Technology Positioning Statement Report

5.3.1 Application Servers

Description: Servers with customized features for specialized business applications.

Category: 5 - Servers   Subcategory: 3 - Special Purpose System Servers


   Application Center


Industry UsageSC Usage

Performance Metrics

Interoperability with legacy products; speed; end-user experience; maintenance effort; reliability; capacity; scalability; security; availability.

Usage and Dependencies

Industry Usage:Application servers divide into Microsoft-based and Java-based products.  The Java 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE) application server is emerging as the core of a broad delivery platform for e-business and enterprise applications.  BEA, IBM and Sun/iPlanet are major suppliers.  However, the Java-based products are generally more expensive and require more costly Java developer skills to use.

Microsoft Windows 2000 is a general platform for networked services. Windows is a very cost-effective server platform. Data from Doculab's benchmarks in the summer of 1999 suggest as much as a three-to-one ratio in cost per transaction between Unix and Windows, although, in this case, the ratio was enlarged because C++ applications on Windows were being compared to Java applications on Unix, so language and other factors were mixed in."

Microsoft has expanded the number and range of applications on servers. The new line of Microsoft .NET Enterprise Servers includes several products that may be included in the category of application servers: Application Center Server Microsoft Application Center 2000 is Microsoft's deployment and management tool for high-availability Web applications built on Microsoft Windows® 2000. Application Center 2000 makes managing groups of servers as simple as managing a single computer. BizTalk Server Microsoft BizTalk™ Server enables you to rapidly build and deploy integrated business processes within your organization and with partners. BizTalk Server 2002 offers a suite of tools and services that make building business processes and integrating applications faster. Secure, reliable trading partner relationships can be quickly implemented independent of operating system, programming model, or programming language. Content Management Server Microsoft Content Management Server 2001 dramatically reduces the time required to build and deploy content-driven Web sites that deliver high scalability, reliability, and performance. Content Management Server empowers content providers to manage their own content and provides site users with a targeted and personalized experience tailored to their profile and browsing device. Internet Security and Acceleration Server Microsoft Internet Security and Acceleration (ISA) Server 2000 provides secure, fast, and manageable Internet connectivity. ISA Server integrates an extensible, multilayer enterprise firewall and a scalable high-performance Web cache. It builds on Windows 2000 security and directory for policy-based security, acceleration, and management. Microsoft Operations Manager Microsoft Operations Manager 2000 delivers enterprise-class solutions for operations management of Windows 2000, the Microsoft Active Directory® directory service, and other component services in Windows 2000, as well as other Microsoft .NET Enterprise Server applications such as Exchange and SQL Server. For mixed IT environments, extensions are available from other software vendors like NetIQ. Mobile Information Server Microsoft Mobile Information Server 2002 is the application server that extends the reach of Microsoft .NET Enterprise Servers, enterprise data, and intranet content into the realm of the mobile user. It brings the corporate intranet to the latest generation of mobile devices, so users can securely access their e-mail, contacts, calendar, tasks, or any intranet line-of-business application in real time—wherever they happen to be.

There are a variety of other Microsoft servers supporting other functions, such as Exchange (email), SQL Server (database), SharePoint (document portal) and System Management Server (administration). See the respective categories for details about these products.

SC Usage:  Windows NT 4.0 server is currently the platform for applications.  Migration to Windows 2000 server will occur late in 2001.

SC Application Impacts: Numerous administrative features, increased reliability and performance are to be expected from migration to Windows 2000 on the desktop and the server.

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