techniques and ways to use Microsoft administration tools, such as System Center. It also includes resources to help administrators stay current with IT trends to adjust as enterprise needs shift.

Recent Definitions

  • Active Directory forest (AD forest)

    An Active Directory forest is the highest level of organization within Active Directory.

  • Microsoft Azure

    Microsoft Azure, formerly known as Windows Azure, is Microsoft's public cloud computing platform.

  • operating system (OS)

    An operating system (OS) is the program that, after being initially loaded into the computer by a boot program, manages all of the other application programs in a computer.


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  • risk assessment

    Risk assessment is the identification of hazards that could negatively impact an organization's ability to conduct business.

  • PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard)

    The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is a widely accepted set of policies and procedures intended to ...

  • risk management

    Risk management is the process of identifying, assessing and controlling threats to an organization's capital and earnings.




  • call tree

    A call tree is a layered hierarchical communication model that is used to notify specific individuals of an event and coordinate ...

  • Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS)

    Disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) is the replication and hosting of physical or virtual servers by a third party to provide ...

  • cloud disaster recovery (cloud DR)

    Cloud disaster recovery (cloud DR) is a combination of strategies and services intended to back up data, applications and other ...