Windows Server Definitions

This glossary explains the meaning of key words and phrases that information technology (IT) and business professionals use when discussing Microsoft Windows Server and related software products. You can find additional definitions by visiting WhatIs.com or using the search box below.

  • M

    Microsoft Certified Educator (MCE)

    Microsoft Certified Educator (MCE) is a credential to certify that an educator is literate in global technology and can provide students with an education that combines technology and learning in the classroom.

  • Microsoft Certified Solution Developer (MCSD)

    An MCSD (Microsoft Certified Solution Developer) is someone who has passed exams that test their ability to design and develop custom business applications with Microsoft development tools, technologies, and platform.

  • Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE)

    An MCSE (Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer) is someone who has passed exams about the Microsoft Windows NT operating system, related desktop systems, networking, and Microsoft's BackOffice server products.

  • Microsoft Client Hyper-V

    Microsoft Client Hyper-V is a type-1 hypervisor for the Windows 8.x and Windows 10 operating systems (OSes).

  • Microsoft Cloud Witness

    Microsoft Cloud Witness is a high availability feature for failover clusters that uses storage in the Microsoft Azure cloud platform to ensure clusters continue to function if there is a site outage.

  • Microsoft Cluster Service (MSCS)

    Microsoft Cluster Service (MSCS) is a service that provides high availability (HA) for applications such as databases, messaging and file and print services.

  • 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.

  • Microsoft CPS (Microsoft Cloud Platform System)

    Microsoft CPS (Microsoft Cloud Platform System) is a software stack of Window Server 2012 R2, System Center 2012 R2, and Windows Azure Pack that runs on Dell servers.

  • Microsoft Dynamic Access Control (DAC)

    Microsoft Dynamic Access Control (DAC) is a data governance tool in Windows Server 2012 that lets admins control the permission of access settings in an organization.

  • Microsoft Exchange 2013 Poison Message Queue

    Microsoft Exchange 2013 Poison Message Queue is a queue that exists specifically to hold messages deemed harmful to the deployment after a transport server or service failure.

  • Microsoft Exchange Control Panel

    The Exchange Control Panel (ECP) is a Web-based management interface introduced in Exchange Server 2010.

  • Microsoft Exchange Global Address List (GAL)

    The Microsoft Exchange Global Address List is a list of all users and their respective email addresses within an Exchange Server organization that uses Microsoft Outlook for email.

  • Microsoft Exchange In-Place eDiscovery

    Microsoft Exchange In-Place eDiscovery is an administrative feature to perform legal discovery searches for relevant content in mailboxes.

  • Microsoft Exchange Information Store

    Microsoft Exchange Information Store is a storage platform that is used to manage numerous types of information within an Exchange Server deployment.

  • Microsoft Exchange Mailbox Replication Service (MRS)

    The Microsoft Exchange Mailbox Replication Service (MRS) is a feature that handles mailbox import, export, migration and restoration requests on Exchange Server.

  • Microsoft Exchange Management Shell (EMS)

    Microsoft Exchange Management Shell (EMS) is a scripting platform that enables administrators to manage Exchange Server. EMS is is built on top of Microsoft PowerShell, a command line shell that allows administrators to perform administrative tasks with simple noun-verb commands called cmdlets.

  • Microsoft Exchange Online Protection (EOP)

    Microsoft Exchange Online Protection (EOP) is an email cloud service that provides end users with protection against spam and malware.

  • Microsoft Exchange RBAC (Role Based Access Control)

    Microsoft Exchange RBAC is a permissions model used in Exchange Server 2010 and Exchange Server 2013.

  • 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.

  • Microsoft Exchange Server 2010

    Exchange Server 2010 is the version of Microsoft’s messaging platform that replaced Exchange Server 2007.

  • Microsoft Exchange Server 2013

    Exchange Server 2013 is an iteration of Microsoft’s Exchange server. Exchange Server 2013 is similar to Exchange Server 2010 in that the messaging platform can be deployed on-premises, in the cloud or as a hybrid solution in which some servers exist on-premises while others reside in the cloud..

  • Microsoft Exchange Server 2016

    Microsoft Exchange Server 2016 is the latest iteration of the Exchange Server messaging platform. It is tentatively scheduled for release in the latter half of 2015.

  • Microsoft Exchange Server Jetstress

    Microsoft Exchange Server Jetstress is a tool that administrators can use to validate their Exchange Server storage configuration.

  • Microsoft Exchange Transport Dumpster

    The Exchange Transport Dumpster is a feature that exists in Exchange 2007 and 2010 to prevent data loss.

  • Microsoft Failover Cluster Manager (MSFCM)

    Microsoft Failover Cluster Manager (MSFCM) is a specific management function within the Windows Server operating system which is used to create, validate, and manage failover server clusters running Windows Server.

