What is the Difference between Role and Feature in Windows Server

A lot of times you would find people confused over what is the difference between role and Feature in Windows Server .


Lets make it more clear today .

Server Roles as per Technet is : “Server role is a set of software programs that, when they are installed and properly configured, lets a computer perform a specific function for multiple users or other computers within a network. Generally, roles share the following characteristics.”


  • They describe the primary function, purpose, or use of a computer. A specific computer can be dedicated to perform a single role that is heavily used in the enterprise, or may perform multiple roles if each role is only lightly used in the enterprise.
  • They provide users throughout an organization access to resources managed by other computers, such as Web sites, printers, or files that are stored on different computers.
  • They typically include their own databases that can queue user or computer requests, or record information about network users and computers that relates to the role. For example, Active Directory Domain Services includes a database for storing the names and hierarchical relationships of all computers in a network.
  • As soon as they are properly installed and configured, roles function automatically. This allows the computers on which they are installed to perform prescribed tasks with limited user commands or supervision.

So , a role can be treated as a bigger function that lets a Computer perform a specific function .


A list of Server roles are :

  • Windows AD/DC Server,
  • DNS,
  • DHCP,
  • File,
  • Print,
  • NAP,
  • Terminal Server,
  • IIS,
  • WDS,
  • WSS


Feature : on the other hand feature are add ons which can support or augment the functionality of one or more roles, or improve the functionality of the server, regardless of which roles are installed.


A list of Features in Server are :


  • .NET,
  • Bitlocker Encryption,
  • BITS,
  • Remote Assistance,
  • SMTP Server,
  • SNMP,
  • telnet server & client,
  • failover,
  • NLB,
  • TFTP,
  • Windows Server Backup,
  • WINS, 
  • Powershell

Published by Abheek Dutta

A perennial thrill-seeker with an avid interest in transforming and improving lives around the globe through the wonderful gift of technology, I am the Senior Vice President of Henson Group . My specialties include Leadership, problem-solving, and putting cutting-edge technology (Cloud, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning) in the hands of corporates, startups, and professionals. I have been obsessed with the idea of using technology to solve real-world problems. Having previously worked with global software giants like TCS and IBM, I now usually sit at my office at the World Trade Center, New York and Chandigarh , India. Among my greatest achievements, increasing the revenue of Henson Group by ten-folds in the past two years, remains my favorite along with the fact that Henson Group’s India center has now become ‘a center of excellence’ with its entire technical team being Microsoft certified. On the delivery side, I helped Henson Group attain the prestigious “ Azure Expert MSP Certification “ with Microsoft . Hailing from Jammu, my team has grown from five to 150 employees and associates in just two years. Even during COVID-19 era, our growth has soared while helping corporates, industries and startups to tide over many hurdles and challenges. Henson Group is recently featured at rank 132 in the Inc. 5000 Rating. Skillsets: Cloud Services, Managed Services Provider (MSP), Computers & Networks, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Project management, Leadership , Cyber Security Mr. Dutta manages and monitors the performance of consultants and partners on engagements, communicating with the account executive, project teams, and customers. Works in close collaboration with the Microsoft project manager, providing hands-on project management expertise as required. Mr. Dutta provides direct oversight over the MSP Client Operations team responsible for managing MSP relationships with existing MSP clients and day to day operations of these accounts. Mr. Dutta oversees the Centralized Delivery Team that is responsible for high volume cloud migrations and MSP delivery to current clients. Team consists of over 120+ engineers and project managers.

One thought on “What is the Difference between Role and Feature in Windows Server

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: