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.

  • R

    RODC (read-only domain controller)

    A read-only domain controller (RODC) is a domain controller that hosts an Active Directory database's read-only partitions.

  • RSAT (Microsoft Remote Server Administration Tools)

    RSAT (Remote Server Administration Tools) is a feature that began in Windows Server 2008 R2 to help admins remotely manage computers running Windows Server.

  • RSoP (Resultant Set of Policy)

    RSoP (Resultant Set of Policy) is a report of all Group Policy settings within Active Directory that shows how those settings can affect a network.

  • S

    ScanDisk

    ScanDisk is a Windows utility used to check your hard disk for errors and to correct problems that are found.

  • Second Level Address Translation (SLAT)

    Second Level Address Translation (SLAT) is a technology designed to reduce the overhead in a hypervisor CPU while easing the management of a hypervisor's memory and is often found with Hyper-V.

  • service desk

    A service desk is a communications center that provides a single point of contact (SPOC) between a company and its customers, employees and business partners. The purpose of a service desk is to ensure that users receive appropriate help in a timely manner.

  • SMB 3.0 (Server Message Block 3.0)

    SMB 3.0 (Server Message Block 3.0) is a protocol that provides a way for a computer's client applications to read and write to files and to request services from server programs in a computer network.

  • social computing

    Social computing is the collaborative and interactive nature of online behavior. Since the 1990s, computing has increasingly been assumed to be online; simultaneously, online behavior has become increasingly social.

  • swap file (swap space or page file)

    A swap file is a system file that creates temporary storage space on a solid-state drive or hard disk when the system runs low on memory.

  • system

    A system is a collection of elements or components that are organized for a common purpose.

  • 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.

  • System Restore

    System Restore is a utility to protect and revert the Windows client operating system to a previous state -- known as a restore point -- undoing system changes made since that time to avoid a reinstall of the operating system.

  • T

    TCPView

    TCPView is a Windows network monitoring utility that shows a graphical representation of all currently active TCP and UDP endpoints on a system.

  • transitive trust

    Transitive trust is a two-way relationship automatically created between parent and child domains in a Microsoft Active Directory forest.

  • U

    update sequence number (USN)

    An update sequence number (USN) is a 64-bit number in Active Directory that increments time as changes occur. Local counters on every domain controller assign USNs.

  • USB 3.0 (SuperSpeed USB)

    USB 3.0, also known as SuperSpeed USB, is the next major revision of the Universal Serial Bus (USB).

  • V

    VHDX (Hyper-V virtual hard disk)

    VHDX is a Hyper-V virtual hard disk (VHD) format found in Windows Server 2012.

  • VPN Reconnect

    VPN Reconnect is a feature of Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 that allows a virtual private network (VPN) connection to remain open during a brief interruption of Internet service.

  • W

    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.

  • Web Application Proxy

    Web Application Proxy is a service in Windows Server 2012 R2 that allows end users to access applications from outside the corporate network on any device.

  • windowing system

    A windowing system is a system for sharing a computer's graphical display presentation resources among multiple applications at the same time.

  • Windows CE

    Windows CE is based on the Microsoft Windows operating system but is designed for including or embedding in mobile and other space-constrained devices.

  • Windows Deployment Services (WDS)

    Windows Deployment Services is a server role that gives admins the ability to deploy Windows operating systems remotely.

  • Windows Domain Join

    Windows Domain Join is a feature that lets users establish a remote and secure connection to a work domain using credentials from the enterprise, allowing them to effectively "join" that domain.

  • Windows event log

    The Windows event log is a detailed record of system, security and application notifications stored by the Windows operating system that is used by administrators to diagnose system problems and predict future issues.

  • Windows File System (WinFS)

    The Windows File System (WFS) is Microsoft's new storage system for its upcoming SQL server release. Along with serving as a database for structured, semi-structured and unstructured data, WinFS serves as a programming model that lets developers exchange data across applications and organize data in more constructive ways.

  • Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI)

    Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) is a set of specifications from Microsoft for consolidating the management of devices and applications in a network from Windows computing systems.

  • Windows NT

    Windows NT is a Microsoft Windows personal computer operating system designed for users and businesses needing advanced capability.

  • Windows Process Activation Service (WPAS)

    Windows Process Activation Service (WAS) is a tool for managing worker processes that contain applications that host Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) services. Worker processes handle requests that are sent to a Web Server for specific application pools. Each application pool sets boundaries for the applications it contains.

  • Windows Remote Management (WinRM)

    Windows Remote Management (WinRM) is a feature of Windows Vista that allows administrators to remotely run management scripts... (Continued)

  • Windows Server 2008 R2

    Windows Server 2008 R2 is a server operating system developed by Microsoft, which builds on the enhancements built into Windows Server 2008.

  • Windows Server 2012 (WS 2012)

    Windows Server 2012, formerly codenamed Windows Server 8, is the latest version of Windows Server.

  • Windows Server Backup

    Windows Server Backup is a feature that offers backup and recovery options for Windows Server environments.

  • Windows Server Client Access License (CAL)

    A Windows Server Client Access License (CAL) is a license that gives a user or device the right to access services from a server running the Windows Server operating system.

  • Windows Server Core

    Windows Server Core is a minimal installation option for the Windows Server operating system (OS) that has no GUI and only includes the components required to perform server roles and run applications.

  • Windows Server Failover Clustering (WSFC)

    Windows Server Failover Clustering (WSFC) is a feature of the Windows Server platform for improving the high availability (HA) of applications and services. WSFC, which is the successor to Microsoft Cluster Service (MSCS), can be administered through the Failover Cluster Manager snap-in.

  • Windows Server Update Services (WSUS)

    Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) is a Windows server role that can plan, manage and deploy updates, patches and hotfixes for Windows servers, client operating systems and other Microsoft software.

  • Windows Sysinternals

    Windows Sysinternals is a suite of more than 70 freeware utilities that was initially developed by Mark Russinovich and Bryce Cogswell that is used to monitor, manage and troubleshoot the Windows operating system, and which Microsoft now owns and hosts on its TechNet site.

  • Winsock

    Winsock is a programming interface and the supporting program that handles input/output requests for Internet applications in a Windows operating system.

  • Wintel

    Wintel is a computer trade industry term for personal computers based on the Intel microprocessor and one of the Windows operating system from Microsoft.

  • WinZip

    WinZip is a Windows program that lets you archive and compress files so that you can store or distribute them more efficiently.

  • wizard

    A wizard is a computer utility designed to simplify the execution of lengthy or complicated tasks... (Continued)

  • word processor

    A word processor is a computer program that provides special capabilities beyond that of a text editor such as the WordPad program that comes as part of Microsoft's Windows operating systems.

  • Workplace Join

    Workplace Join is a tool in Windows Server 2012 R2 that allows a Windows 8.1 device to gain access to specific network resources. 

  • X

    x86

    x86 is a generic name for the series of Intel microprocessor families that began with the 80286 microprocessor.

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