III Microsoft Windows NT (and 2000)
The latest entry in the NOS wars is the child of OS/2 LAN Manager, developed by IBM/Microsoft. Windows NT can be found in several flavors, ranging from Small Business Server, to regular NT, up to the enterprise edition. All versions of NT and Windows 2000 have Terminal Server support.
For the purposes of Network+, you are primarily expected to know about Windows NT. Understand that Windows 2000 is very similar to NT, and once you understand NT, it is straightforward to transfer your skills to the Windows 2000 environment.
NT Version 4.0 is a full 32-bit operating system capable of file, print and application server services as well as being the basis for specialized server offerings. A feature of NT is SMP (Symmetrical Multi Processing) on the Intel, and Alpha CPU systems. Out of the box, NT supports 4 CPUs with the Enterprise version being required for more than 4.
NT also uses preemptive multitasking to divide processing time among multiple applications as well as insuring that no application stalls due to starvation.
The method for users to look up resources is through the NTDS (NT Directory Services), which is held in the PDC (Primary Domain Controller).
In larger sites, secondary domain controllers are installed and called a BDC (Backup Domain Controller). (The PDC distributes read-only copies from the PDC to the BDC for load balancing.
Load balancing is the process of distributing the various network processes across resources (several machines).
In the event of a PDC failure a BDC will automatically promote to become a PDC. NT users are contained in the SAM (Security Accounts Manager). The other option to domain controllers (chosen at time of install) is to make it a member server. Member servers are not involved in user security, and are usually specialized servers such as Exchange mail servers.
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