When Windows 2000 was released it was accompanied by a great deal of hype, speculation, criticism, praise, and confusion—and it's undoubtedly worthy of some of each. It's certainly a big advance in the areas of network management, hardware support, Internet access, and more. That's not to say there aren't limitations, however. Windows 2000 has to work in the present as well as the future, and the necessity of backward compatibility results in compromises that are essential but probably not what one would hope for in a perfect world. However, the positive changes are many. Right out of the box, Windows 2000 is more reliable, easier to manage (once you get used to the changes), and faster than Microsoft Windows NT. In addition, three service packs have patched security vulnerabilities, fixed hundreds of bugs, and repaired scores of lesser faults, making Windows 2000 an even better enterprise solution.
This chapter briefly summarizes Windows 2000, including significant changes to Windows NT Workstation (now called Windows 2000 Professional). Microsoft Windows 2000 Server is the successor to Microsoft Windows NT 4. Based on the Active Directory service, it features Kerberos and public-key infrastructure (PKI) security, Terminal Services, COM+, Component Services, Internet Information Services, Indexing Service, and Message Queuing. It also includes up to 4 GB of physical memory and up to 4-way symmetric multiprocessing (SMP).
Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server is the successor to Microsoft Windows NT 4 Enterprise Edition. It has all the features of Windows 2000 Server plus network load balancing, enhanced application failover clustering, up to 8 GB of physical memory, and up to 8-way SMP. Microsoft Windows Datacenter Server has the features of Advanced Server plus up to 32-way SMP, up to 64 GB of physical memory, and even more advanced clustering.
In this book, we make no distinctions among the servers, except that the clustering described is the Cluster service released with Windows 2000 Advanced Server. So, except for that limited case, the word server applies to all versions of Windows 2000 Server.