Windows Server 2008 R2, Datacenter Edition is a high-end datacenter class version of the operating system that supports very large-scale server operations. The Datacenter Edition supports organizations that need more than eight core processors. The Datacenter Edition is focused at organizations that need scale-up server technology to support a large centralized data warehouse on one or limited numbers of server clusters.
As noted in Chapter 34 on performance and capacity analysis, an organization can scale-out or scale-up its server applications. Scale-out refers to an application that performs better when it is distributed across multiple servers, whereas scale-up refers to an application that performs better when more processors are added to a single system. Typical scale-out applications include web server services, electronic messaging systems, and file and print servers. In those cases, organizations are better off distributing the application server functions to multiple Windows Server 2008 R2, Standard Edition or Enterprise Edition systems, or even Windows Web Server 2008 R2 systems. However, applications that scale-up, such as e-commerce or data warehousing applications, benefit from having all the data and processing on a single server cluster. For these applications, Windows Server 2008 R2, Datacenter Edition provides better centralized scaled performance as well as the added benefit of fault tolerance and failover capabilities