Features Available in Windows Server 2008

Applies To: Windows Server 2008

Features are software programs available in Windows Server® 2008 that, though they are not directly parts of roles, can support or augment the functionality of one or more roles, or enhance the functionality of the entire server, regardless of which roles are installed. For example, the Failover Clustering feature augments the functionality of other roles, such as File Services and DHCP Server, by enabling them to join server clusters for increased redundancy and improved performance. Another feature, Telnet Client, allows you to communicate remotely with a telnet server over a network connection, functionality which enhances the communication options of the server as a whole.

Features in Windows Server 2008

The following table identifies and describes features that you can install by using the Server Manager Add Features Wizard, available as part of Windows Server 2008.

Feature Description

Microsoft .NET Framework 3.0 Features

Microsoft .NET Framework 3.0 combines the power of the .NET Framework 2.0 APIs with new technologies for building applications that offer appealing user interfaces, protect your customers’ personal identity information, enable seamless and secure communication, and provide the ability to model a range of business processes.

BitLocker Drive Encryption

BitLocker Drive Encryption helps to protect data on lost, stolen or inappropriately decommissioned computers by encrypting the entire volume and checking the integrity of early boot components. Data is only decrypted if those components are successfully verified and the encrypted drive is located in the original computer. Integrity checking requires a compatible trusted platform module (TPM).

BITS Server Extensions

Background Intelligent Transfer Service (BITS) Server Extensions allow a server to receive files uploaded by clients using BITS. BITS allows client computers to transfer files in the foreground or background asynchronously, preserve the responsiveness of other network applications, and resume file transfers after network failures and computer restarts.

Connection Manager Administration Kit

Connection Manager Administration Kit (CMAK) generates Connection Manager profiles.

Desktop Experience

Desktop Experience includes features of Windows Vista®, such as Windows Media Player, desktop themes, and photo management. Desktop Experience does not enable any of the Windows Vista features by default; you must manually enable them.

Group Policy Management

Group Policy Management makes it easier to understand, deploy, manage, and troubleshoot Group Policy implementations. The standard tool is Group Policy Management Console (GPMC), a scriptable Microsoft Management Console (MMC) snap-in that provides a single administrative tool for managing Group Policy across the enterprise.

Internet Printing Client

Internet Printing Client enables clients to use Internet Printing Protocol (IPP) to connect and print to printers on the network or Internet.

Internet Storage Name Server (iSNS)

Internet Storage Name Server (iSNS) provides discovery services for Internet Small Computer System Interface (iSCSI) storage area networks. iSNS processes registration requests, deregistration requests, and queries from iSNS clients.

LPR Port Monitor

Line Printer Remote (LPR) Port Monitor enables the computer to print to printers that are shared using any Line Printer Daemon (LPD) service. (LPD service is commonly used by UNIX-based computers and printer-sharing devices.)

Message Queuing

Message Queuing provides guaranteed message delivery, efficient routing, security, and priority-based messaging between applications. Message Queuing also accommodates message delivery between applications that run on different operating systems, use dissimilar network infrastructures, are temporarily offline, or that are running at different times.

Multipath I/O

Microsoft Multipath I/O (MPIO), along with the Microsoft Device Specific Module (DSM) or a third-party DSM, provides support for using multiple data paths to a storage device on Microsoft Windows.

Peer Name Resolution Protocol

Peer Name Resolution Protocol (PNRP) allows applications to register on and resolve names from your computer, so other computers can communicate with these applications.


Quality Windows Audio Video Experience (qWave) is a networking platform for audio and video (AV) streaming applications on Internet protocol home networks. qWave enhances AV streaming performance and reliability by ensuring network quality-of-service for AV applications. It provides admission control, run time monitoring and enforcement, application feedback, and traffic prioritization. On Windows Server platforms, qWave provides only rate-of-flow and prioritization services.

Remote Assistance

Remote Assistance enables you (or a support person) to offer assistance to users with computer issues or questions. Remote Assistance allows you to view and share control of the user’s desktop in order to troubleshoot and fix the issues. Users can also ask for help from friends or co-workers.

Remote Server Administration Tools

Remote Server Administration Tools enables remote management of Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2008 from a computer running Windows Server 2008 by allowing you to run some of the management tools for roles, role services, and features on a remote computer.

Removable Storage Manager

Removable Storage Manager (RSM) manages and catalogs removable media and operates automated removable media devices.

