Difference between server 2003 and Windows 7

I am looking to retire a Windows Server 2003 system that only runs a program for patient information and Quickbooks.  This software is accessed by 2 employees.  Instead of going into a very expensive server, I wanted to know if Windows 7 would be sufficient for an installation like that.
foxhelpAsked:
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Dan CraciunIT ConsultantCommented:
For 2 employees I don't think you need a server. Any available machine will do.

If you need an always on machine, you can try something like this: http://www.amazon.co.uk/HP-704941-421-ProLiant-Server-Generation/dp/B00AHQUX86

HTH,
Dan

PS: that deal was found by andyalder
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helpfinderIT ConsultantCommented:
it depends how this SW is accessed by employees. Are they using some terminal sessions or logging directly on server or there is just some DB theis clients are connecting to or?
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foxhelpAuthor Commented:
They are logging in directly to the server.
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helpfinderIT ConsultantCommented:
so they are logging into server physically (sitting in front of server), make work they need, log off and so on?
If so then I do not see any reason why that software could not be installed on regular Win 7/8 machine.
Just check software requirements if it supports such operating system (because of drivers, etc)
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foxhelpAuthor Commented:
No, sorry about that.  They are logging in to the server from their desktop and accessing the program that runs on the server.
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helpfinderIT ConsultantCommented:
If they are logging using Remote desktop this will be still posssible when software will be running on windows 7 machine, but if they have to work (be connected) simultaneously then if will be a problem on win7 machine
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Frosty555Commented:
Server 2003 is comparable to Windows XP, except that it also has all of Microsoft's server components available, e.g.:

   - Active Directory / Domain Controller roles
   - Group policy management
   - DNS, DHCP, RRAS, WINS, SMTP etc. services
   - Windows Update server (WSUS)
   - File/folder sharing without a limit on the number of concurrent connections
   - Remote Desktop and Terminal services (more than one person remoting in at a time)

Also, it has a number of other configuration defaults that are more appropriate for a server already configured such as:

   - never going to sleep
   - nonessential desktop services like sound, and "desktop experience" are disabled
   - performance is tuned to favor services rather than to desktop applications
   - requests a reason code when the system shuts down

These are things you COULD configure yourself on a Desktop PC, but you would have to do it all manually.

Server 2008 R2 is comparable to Windows 7, with the same differences as I described above, and Server 2012 is comparable to Windows 8.

So IF you don't need any of the Server software that comes with Windows Server edition, then yes often times you can cludge it and just use the Desktop version of the OS as a makeshift server.

.... but is it a good idea? Is it supported? Definitely not.

And besides the difference in operating system, another big issue is that a proper server has superior hardware which is designed for the high availability and 24/7 operation of a server - they have things like enterprise grade hard drives and RAID arrays, Xeon CPUs, error-correcting RAM, and generally the system it more solidly built and designed to last for the long haul. They have less chance of letting you down a few years down the road. It's more expensive for a reason.

You can get quite affordable entry level servers with an OEM copy of Windows Server 2012 Essentials, which would work just fine for you. I'd suggest you look into entry level Dell, HP or Lenovo servers.
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Pramod UbheCommented:
If that application is compatible with win 7 then definitely you can go for it but the only limitation is it will allow only one RDP connection at a time where as server gives you total 3 rdp connections.
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foxhelpAuthor Commented:
The connection is not through RDP.  They log into the server and run the program from their desktop icon.
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Dan CraciunIT ConsultantCommented:
OK.
1. They run the program from the desktop icon on their workstation? If so, then probably they need to log on to the server just to have access to the database (or to map a drive).
If this is the case, you can run Windows 7, no problems.

2. They run the program from the desktop icon on their account on the server? If so, they use Terminal Server, which is not available on Windows 7.

HTH,
Dan
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foxhelpAuthor Commented:
Awesome, that is what I was looking for.  Option 1 will work and save them money.
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