In the immortal words of Victor Meldrew - "I dont Belive it". By that what I mean is this... Microsoft have finnaly made an OS (operating system) that works like it should. Following in the footsteps of the Popular NT4 Server, this highly popular program seems to have everything a Network Administrator would ever need. The surprising thing I found about Win2K AS was that, unusually for a MS product, it was very very stable. I have been using this version of Windows for a while now at work as part of my Web Programming suite and with features like dual monitor support, and a very easy GUI (graphical User Interface) I was in Love - and I normally use SuSE Linux!!! The only draw back I can see to using this windows is that it would be hopeless on a standalone (older) machine! The install takes a good hour on a PC with the minimum spec - like mine! And the amount of HDD space the program uses is astronomical. But all in all I would say it was worth it! But if I had to name the key point that secured it for me it would be this: Windows 2000 (all version mind you) now have the added ability to mange partition sizes on your HDD, on the fly - not quite up to the standards of Power Quests wonderful Partition MAgic, but not far off either.
Here it is, another review of W2KAS! I have only used the advanced server for a few months now and can begin to see the advantages shining through. I am not an MS junky and have had experince of most operating systems over the years, i.e. UNIX, OS/400, Linux, NDS, NT, 95, 98 VAX, DECS etc etc on networks of 10 - 3000 users so I am no easy push over when it comes to the crunch. I was disappointed when first installing, the desktop still looks 98. A bit cheap and a bit dated. But, when you get down in the bowels things start to become more warm and fluffy. Active Directory: At last! Ask any Novell sysadmin and this is the bit that was always missing from NT. The major advantage of AD is that it uses DNS/DDNS for non-MS clients and LDAP. This means that connections can be made over the internet via the traditional route of name resolution to AD objects. PKI is also integrated here as well embracing the full key management needed for Internet authentication and e-commerce DNS/DHCP: This is also integrated into AD. Very clever! Your pools and zone files slip neatly into your partitions so management is easy for locations and groups of users. Internet Services: This is where MS will cash in. More good solid integration. LDAP for NetMeeting1,2,3 support is included for multicasting, conference hosting etc. All these up-to-date communication aides are there built in. Needs a bit of fiddling but works well and very fast. Streaming multimedia also. Just bought RealServer 7.0? Never mind! Not so seamless as RealServer but does the job admirably. Who can complain when its bundled with the OS cost? IP telephony (H.323) is supported as standard with the LDAP service. This means any audio enabled workstation can 'phone' another from the directory service. When you have WAN connections, this can save a fortune on comms costs! File/Print etc. The traditonal stuff is still there. Easily distributed v
ia AD from anywhere. Load balancing is also bundled for dispersed applications. Internet printing is also supported allowing server-to-server hosting and queue mangement. There are far to many features to list here. The man complaint with MS has been cost. When you look into the product this feature rich, go out and price up the average alternatives on the market and see how close you can get to the OS price. I could only get a 5:1 ratio in MS favour! Don't knock it unless you can find something more cost effective.