  • Microsoft Group Policy administrative template

    A Microsoft Group Policy administrative template is a file that supports the implementation of Microsoft Windows Group Policy and centralized user and machine management in Active Directory environments.

  • Microsoft Hybrid Configuration Wizard

    The Microsoft Hybrid Configuration wizard is a tool in Exchange Server 2013 that provides a method for admins to create and configure hybrid deployments.

  • Microsoft Hyper-V 3.0

    Hyper-V 3.0 is the virtualization feature created for the client version of Windows 8 as well as Windows Server 8.

  • Microsoft Hyper-V Manager

    Microsoft Hyper-V Manager is a tool that allows administrators to create, change and delete virtual machines (VMs).

  • Microsoft Hyper-V Shielded VM

    A Microsoft Hyper-V Shielded VM is a security feature of Windows Server 2016 that protects a Hyper-V second-generation virtual machine (VM) from access or tampering by using a combination of Secure Boot, BitLocker encryption, virtual Trusted Platform Module (TPM) and the Host Guardian Service.

  • Microsoft Identity Manager

    Microsoft Identity Manager -- also called Microsoft Identity Manager 2016 or MIM -- is an on-premises tool that enables organizations to manage access, users, policies and credentials.

  • Microsoft iSCSI Initiator

    Microsoft iSCSI Initiator is a tool that connects external iSCSI-based storage to host computers with an Ethernet network adapter.

  • Microsoft Log Parser Studio

    Microsoft Log Parser Studio is a front-end utility that features a graphical user interface, report builder and query repository for Microsoft's Log Parser application.

  • Microsoft Monitoring Agent

    The Microsoft Monitoring Agent is a service used to watch and report on application and system health on a Windows computer.

  • Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP)

    A Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) is an individual recognized by Microsoft for exceptional technical expertise and a talent for sharing knowledge within their technical community.

  • Microsoft Nano Server

    Microsoft Nano Server is a lightweight operating system based on Microsoft Windows Server 2016 that is tailored for use as an OS layer for virtualized container instances.

  • Microsoft Network Device Enrollment Service (NDES)

    Microsoft Network Device Enrollment Service (NDES) is a security feature in Windows Server 2008 R2 and later Windows Server operating versions. NDES provides and manages certificates used to authenticate traffic and implement secure network communication with devices that might not otherwise possess valid domain credentials.

  • Microsoft Network Policy and Access Services (Microsoft NPAS)

    Microsoft Network Policy and Access Services (Microsoft NPAS) is a server role in Windows 2008 and Windows Server 2012 that allows administrators to provide local and remote network access.

  • Microsoft Office 2016

    Microsoft Office 2016 is a suite of productivity applications that includes Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft PowerPoint and Microsoft Outlook.

  • Microsoft Office 365 Admin Center

    The Microsoft Office 365 Admin Center is the web-based portal administrators use to manage user accounts and configuration settings for the Office 365 subscription services, including Exchange Online and SharePoint Online.

  • Microsoft Office 365 admin roles

    Microsoft Office 365 admin roles give users authorization to perform certain tasks in the Office 365 admin center. Only the global administrator can assign or modify an admin role, which grants the permissions required to control certain functions in Office 365.

  • Microsoft Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection

    Microsoft Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) is Microsoft's optional cloud-based service that scans and filters email to protect subscribers from malware in attachments and hyperlinks to malicious websites.

  • Microsoft Office SharePoint Server (MOSS)

    Microsoft Office SharePoint Server (MOSS) is the full version of a portal-based platform for collaboratively creating, managing and sharing documents and Web services. MOSS enables users to create "Sharepoint Portals" that include shared workspaces, applications, blogs, wikis and other documents accessible through a Web browser. The free version, Windows SharePoint Server (WSS), usually referred to as simply "Sharepoint," is available as a free download included with every Windows Server license. (Continued...)

  • Microsoft Online Services Sign-In Assistant

    The Microsoft Online Services Sign-In Assistant is a software application that provides common sign-on capabilities for a suite of Microsoft online services, such as Office 365.

  • Microsoft Operations Management Suite

    The Microsoft Operations Management Suite is a software as a service offering that allows an administrator to manage on-premises and cloud assets from one console. Microsoft OMS handles log analytics, IT automation, backup and recovery, and security and compliance tasks.

  • Microsoft Outlook

    Microsoft Outlook is the preferred email client used to send and receive emails by accessing Microsoft Exchange Server email.

  • Microsoft Outlook MailTips

    Microsoft Outlook MailTips is an opt-in tool for Exchange Server 2013 that will send alerts to end users when they are about about to click "reply all" to a large distribution list, send sensitive information to someone outside the organization or send a message to someone who is out of the office.

  • 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 Powershell Core

    Microsoft PowerShell Core is the open-source version of the Microsoft PowerShell automation and configuration management tool built on the .NET Core that runs on Windows, Linux and macOS systems.

  • Microsoft RD Virtualization Host (Remote Desktop Virtualization Host)

    Microsoft RD Virtualization Host (Remote Desktop Virtualization Host) is a Remote Desktop Services role service in Windows Server 2008 R2.

  • Microsoft Remote Desktop Web Access (Microsoft RD Web Access)

    Microsoft Remote Desktop Web Access (Microsoft RD Web Access) is a feature in Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows Server 2012 that allows users to access RemoteApp and Desktop Connection through the Start menu or a Web browser.

  • Microsoft Scale-Out File Server

    Microsoft Scale-Out File Server is an active-active clustered file server feature based on Server Message Block (SMB) 3.0 to provide continuous availability of file shares in Windows Server.

  • Microsoft SCOM (System Center Operations Manager)

    Microsoft's SCOM dashboard uses traffic light color-coding to indicate object health states. Green is healthy, yellow is a warning and red indicates there is a critical issue.The data center administrator can adjust these levels as needed.

  • Microsoft Security Configuration Wizard (SCW)

    Microsoft Security Configuration Wizard (SCW) is an administrative tool used to change the default security settings on a server and to apply a security policy on multiple servers.

  • 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.

  • Microsoft Storage QoS (Storage Quality of Service)

    Microsoft Storage QoS (Storage Quality of Service) is a feature for monitoring and managing the performance of storage resources allocated to individual virtual machines (VMs) running on Hyper-V and scale-out file servers or cluster shared volumes.

  • Microsoft Storage Replica

    Microsoft Storage Replica is a feature in Windows Server 2016 that provides synchronous block-level, volume-based replication for high availability and disaster recovery needs.

  • Microsoft Storage Spaces Direct

    Microsoft Storage Spaces Direct is a feature in Windows Server 2016 that uses local server storage to build highly available and scalable software-defined storage systems for Hyper-V virtual machines.

  • Microsoft System Center

    Microsoft System Center is a suite of individually sold systems management products... (Continued)

  • Microsoft System Center 2012

    Microsoft System Center 2012 is a bundled suite of systems management products that offers tools to monitor and automate virtualized environments, including private clouds based on Microsoft Hyper-V.

  • Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM)

    Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) is a Windows product that enables the management, deployment and security of devices and applications across an enterprise.

  • Microsoft System Center Operations Manager Management Pack (Microsoft SCOM Management Pack)

    A System Center Operations Manager (SCOM) Management Pack is a pre-fabricated rule set intended to extend and configure SCOM for specific services or applications.

  • Microsoft Virtual Academy (MVA)

    The Microsoft Virtual Academy (MVA) is a free online school with courses that cover Microsoft-related topics and specific Microsoft products.

  • Microsoft Virtual Machine Bus (VMBus)

    Microsoft Virtual Machine Bus (VMBus) is a mechanism within the Hyper-V architecture that enables logical communication in partitions.

  • Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter (MVMC)

    Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter (MVMC) is a supported stand-alone option that can convert VMware virtual machines and virtual disks into Hyper-V VMs and virtual hard disks.

  • 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 Windows Background Intelligent Transfer Service (BITS)

    The Microsoft Windows Background Intelligent Transfer Service (BITS) is a component in Microsoft Windows operating systems that takes unused network bandwidth to perform concurrent file transfers between machines.

  • Microsoft Windows Control Panel

    The Microsoft Windows Control Panel is a management tool for the Windows operating system (OS) that allows end users to change settings and manage tasks within the OS. 

  • Microsoft Windows Features on Demand

    Microsoft Windows Features on Demand is a feature that allows system administrators to add or remove roles and features in Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012, and later versions of the client and server operating system to alter the file size of those operating systems.

  • Microsoft Windows Insider Program for Business

    Microsoft Windows Insider Program for Business is a service for IT professionals who want to test preview builds of Windows 10 and Windows Server in the enterprise before general availability.

  • Microsoft Windows MultiPoint Services Role

    Windows MultiPoint Services Role is a role in Windows Server 2016 that allows multiple users to share a single computer while having their own Windows experience.

  • Microsoft Windows Performance Monitor

    The Microsoft Windows Performance Monitor is a tool that admins can use to examine how programs running on their computers affect their performance.

  • Microsoft Windows PowerShell DSC (Desired State Configuration)

    Desired State Configuration (DSC) is a feature in PowerShell 4.0 and above that helps administrators to automate the configuration of Windows and Linux operating systems.

  • Microsoft Windows PowerShell Integrated Scripting Environment (ISE)

    The Windows PowerShell Integrated Scripting Environment (ISE) is a graphical user interface and front-end hosting application for Windows PowerShell.

