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I need to decide between the two. I don't plan on using IIS or anything, I'm going to be running Glassfish, maybe a remote torrent server, and maybe some sort of VNC or remote desktop server.

Is it worth using Windows Server 2003, or should I just go with XP? I own copies of both, so it's not a matter of buying them, I just don't know which to use.

Which would run something like Glassfish and etc. the fastest or which would you see better for the job?

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migrated from serverfault.com Jul 20 '10 at 2:59

This question came from our site for professional system and network administrators.

4 Answers 4

The moment you say:

maybe some sort of VNC or remote desktop server

you have to use Windows Server. Yes, you can hack this functionality into Windows XP but it's against the licensing rules for the XP Remote Desktop.

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If you have both, 2003 is the obvious choice.

From a licencing point of view, you would need to go with Server 2003 if it's to be used by several people connecting in remotely, and you would need CALs for those users.

From a performance point of view, little difference for something small-scale. There are some connection limits that you may run into on XP. Terminal services will not be available to you on XP.

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I'd lean towards Server 2003 for this one. The memory system has been focused on application serving, and the network options are more sophisticated.

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Your biggest limitation is the number of concurrent network connections that can be made to the client OS (Windows XP). Windows XP will only support a maximum of 10 connections while server will support an unlimited amount.

On Licensing

WinXP The 10 concurrent connections are included as part of the CAL you receive when purchasing WinXP.

Server Server (2003/2008) will come standard with 5 user/connection CALS meaning from a legal standpoint, if you will have more than 5 users or connections accessing services served up by the server you will have to buy additional CALS (legal standpoint only, server will still work).

On Remote Desktop

Win XP Will only support a single session. If someone is logged in on the console, and then you log in using Remote Desktop, you will take over the desktop session.

Server Will accept up to 2 Remote Desktop connections, and one console session for a total of 3 sessions. You can buy additional Terminal Services licenses to support more users (licenses are tracked and you cannot expand the number of Remote Desktop/Terminal Server users without buy additional licenses).

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