Microsoft Windows 2000 Server is a huge operating system and it is clear that the guys at Microsoft have put an immense amount of time and effort into it. As you install you quickly realize that this is more than simply an upgrade to Windows NT4 - is a complete re-write of the operating system. Once again Microsoft is trying to get us to upgrade to their latest and greatest creation, but is it worth it? This review will try to cut out most of the technical jargon and look at the pros and cons of implementing Windows 2000 Server in a real world situation. The Good In my view there are 4 elements in Windows 2000 Server that stand out: Active Directory This is the single most important addition to 2000. For those of you familiar with Novell's NDS, this is pretty similar and allows management of servers, clients, peripherals and users from a single point. If used correctly this has the potential to make life much easier for systems administrators. You can use it to set permissions and properties on, say, a printer situated at another site. IntelliMirror I think this may turn out to be one of the most underused facilities, but it has the potential to save a lot of time. This can take a snapshot of a client PC and use this information to automatically repair damaged files. It can also perform "install on demand" which means you can do a basic install of Office 2000 on a client PC and when it needs additional files, IntelliMirror will upload these in the background. MMC The industry joke is that to manage an NT network you simply have to remember which button to press. Well, if that's the case then 2000 makes it even easier because you can have all the buttons in the same application if you want. Instead of having a separate application (like DHCP Manager, User Manager, etc) for each thing you want to do, you can customize the MMC (Microsoft Management Console) for
particular tasks. This is great if you have a member of staff who just needs access to certain server functions. Terminal Services Windows Terminal Server used to be a different operating system in NT4, now Terminal Services is integrated into the main o/s. If you have never used this before it is like going back to the days of dumb terminals where all the processing is done on the server. This means you can have a 386 running Windows 2000! Space does not permit a full description of the benefits but suffice it to say that your Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) will drop dramatically if you implement this on your network. The Bad Once again the minimum specifications have increased and once again Windows works best when each application has a separate server. Most people upgrading from NT4 will have to look seriously at the spec of their existing server. Personally, I would not consider running 2000 Server on anything less than a Pentium III with 512Mb RAM. If you can afford dual or quad processors, more RAM and a RAID subsystem, then 2000 will get more out of the system than pervious versions of Windows. In order to get the full benefits of Active Directory every, yes every, computer on the network needs to be running 2000. With the costs of the operating system at about $130 per license it could be a very expensive upgrade. It's huge, about twice the size of NT4 (Service Pack 6a), and this means more demand on hardware. Why would you implement it? When NT4 came out some people knocked it for being slower and less reliable than Novell, UNIX, etc. and couldn't believe it gained such a large share of the network market. Windows 2000 will succeed for the same reasons that NT4 did - it runs the applications that people want to use. It doesn't necessarily have to run them fast or well, because it's the only platform to run Exchange, SQL Server, Proxy Server and the rest
of the MS applications that have become pretty-much industry standard. Most medium and large companies are already considering implementing it because of the potential to make management of the network easier. However, I expect that later this year non-IT people will be asking for the benefits of Exchange 2000 and other applications that need to run on 2000. If you are considering implementing Windows 2000 Server make sure you know what you expect to get out of it and make sure you know how much it is going to cost. Conclusion It's expensive, it's late, but it's also very good. Over the next few months there will undoubtedly be stories of Microsoft selling less copies than expected of Windows 2000, but by the end of the year this will be the operating system of choice for most companies.
A TRULY SORTED PACKAGE FROM MICROSOFT AIMED AT BUSINESS USERS, REQUIRING THE INTERNET AS A TOOL IN THEIR BUSINESS, A FULLY FUNCTIONAL TOOL IN ALL ASPECT OF E-COMMERCE ENABLING SMALL BUSINESSES ACCESS TO SERVICES AT A FRACTION OF THE COST. MULTI LEVEL PLATFORMING ALLOWS SERVERS TO BE FULLY UTILISED AND WEB GRAPHICS TO BE DESIGNED AND UTILISED TO THE USERS ADVANTAGE. MAKES ADVANCEDE HTML EDITING EASIER THAN SHOULD BE ALLOWED. ONCE AGAIN A BIG THANKS TO MICROSOFT FROM THE HEART OF HOME BUSINESS SOLUTIONS
Windows 2000 Advanced Server is the latest server based opertaing system from those chaps at Microsoft. It succession from Windos NT Server 4.0 has taken many years of hard earned development and was finaly realeased in February of this year. Designed specificaly for businesses to run their e-commerce systems and mission crtical applications ie client data. It has a wealth of well-integrated tools and technologies which make the Microsoft platform a compelling choice for the business enterprise. Active Directory, Microsoft's new directory service included in Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server, makes management across the platform much more powerful. Mixing great performance, easy administration, and better reliability, the Windows 2000 and Internet Information Server (IIS) 5.0 combination adds up to a very strong platform suitable for almost any size and type of site. The new IIS 5.0 supports several appealing features that can make the lives of Webmasters easier. First, the product comes with built-in performance options for small and large sites. It also supports security features such as Kerberos key distribution and certificate management. You can also perform administrative tasks through a browser; we found this only slightly less efficient than the MMC approach. All in all, the Microsoft Web platform is a very tightly integrated solution that performs extremely well, has very strong supporting tools for developers, and would make a strong platform on which to build an e-business.