Remote Differential Compression

The Remote Differential Compression (RDC) feature is a set of application programming interfaces (APIs) that applications can use to determine if a set of files have changed, and if so, to detect which portions of the files contain the changes.

RPC Over HTTP Proxy

RPC Over HTTP Proxy is a proxy that is used by objects that receive remote procedure calls (RPC) over Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP). This proxy allows clients to discover these objects even if the objects are moved between servers or if they exist in discrete areas of the network, usually for security reasons.

Services for NFS

Services for Network File System (NFS) is a protocol that acts as a distributed file system, allowing a computer to access files over a network as easily as if they were on its local disks. This feature is available for installation on 64-bit versions of Windows Server 2008 only; in other versions of Windows Server 2008, Services for NFS is available as a role services of the File Services role.

SMTP Server

SMTP Server supports the transfer of e-mail messages between e-mail systems.

Storage Manager for SANs

Storage Manager for Storage Area Networks (SANs) helps you create and manage logical unit numbers (LUNs) on Fibre Channel and iSCSI disk drive subsystems that support Virtual Disk Service (VDS) in your SAN.

Simple TCP/IP Services

Simple TCP/IP Services supports the following TCP/IP services: Character Generator, Daytime, Discard, Echo and Quote of the Day. Simple TCP/IP Services is provided for backward compatibility and should not be installed unless it is required.

SNMP Services

Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) is the Internet standard protocol for exchanging management information between management console applications—such as HP Openview, Novell NMS, IBM NetView, or Sun Net Manager—and managed entities. Managed entities can include hosts, routers, bridges, and hubs.

Subsystem for UNIX-based Applications

Subsystem for UNIX-based Applications (SUA), along with a package of support utilities available for download from the Microsoft Web site, enables you to run UNIX-based programs, and compile and run custom UNIX-based applications in the Windows environment.

Telnet Client

Telnet Client uses the Telnet protocol to connect to a remote telnet server and run applications on that server.

Telnet Server

Telnet Server allows remote users, including those running UNIX-based operating systems, to perform command-line administration tasks and run programs by using a telnet client.

Trivial File Transfer Protocol (TFTP) Client

Trivial File Transfer Protocol (TFTP) Client is used to read files from, or write files to, a remote TFTP server. TFTP is primarily used by embedded devices or systems that retrieve firmware, configuration information, or a system image during the boot process from a TFTP server.

Failover Clustering

Failover Clustering allows multiple servers to work together to provide high availability of services and applications. Failover Clustering is often used for file and print services, database and mail applications.

Network Load Balancing

Network Load Balancing (NLB) distributes traffic across several servers, using the TCP/IP networking protocol. NLB is particularly useful for ensuring that stateless applications, such as a Web server running Internet Information Services (IIS), are scaleable by adding additional servers as the load increases.

Windows Server Backup

Windows Server Backup allows you to back up and recover your operating system, applications, and data. You can schedule backups to run once a day or more often, and can protect the entire server or specific volumes.

Windows System Resource Manager

Windows System Resource Manager (WSRM) is a Windows Server operating system administrative tool that can control how CPU and memory resources are allocated. Managing resource allocation improves system performance and reduces the risk that applications, services, or processes will interfere with each other to reduce server efficiency and system response.

Windows Internet Name Service (WINS)

Windows Internet Name Service (WINS) provides a distributed database for registering and querying dynamic mappings of NetBIOS names for computers and groups used on your network. WINS maps NetBIOS names to IP addresses and solves the problems arising from NetBIOS name resolution in routed environments.

Wireless LAN Service

Wireless LAN (WLAN) Service configures and starts the WLAN AutoConfig service, regardless of whether the computer has any wireless adapters. WLAN AutoConfig enumerates wireless adapters, and manages both wireless connections and the wireless profiles that contain the settings required to configure a wireless client to connect to a wireless network.

Windows Internal Database

Windows Internal Database is a relational data store that can be used only by Windows roles and features, such as UDDI Services, Active Directory Rights Management Services, Windows Server Update Services, and Windows System Resource Manager.

Windows PowerShell

Windows PowerShell is a command line shell and scripting language that helps IT professionals achieve greater productivity. It provides a new administrator-focused scripting language and more than 130 standard command line tools to enable easier system administration and accelerated automation.

Windows Process Activation Service

Windows Process Activation Service (WAS) generalizes the IIS process model, removing the dependency on HTTP. All the features of IIS that were previously available only to HTTP applications are now available to applications hosting Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) services, using non-HTTP protocols. IIS 7.0 also uses WAS for message-based activation over HTTP.