Who needs it?

By Rawn Shah, ITworld.com |  Development

Another drawback is that you cannot <em>upgrade</em> the
operating system remotely, only perform fresh installations. As with
IntelliMirror, these issues combined make this service of little use
unless you are planning to deploy Windows 2000 Professional on the
desktop.


Service Pack Slip-Streaming. Microsoft has finally
fixed its limited method of performing OS upgrades through service pack
releases. With existing NT systems, the service pack cannot be removed
once it is applied. You need to reinstall the operating system from an
earlier service pack to get it back to the condition it was originally in.
This is a concern because Microsoft has repeatedly released service packs
that have caused existing services to break or have created new problems
when installed. With Service Pack Slip-Streaming, you can install and
remove Service Packs as you need to, thus saving an enormous amount of
time. This is definitely a useful tool because you will undoubtedly be
installing a Service Pack for Windows 2000 in the future. Too bad
Microsoft couldn't put this capability into NT 4 systems.


Network and hardware services


Asynchronous Transfer Mode. ATM network services
are new in Windows 2000. Previously, you had to rely on custom drivers
from each ATM network card vendor. With standardized drivers, you can now
directly use pure ATM services, as well as IP over ATM. Unfortunately, a
number of factors make this capability less important than it might have
been at one time. First, ATM for the desktop has not caught on. Competing
technologies such as Fast and Gigabit Ethernet are cheaper and easier to
implement. Second, ATM network speeds start at around 155 Mbps (not
including the desktop technologies), and go up to 10 Gbps at the high end,
rates that require high-performance system buses to transfer data. Not
only do most PC systems and servers lack the necessary bus speeds, but
high-speed network traffic also causes a lot of processing overhead in
Windows that reduces actual throughput. Although ATM-based Windows
products will probably still emerge, this feature isn't much of a draw for
most administrators.


Virtual private networks. VPNs are in high demand
in these days of extranets and remote offices with Internet access. A VPN
lets a single remote desktop or an entire branch office communicate on a
par with systems on the corporate network. In days of yore, remote clients
had to be restricted because of the security risks they presented.

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