Today's Classic Tip highlights a feature found in Windows NT Server that was vital to networks in the 90's, but not so much today: WINS. Even though it's an old service, it's still around. Read on to find out more about WINS and how it affects Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2008.
Today's TechRepublic Classic Tip comes from the Windows NT Techmail dated May 16, 2000:
=============================Today's Windows NT Tip
Read more about it at TechRepublic:
Do you know how to squeeze the most out of WINS? The TechRepublic staff has written an article to help you maximize WINS on your network.
A short tip indeed, but it came from the Read More About It section where we highlighted content other than the main content. The main tip was entitled "DON'T APPLY A 40-BIT SERVICE PACK OVER A 128-BIT SYSTEM" and was even less relevant today than WINS.
WINS stands for Windows Internet Name Service. It was the naming service used in old Windows NT networks to help resolve computer names. Because Windows NT used NetBEUI by default rather than TCP/IP, it couldn't use DNS to find a given computer name the way Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2008 do today. Instead, WINS allowed any computer employing NetBIOS to find another.
WINS was used by Windows 9x and older versions of Windows to find resources across a network. It was important in Windows NT domains, but with the advent of Active Directory, DNS, and modern versions of Windows, it's mostly unnecessary.
You can still configure WINS on a Windows Server 2008 computer, but it's probably something you'll never use. If you're running Windows Server 2003, you can designate WINS as being a server role, but in Windows Server 2008, it's merely a feature. Chance are it will completely disappear in the next revision of Windows Server.
However, if you do still use WINS, check out the link to the article above. It will show you how to improve performance in a WINS environment. Some other articles about WINS and NetBIOS on TechRepublic include:
- How NetBIOS name resolution really works
- Build your skills: Everything you need to know about WINS
- Understanding Windows Internet Name Service (WINS)
- Steps to take to recover a crashed WINS server
- Protect Windows 2003 Server from this WINS flaw
- Setting up WINS in Windows 2000
- Migrating WINS from Windows NT to Windows Server 2003