If you've used Windows NT Server, you no doubt noticed that practically every configuration change requires a reboot. Each time you install a scanner or a network driver or change any of a number of other configuration settings, you have to reboot—and usually right away.
There have been so many complaints about this annoying requirement that an early goal of the Windows 2000 development team was to eliminate as many required reboots as possible. Nearly 50 have been removed, and now a reboot is needed only after installing a service pack, upgrading a domain controller, changing system fonts, changing a default system locale, or adding and removing COM ports (when a change in jumpers is required). As you can see, these changes come up infrequently—a relief to the harried administrator. In addition, new tools to monitor system health can be instrumental in keeping servers up and running a higher percentage of the time.
Windows 2000 Advanced Server (the replacement for Windows NT Enterprise Edition) allows two servers to be connected into a cluster of up to 64 processors, making server resources more available and easier to manage. This cluster monitors the health of standard applications and servers and can automatically recover mission-critical data and applications from many common types of failure—usually in less than a minute. Clustering is covered in Chapter 16.