The choice of a network operating system is a strategic, long-term decision driven by the demands that organizations have for a platform on which to build business solutions. Although networking, data services and print sharing are still vital requirements, organizations today are relying on the server operating system to provide many additional services such as:
Running business applications and providing an infrastructure for the next generation of distributed applications.
Running Internet and intranet sites.
Providing a comprehensive communications infrastructure to provide services such as remote access through VPN and dial-up connections.
Providing comprehensive directory and desktop management services.
As opposed to hiring and training administrators to manage multiple server operating systems, customers are moving to multipurpose server operating systems to reduce their Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). Therefore, throughout this technical comparison, three operating systems, Microsoft® Windows® 2000 Server, Windows NT® Server 4.0, and Sun Microsystems’ Solaris 7, will be evaluated based on their ability to provide a solid integrated infrastructure for data services, print sharing, directory services, system management, and distributed application services for the enterprise customer. The configuration for Solaris 7 considered the latest software bundles, including Easy Access Server 3.0 and Enterprise Server 1.0.
Overview of Windows 2000 Server
Windows 2000 Server has been designed from the ground up as an integrated multipurpose operating system. Three versions of Windows 2000 Server will be available this year:
For the latest information on the features in each version of Windows 2000, customers should visit the Web site: http://www.microsoft.com/windows2000.
Windows 2000 Server, like Windows NT Server, is a 32-bit operating system. Windows 2000 Server will support the Intel IA-64 chip architecture and a 64-bit version is planned for release later this year. The 64-bit version will extend the physical and virtual memory capabilities of Windows 2000 Server as shown in the following table.
Key technologies supported by Windows 2000 Server include:
File and Print Sharing – The file and print sharing features in Windows 2000 Server provide customers with an advanced solution, offering a distributed file system, Internet printing, content indexing, dynamic volume management, and Plug-and-Play support.
Networking and Communications – Networking infrastructure is complete and manageable – it offers true dynamic configuration, integrated dial-up and virtual private networking (VPN) with support for the latest Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) VPN protocol suite, telephony and a quality of service (QoS) solution to guarantee bandwidth and network availability.
Application Services – Windows 2000 Server provides customers with a scalable solution in terms of CPU and memory support. The combination of Clustering Services, component load balancing, and the Windows Load Balancing Service provides a comprehensive solution to increase scalability and reliability. Terminal Services provide a thin-client solution. And in Windows 2000, distributed file system (DFS) support has been added to Terminal Services.
Internet Services – The Windows 2000 Internet services also offer a complete solution. Windows 2000 Server includes unrivaled Internet services for management, publishing, streaming media, and performance enhancement.
Management Services – The Active Directory service in Windows 2000 Server is built completely around Internet-standards and offers extensibility and scalability. This makes it a solution on which to build enterprise-level directory-enabled applications. Microsoft Management Console (MMC) provides customers with a single, customizable interface for managing networking services and applications. The combination of IntelliMirror™ management technologies, Windows Installer, and Group Policy Services easily provides a comprehensive solution for software distribution and desktop management. For security, Windows 2000 Server supports Kerberos V5, smart card authentication, fully integrated public key infrastructure, and encrypted file system (EFS) services. Windows Management Infrastructure (WMI) is the Microsoft implementation of the Common Information Model (CIM), a public standard supported by the Desktop Management Task Force (DMTF). The WMI technology enables management applications to produce reports of network inventory, display system information, respond to events, start or stop system services, and send an eject command to a disk drive with replaceable media.