You’ll get more out of a mixed Windows/Unix environment.

Mix it up with Windows 2000 and DNS

You’ll get more out of a mixed Windows/Unix environment.

Among the advantages of the Microsoft Windows 2000 operating system is one that will appeal to MCPs who maintain large enterprises with mixed Windows/Unix platforms. It’s the Windows 2000 Domain Name System (DNS), which gives you a superior alternative to standard Unix-based DNS. With it, you gain a better way to manage your enterprise, and—by moving DNS from Unix to Windows—free up more of your expensive Unix real estate for better use.

Here’s a quick look at the key advantages of Windows 2000 DNS:

  • Incremental zone transfers—In a standard Unix DNS implementation, Zone File replication is an all or nothing process that ties up network bandwidth and degrades DNS performance. With Microsoft Windows 2000 DNS, only smaller, incremental zone data transfers containing actual DNS changes are needed, freeing up bandwidth and boosting performance.
  • Name server redundancy—Standard Unix DNS offers a single point of failure risk. For example, if the primary DNS server goes down, no changes can be made to the DNS zone. In contrast, Windows 2000 DNS reduces this risk with a multi-master replication system. Changes can be made at any DNS server, and then replicated to other servers when they come back online.
  • Secure remote management—Unix DNS systems are text-based, requiring you to have a thorough mastery of their policies to implement security management. In contrast, the Windows 2000 DNS management user interface is graphically intuitive, and is based on the familiar Microsoft Management Console (MMC)—so it’s easy for newcomers, yet powerful for administrators with more knowledge of DNS. It can remotely manage all Windows 2000 DNS servers, with communication between the DNS MMC and the remote DNS server running over the highly secure Remote Procedure Call (RPC) protocols.
  • Dynamic updates—Standard Unix DNS requires you to enter all host information manually or through a batch system—taking up valuable time and opening the system to data-entry errors. Worse, because DNS assumes that host TCP/IP information is static, it doesn’t support Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP). One of the biggest advantages of the Windows 2000 DNS is its support for DHCP via Dynamic DNS, which enables automatically updated DNS information—and lower total cost of ownership, since you no longer need to go to every network node to enter data.
  • Unicode character support—Current Unix DNS solutions are restricted to an ASCII subset, making it impossible to support many non-English languages. In contrast, Microsoft Windows 2000 DNS supports UTF-8 character encoding, a superset of ASCII and a translation of the UCS-2 or Unicode character encoding. This supports most of the world’s written languages and allows a far greater range of possible names and characters.

The Windows 2000 DNS is just one key way in which Windows 2000 will enable you to improve the levels of service, functionality, reliability, and management to users in your organization and to your customers. For a closer look, visit the Windows 2000 Beta software Web site at

About the Author

David Millett, MCSE, MCT, and Microsoft Solutions Framework Master Trainer, is a Principal Consultant with Microsoft Consulting Services in Northern California.

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