Windows 2000 Insights –

Welcome to my weekly column. Each week I will be introducing, analyzing, or teaching you about different components and technologies relating to Windows 2000. Since the technical level of the audience is varied, these columns will vary in technical level as well. I will cover a diverse range of topics, from customizing the Start Menu, to Managing Your System, to Active Directory installation, design, and configuration. If there are specific topics that you would like to see discussed or explained, please email me here. I will try my best to address them via this column.

Since this is the first of many columns relating to Windows 2000, let's start with a brief overview of the Windows 2000 product line.

There are, in fact, four flavors of the Windows 2000 Product Family -- Professional, Server, Advanced Server, and Datacenter Server. They share these commonalities: they are enterprise operating systems, they run on Intel processors, and they have the same Graphical User Interface (GUI).

As the table below shows, Windows 2000 has varying capacities in terms of processors and memory support.

  Windows 2000


Windows 2000


Windows 2000

Advanced Server

Windows 2000

Datacenter Server

No.Of CPUs


2 4 8 32


4GB 4GB 8GB 64GB

The system you choose will depend upon the desired usage:

  • For basic business desktops, Microsoft recommends Windows 2000 Professional. Administrators should find its strong plug-and-play support a boon for managing enduser systems.
  • For file/application serving, Windows 2000 Server would be your best choice.
  • For more demanding server applications that would benefit from clustering and network load balancing, you will want to consider Windows 2000 Advanced Server.
  • For high-end, large-scale, and mission-critical applications such as ERP, SAP, Data Warehouses, and for companies such as ISP's, and ASP's., then Windows 2000 Datacenter Server is what you should consider. Keep in mind that Datacenter Server will not be released on February 17, 2000 like the other 3 platforms, but will be available when the first Service Pack is issued -- approximately 60-90 days later.

Next week: managing Windows 2000 Professional.

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