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By Rawn Shah, ITworld.com |  Development

Microsoft has also reduced the overall number of
events that will require you to reboot the computer, thus improving
uptime.


On the other hand, a theme that recurs throughout a discussion of
Windows 2000's new features is that it requires you to switch much of your
current environment to Windows 2000 to get the full benefit. Although it
does not completely leave behind Windows 9x and NT systems, Microsoft
seems to have delivered a less-than subtle suggestion to upgrade to
Windows 2000 Professional at the same time you upgrade your servers.
Requiring such changes in the basic nature of the NT security system, file
system, directory services, and application system, these new features in
Windows 2000 can constitute a new realm of compatibility problems.


Another theme is Windows 200's incompatibility with other platforms.
Although Microsoft offers services that stay in step with other offerings,
and in some cases even offers optional packages that provide
cross-platform integration services, this latest release continues
Microsoft's philosophy of "embrace and extend" with regards to emerging
standards.



The new features do come with direct and indirect costs. Windows 2000
needs a faster processor and more memory to run the same applications than
a Windows NT machine. Although Microsoft says that Windows 2000 can run on
a 133-MHz Pentium with 64 MB of RAM, it will become painfully obvious that
a desktop machine will more likely need a 350-MHz Pentium II or 400-MHz
Celeron or better, and 128 MB of RAM per desktop. The operating system is
larger and makes better use of memory for caching objects. Thus, although
the price per seat of Windows 2000 (compared with the price for NT) is not
a significant barrier, the indirect cost of purchasing new desktops for
your network may be high.


Some of the new features are going to take careful consideration of how
your computer network, and even your business, is organized. If you
implement RIS and IntelliMirror, you might consider improving the path
between the desktop clients and the servers that host those services, to
speed their operation. QoS or IPSec will have the greatest success if you
also upgrade your network hardware to allow those services to function
properly. Active Directory changes not only how the domain controller
services work but also how you should design the hierarchy of objects in
your directory. That includes all user profiles, applications, and system
settings. Although you can start this work on smaller subnetworks, if you
plan to move entirely to Windows 2000, you should plan for the entire
network.

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