If I use a Windows PC, do I need a Windows Server?

PCs running on a Windows platform do not necessarily need to exclusively use a Windows Server for its server-oriented services. Basically, Windows Server family members are designed and are intended to be used for Windows operating platforms and vice-versa and that it is ideal to use Windows Server on a Windows PC. However, operating platforms have become so versatile as to allow other servers such as those that are Unix or Linux based to run in them. Windows PCs can run Unix/Linux based servers just as Unix/Linux based servers can run Windows Servers.
Strictly speaking, it is ideal to use Windows Server on a Windows PC as it is tailor-made to fit with the platform; however, you may run a Unix/Linux server on your Windows PC.

Do I need to install Windows Server on my Windows PC?

Your Windows PC has among its standard features basic server services that could prove very useful for smaller network groups. However, these features are not powerful enough to provide you with the features that are comparable to the features that are to be found in the Windows Server family. If your needs are relatively small, is limited only to a small network such as your office, then the features that are included in your Windows OS should be enough for your needs but if you need a more stable, sturdy and powerful server to provide for your server-oriented services like website hosting, then you do need to install Windows Server on your PC.

What server features could I use in my Windows 8 PC?

Among the useful server features that could be found in the Windows 8 platform are the following:

  • Virtual Private Network (VPN) Server – Windows 8 has VPN support which allows users to remotely access their files.
  • File and Printer Sharing – Like its predecessors, Windows 8 allows you to share folders and printers to your network. This feature is especially useful to offices that do not have a network-attached storage server.
  • Web Server – You can use the Internet Information Services (IIS) of your Windows 8 to enable a web server.
  • Storage Spaces – this new Windows 8 feature is actually a data protection solution that is easier to set-up and easier to maintain than the commonly used RAID (redundant array of independent disks) technology while requiring just a single external hard drive. It acts like another drive and any file stored in it are spread across the storage, providing as a failsafe back-up for your files, should a drive fail.
  • Hyper-V – This new feature is similar to the virtualization function that is offered in Windows Server editions. Hyper-V provides better support for wireless networking and a 64-bit support for virtual operating systems. This also allows Windows 8 to support the importing and exporting of virtual machines, also known as VM and even handle live migration programs.
  • Files History – This is another new Windows feature that provides additional data protection by taking a snapshot of changed files every hour which can be later used to restore using the snapshots.

What minimum requirements are needed to install Windows Server 2012?

Windows Server 2012, aka Windows Server 8 requires the following minimum requirements for installation to continue. If your system does not meet these minimum requirements, Windows Server cannot be installed in your system.

  • Processor Speed : 1.4 GHz 64-bit processor
  • Available Disk Space : 32 GB Disk Space
  • Random Access Memory: 512 MB RAM
  • DVD drive
  • Super VGA (800×600) monitor; a higher resolution monitor is ideal
  • Keyboard and mouse (or any other compatible pointing device)
  • Internet Access