Given the recent increase in corporate interest in the various UNIX and UNIX-derivative operating systems now on the market, and significant marketing on the part of Sun Microsystems for the Solaris 7 operating system, customers are asking how Windows NT Server 4.0 and Windows 2000 Server compare. This document examines the issues facing customers who wish to plan deployment of an enterprise network operating system. This document will compare the features of these operating systems in the following categories:
File and Print Sharing.
Networking and Communications.
Management and Directory Infrastructure.
Each deployment scenario will be covered in detail in this document. To make it easier for you to find information, each section uses one or more of the following subsections:
Section Summary –The goal of this section is to provide you with high-level understanding of the key differences in Windows NT, Windows 2000 and Sun Solaris 7.
Feature Table –This table provides an easy and efficient way to understand key differences in Windows NT, Windows 2000 and Sun Solaris 7.
Implementation Details – There will be a Solaris 7, Windows NT Server 4.0, and Windows 2000 Server Implementation Details section for each category.
Solution Details –Breaks down each solution and describes how it meets the fundamental customer requirements. This is where the most detailed information about each operating system can be found.
Comparison Summary –Describes the differences between the three operating systems in a specific technology or solution.
File and print sharing services are important aspects of a network operating system. File and print sharing services implementations include the following:
Printer sharing services.
In terms of feature-completeness, Windows 2000 Server offers more than the other two products. Its unmatched capabilities include a distributed file system (DFS), content indexing, dynamic volume management, a true hierarchical storage management services implementation, Web printing, Plug-and-Play printing, and advanced fault tolerance through Clustering Services.
Compared with Solaris 7, Windows NT Server 4.0 easily matches Sun’s offering in some areas while falling short in others. However, Windows NT Server 4.0 comes out ahead of Solaris 7 because its file and printer sharing services are considerably less complicated. Windows NT Server 4.0 features a single architecture for both file and printer sharing and semi-standardized GUI-based management tools. Solaris 7 has multiple architectures for both file and printer sharing services and a mixed bag of command-line and graphical administration applications. Windows NT 4.0 is easier to administer and run on a daily basis, making it a better choice for the customer than Solaris 7.
The file system management implementation of Solaris 7 has more standards support than Windows NT Server 4.0, but does not support critical functions such as undelete which are standard on Windows NT Server. In EAS 3.0, the Solaris Data Backup Utility has been dropped from the server. This change means that you must acquire a backup solution separately from the server.
Solaris 7 also presents significant usability problems when it comes to managing volumes and file sharing. The tools in Solaris 7 lack integration, which makes finding the appropriate tool difficult. A combination of GUI-based administrative tools and command line actions are necessary to fully manage and configure storage and file sharing. Compared with Windows 2000 Server, Solaris 7 offers a similar level of features and functionality, but Solaris 7’s lack of integrated management tools becomes a more glaring defect.
In the printing arena, Solaris 7 surpasses the features and functionality in Windows NT Server 4.0 and comes close to matching the capabilities in Windows 2000 Server. Previous versions of Solaris 7 lacked a powerful management tool. But Solaris 7 now comes with Solaris Print Manager 1.0, which allows you to install, view and manage printers anywhere on the network.