The deployment of Windows 2000 Server with Windows 2000 Professional and Microsoft Windows XP Professional clients provides exceptional benefits from the zero administration for Windows (ZAW) technologies. These technologies intelligently store user data, applications, system files, and administrative settings from Windows 2000 Professional and Windows XP Professional desktops onto servers running Windows 2000 Server.
For example, IntelliMirror is a distributed and highly configurable replication service that allows clients and servers to mirror and share local or distributed file system data. IntelliMirror's Remote Boot Service provides a mechanism for any authorized client computer to download all or part of an installation from a remote server—including a fully configured version of the operating system, applications, and site-specific data.
With ZAW, an application assigned to a user simply appears on the user's Start menu and is installed the first time a user clicks it. If the application isn't immediately required, the administrator can publish it so that it appears as an option in Add/Remove Programs for the user to install when needed. When an application upgrade becomes available, it is automatically applied the next time the user launches the application.
User documents and personal settings can be stored, or mirrored, on a server managed by an administrator. This provides
While the usual suspects—machines running Microsoft Windows 95, Windows 98, Macintosh operating systems, and UNIX—can be connected as clients for Windows 2000 Server, the full range of improvements is available only with the combination of Windows 2000 Server and Windows 2000 Professional or Windows XP Professional installed together. However, a great deal can be gained with gradual, partial upgrades. Benefits can be realized simply by upgrading a single server to Windows 2000 Server.
The primary domain controller (PDC) must be upgraded to Windows 2000 first. If you add a Windows 2000 domain controller or upgrade any domain controller other than the PDC in an existing Windows NT domain, you create a new Windows 2000 domain that looks like the existing domain but is not the same domain.
Although you can use Windows 2000 in a Windows NT 4 environment more or less indefinitely, you won't receive many of the real advantages implicit in Windows 2000 until you make the commitment to a Windows 2000 environment.