  • Microsoft Windows Server 2008

    Windows Server 2008 is the server operating system developed by Microsoft.

  • Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2

    Windows Server 2012 R2 is the second iteration of Windows Server 2012.

  • Microsoft Windows Server 2016

    Microsoft Windows Server 2016 is Microsoft's server operating system (OS).

  • Microsoft Windows Server Desktop Experience

    Microsoft Windows Server Desktop Experience is a feature that allows admins to install various Windows 7 features on servers running Windows Server 2008, Windows 8 features on servers running Windows Server 2012 and Windows 8.1 features on servers running Windows Server 2012 R2.

  • Microsoft Windows Server Event Viewer

    Microsoft Windows Server Event Viewer is a monitoring tool that shows a log of events that can be used to troubleshoot issues on a Windows-based system.

  • Microsoft Windows Server LTSC (Long-Term Servicing Channel)

    Microsoft Windows Server LTSC (Long-Term Servicing Channel) is a servicing option for Microsoft's server operating system that follows the familiar track of two to three years between feature updates.

  • Microsoft Windows Server Manager

    Microsoft Windows Server Manager is a tool for managing a server's identity and the roles installed on the server.

  • Microsoft Windows Server OS (operating system)

    Microsoft Windows Server OS (operating system) is a series of enterprise-class server operating systems designed to share services with multiple users and provide extensive administrative control of data storage, applications and corporate networks.

  • Microsoft Windows Server Semi-Annual Channel (SAC)

    Microsoft Windows Server Semi-Annual Channel (SAC) is a servicing option that delivers a feature update twice a year for organizations that want the latest Windows Server functionality.

  • Microsoft Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL)

    Microsoft Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) is a series of Microsoft components that allow native Linux 64-bit Executable and Linkable Format (ELF64) binaries to run on the Windows kernel in the Windows 10 operating system (OS).

  • Microsoft Windows Update

    Microsoft Windows Update is a security service for Windows users that, once activated, automatically searches for and installs updates.

  • Microsoft Windows Update Agent

    Microsoft Windows Update Agent is a tool that can work in conjunction with Windows Server Update Services on each client computer in an enterprise that checks for available updates.

  • Monad Manifesto

    The Monad Manifesto is a document written by Jeffrey Snover in 2002 that outlined his idea for a new Windows systems administration tool named Monad, which was changed to Windows PowerShell.

  • Windows Admin Center (formerly Project Honolulu)

    Windows Admin Center, formerly Microsoft Project Honolulu, is a browser-based utility that manages Windows Server and client operating systems, hyper-converged clusters and failover clusters.

  • Windows containers

    Windows containers are abstracted, isolated and portable operating environments supported by the Microsoft Windows Server 2016 operating system and managed with tools such as Docker and PowerShell.

  • N

    NDIS (Network Driver Interface Specification)

    NDIS (Network Driver Interface Specification) is a Windows specification for how communication protocol programs (such as TCP/IP) and network device driver should communicate with each other.

  • NetBEUI (NetBIOS Extended User Interface)

    NetBEUI (NetBIOS Extended User Interface) is a new, extended version of NetBIOS, the program that lets computers communicate within a local area network.

  • Network Access Quarantine Control (NAQC)

    Network Access Quarantine Control (NAQC) is a Resource Kit tool in Windows Server 2003 and  Windows Server 2008 that allows administrators to prevent remote client computers from connecting to their network with machines that aren't secure.

  • Ntdsutil

    Ntdsutil.exe is a command-line tool for accessing and managing a Windows Active Directory database. 

  • NTFS (NT File System)

    NTFS, which stands for 'NT file system' and the 'New Technology File System,' is the file system that the Windows NT operating system (OS) uses for storing and retrieving files on hard disk drives (HDDs) and solid-state drives (SSDs).

  • O

    OAB (offline address book)

    An Offline Address Book is a downloaded copy of a Microsoft Outlook user's address list which allows the user access to email addresses when disconnected from Exchange Server.

  • OCX

    An OCX is an Object Linking and Embedding (OLE) custom control, a special-purpose program that can be created for use by applications running on Microsoft's Windows systems.

  • Open Document Format (ODF)

    The Open Document Format (ODF) is an XML-based open source file format for saving and exchanging text, spreadsheets, charts, and presentations...

  • organizational unit (OU)

    An organizational unit (OU) is a container within a Microsoft Active Directory domain which can hold users, groups and computers.

  • Outlook Anywhere

    Microsoft Outlook Anywhere is a software feature that allows end users with Microsoft Office Outlook 2010, Outlook 2007 or Outlook 2003 to access corporate email and calendars over the Internet from outside the corporate domain without having to log into a virtual private network (VPN). 

  • P

    peer-to-peer network (P2P network)

    A peer-to-peer (P2P) network is a network in which each computer functions as a client or server for other computers in the network.

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