We came across a new Window Server 2008 this week running Foundation edition. Windows Server 2008 Foundation is a cut-down version of the server operating system designed to attract small companies into buying their first Windows Server.
If you have 15 users or less (and have no ambition to go beyond this number) and need a simple server for file sharing, resource sharing and security, buying Foundation will save you a couple of hundred pounds. Its’ only available preinstalled on a server, so setup time will be limited and you should be operable quickly.
The client who came to us for help identified with all these issues but then hit performance problems. Foundation has a memory limit of 8 gb, which is fine if all you are doing is file sharing but if you want to run a couple of Terminal Server sessions (as the Foundation sales blurb tells you is possible), you can easily hit that 8 gb limit.
If you hit the limits of Foundation you can buy a Standard edition licence but you will then have hardware issues to look.
Foundation edition addresses a competitive weakness in the Microsoft range – small companies can find the cost of installing a secure network prohibitive – but the drop in licence cost is only a fraction of the ownership cost of a Windows Server, and the limitations have the potential to frustrate.