Server role means to a computer which perform a certain role in windows server 2003 or server family. After installing Windows Server successfully it is time to configure the server to play a certain role. When you logon in Windows Server for first time a window will open name Manage Your Server. See below picture
From here you may configure your server for what kind of role the server
should play. Before you configure about what kind of role your server should
play have a look in server role details below
File Server Provides convenient,
centralized access to files and directories for individual users, departments,
and entire organizations. Choosing this option allows you to manage user disk
space by enabling and configuring disk quota management and to provide improved
file system search performance by enabling the Indexing service.
Print Server Provides centralized and
managed access to printing devices by serving shared printers and printer
drivers to client computers. Choosing this option starts the Add Printer Wizard
to install printers and their associated Windows printer drivers. It also
installs Internet Information Services (IIS 6.0) and configures Internet
Printing Protocol (IPP) and installs the Web-based printer administration
Application Server (IIS,
ASP.NET) Provides infrastructure components required to support the hosting of
Web applications. This role installs and configures IIS 6.0 as well as ASP.NET
Mail Server (POP3, SMTP) Installs POP3
and SMTP so that the server can act as an e-mail server for POP3 clients.
Terminal Server Provides applications
and server resources, such as printers and storage, to multiple users as if
those applications and resources were installed on their own computers. Users
connect with the Terminal Services or Remote Desktop clients. Unlike Windows
2000, Windows Server 2003 provides Remote Desktop for Administration
automatically. Terminal Server roles are required only when hosting applications
for users on a terminal server.
Remote Access/VPN Server Provides
multiple-protocol routing and remote access services for dial-in, local area
networks (LANs) and wide area networks (WANs). Virtual private network (VPN)
connections allow remote sites and users to connect securely to the network
using standard Internet connections.
Domain Controller (Active Directory)
Provides directory services to clients in the network. This option configures a
domain controller for a new or existing domain and installs DNS. Choosing this
option runs the Active Directory Installation Wizard.
DNS Server Provides host name
resolution by translating host names to IP addresses (forward lookups) and IP
addresses to host names (reverse lookups). Choosing this option installs the DNS
service, and then starts the Configure A DNS Server Wizard.
DHCP Server Provides automatic IP
addressing services to clients configured to use dynamic IP addressing. Choosing
this option installs DHCP services and then starts the New Scope Wizard to
define one or more IP address scopes in the network.
Streaming Media Server Provides Windows
Media Services (WMS). WMS enables the server to stream multimedia content over
an intranet or the Internet. Content can be stored and delivered on demand or
delivered in real time. Choosing this option installs WMS.
WINS Server Provides computer name
resolution by translating NetBIOS names to IP addresses. It is not necessary to
install Windows Internet Name Service (WINS) unless you are supporting legacy
operating systems, such as Windows 95 or Windows NT. Operating systems such as
Windows 2000 and Windows XP do not require WINS, although legacy applications on
those platforms may very well require NetBIOS name resolution. Choosing this
option installs WINS.