• Feature Table
  • Networking and Communications

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    Networking and Communications

    Section Summary
    The networking and communications infrastructure is the most fundamental aspect of a network operating system. It provides connectivity and interoperability with client systems as well as other server-based operating systems. This infrastructure includes network architecture (physical device and media support), protocol support, networking services, Routing and Remote Access Services, and virtual private networking (VPN) services, Wide Area Network (WAN) connectivity, telephony, and Quality of Service (QoS). The best network operating system is that which offers the best balance of feature depth and ease of management in the above-mentioned areas.

    Of the three network operating systems, the Windows 2000 Server network and communications infrastructure provides the most feature-complete and highly usable solution. Windows 2000 Server is highly available, as configuration changes are totally dynamic in most cases and do not require server downtime, and it is the only network operating system to offer a QoS implementation.

    Windows NT Server 4.0 features telephony, and a VPN solution but does not, offer a QoS implementation. Manageability is entirely GUI-based but cannot compare with the ease-of-use, consistency, and additional capabilities featured in the Windows 2000 Server MMC, and configuration changes almost always require a server reboot.

    Solaris 7 does not offer telephony solutions of any kind but does offer a strong VPN solution through SunScreen SKIP. Manageability is complex, as almost every aspect of configuration requires the use of a combination of command line tools and GUI-based tools. In general, availability is better than Windows NT Server 4.0, as fewer reboots are required for configuration changes.

    Feature Table


    Solaris 7

    Windows NT Server 4.0

    Windows 2000 Server

    Network Architecture


    Fast Ethernet

    Gigabit Ethernet

    Token Ring



    Native ATM Support

    Auto-Detects Devices at Install

    Auto-Detects Devices Post-Installation

    Configure Hardware as Part of OS

    Configuration Changes Require Reboot

    Supports NIC Hot-Swap

    Supports Plug and Play

    Power Management Support

    Protocol Support






    Supports Previous Clients on TCP/IP

    Supports Previous Clients on IPX/SPX

    Allows Selective Adapter/Protocol Bindings

    Allows Protocol Binding Order Adjustment

    Allows Selective Service/Protocol Bindings

    Allows Service Binding Order Adjustment

    Configuration Changes Require Reboot

    TCP/IP Aliasing

    TCP/IP Large Window Support

    TCP/IP Enhanced RTT Estimation

    TCP/IP Selective Acknowledgement Support

    DHCP Services

    DHCP Server Service

    IETF DDNS Standards Compliance

    BOOTP Server Service



    DHCP User Class Support

    DHCP Statistics and Analysis Reporting

    DHCP Fault Tolerance

    Rogue DHCP Server Detection

    DHCP Multicast Address Assignment

    DHCP Vendor Class Support

    DNS Services

    DNS Server Service

    Dynamic DNS

    WINS Server Service


    WINS Dynamic Record Deletion

    WINS Manual Tombstoning

    WINS Persistent Connections

    DNS Resolver Cache

    Remote Access and VPN Services

    Direct Dial Support

    Virtual Private Networking Support

    TCP/IP Protocol Support

    IPX/SPX Protocol Support

    NetBEUI Protocol Support

    DHCP Addressing Support

    Manual IP Pool Addressing Support

    Tunneling / Point-to-Point Tunneling Support

    IP Security Support

    Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol (L2TP) VPN Support

    Perfect Forward Secrecy (PFS) Support

    Certificate Discovery Protocol (CDP) Support

    Restartable File Copy

    RADIUS Client Support

    RADIUS Server Support

    Phonebook Administration

    Connection Sharing

    Server-to-Server VPN Support

    Directory Integration for Policy Management

    Supports Callback Security

    Password Authentication Protocol (PAP) Security

    Challenge Handshake Authentication Protocol (CHAP)

    Microsoft CHAP Security

    Shiva PAP Security

    Modem Sharing Services

    Connections per Server




    Routing and WAN Services

    LAN Routing Support

    PPP Routing Support

    ATM Routing Support

    X.25 Routing Support

    Frame Relay Routing Support

    On-Demand Connection Support

    TCP/IP Protocol Support

    IPX/SPX Protocol Support

    RIP Support

    OSPF Support

    NLSP Support

    TCP/IP Filtering


    IPX/SPX Filtering

    DHCP Relay Support

    DNS Proxy Support

    IGMP Protocol Support (Multicast)

    Network Address Translator


    Dynamic Bandwidth Allocation (Admission Control Service)


    Extensible SDK and API Set

    Multi-link PPP Support

    Includes SNMP Monitoring and Management Package

    Telephony Support

    Telephony Solution Available

    TAPI 2.0 Support

    TAPI 3.0 Support

    Integrated Dialer

    ITU H.323 Conferencing Protocol Support

    Quality of Service

    IETF RSVP (QoS) Support

    IETF diff-serve (CoS) Support

    QoS API Support

    +BootP support is limited.

    *These services are available in the Sun Firewall product.

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    Networking and Communications

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