Internet Information Services (IIS) for Windows® Server is a flexible, secure and easy-to-manage Web server for hosting anything on the Web. From media streaming to web application hosting, IIS’s scalable and open architecture is ready to handle the most demanding tasks.

The first Microsoft web server was a research project at European Microsoft Windows NT Academic Centre (EMWAC), part of the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, and was distributed as freeware. However since the EMWAC server was unable to scale sufficiently to handle the volume of traffic going to microsoft.com, Microsoft was forced to develop its own webserver, IIS.

IIS was initially released as a set of web-based services for Windows NT 3.51. IIS 2.0 followed, adding support for the Windows NT 4.0 operating system; and IIS 3.0 introduced the Active Server Pages dynamic scripting environment.

IIS 4.0 dropped support for the Gopher protocol and was released as part of an "Option Pack" for Windows NT 4.0.

The current shipping version of IIS is 7.5 for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2, 7.0 for Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008, 6.0 for Windows Server 2003 and Windows XP Professional x64 Edition, and IIS 5.1 for Windows XP Professional.

Windows XP has a restricted version of IIS 5.1 that supports only 10 simultaneous connections and a single web site.

IIS 7.0 on Vista does not limit the number of allowed connections as IIS on XP did, but limits concurrent requests to 10 (Windows Vista Ultimate, Business, and Enterprise Editions) or 3 (Vista Home Premium). Additional requests are queued, which hampers performance, but they are not rejected as with XP.

IIS 6.0 added support for IPv6. A FastCGI module is also available for IIS 5.1, IIS 6.0 and IIS 7.

IIS 7.0 (Windows Vista/2008) has better performance than IIS 5.1 (Windows XP) because it relies on the HTTP.SYS kernel driver.

IIS7 has multiple advantages by choice, Control, Reliability and security. It can be expanded as:-

Choice: IIS Provides the flexibility by choice for the technology:-

1. ASP.NET and PHP Support: IIS7 provides a single Web server platform for developing, deploying, hosting and managing the most popular languages used on the Web, from ASP.NET to PHP.

2. Modular and Extensible Web Server: IIS7 is built with a completely modular architecture, on top of rich extensibility APIs. This enables developers to easily add, remove and even replace built-in IIS7 components with hand-crafted ones, specifically suited for any given Web site. It also gives Web administrators complete control over the surface area of the server, enabling them to install and manage only the required components, thereby reducing the surface area of the Web server, and minimizing resource utilization

3. Integrated Media Platform:

IIS Media Services, an integrated HTTP-based media delivery package for IIS, has four parts:

  • Smooth Streaming: adaptive streaming of on-demand media over HTTP
  • Live Smooth Streaming: live adaptive streaming for broadcast events
  • Bit Rate Throttling: meters the speed at which content is delivered to a player
  • Web Playlists: secure sequencing and server-side control of media content

Additional key elements of the IIS Media Services platform include:

  • Advanced Logging: rich, real-time client- and server-side logging
  • Application Request Routing (ARR): intelligent HTTP proxying and caching
  • Smooth Streaming Player Development Kit: for creating customized players

Control: IIS7 provides greater control easily with-

1. Centralized Web Farm Management :
Deploy and manage Web sites and applications across large farms of web servers.

2. Delegated Remote Management: Delegate site configuration management and publishing remote users.

3.Powerful Admin Tools: Configure and manage IIS 7 using a rich set of command-line, UI and programmatic APIs.

Reliability: IIS7 provides higher reliability with-

1. Scalable Web Infrastructure: Dynamically scale web farm capacity with HTTP-based load balancing and intelligent request routing.

2. Dynamic Caching and Compression: Improve performance by enabling high-speed dynamic caching and compression.

3. Rich Diagnostic Tools: Find and fix issues quickly and easily with powerful diagnostic tools.

Security: It provides Increased security with-

1. Enhanced Server Protection: Maximize web server security through reduced server footprint and automatic application isolation

2. Secure Content Publishing Publish web content more securely using standards based protocols.

3. Access Protection Protect your server from unauthorized access.