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Install and Configure Network Services for Interoperability

In most modern networks, Windows 2000 Server is not the only network operating system present. In fact, it is more common to have hybrid networks than to have homogeneous networks. For an MCSE, this means you must understand how to support non-Windows systems on your network.

There are two goals to aim for when implementing interoperability on a network. The first is to grant non-Windows systems the ability to access Windows 2000 shared resources. The second is to grant Windows systems the ability to access non-Windows shared resources. Primarily, Windows 2000 interoperability is concerned with NetWare clients and servers. However, Unix and Macintosh interoperability is also addressed on the 70-215 exam.

NetWare Interoperability

NetWare has long been considered the primary competitor to Microsoft in the market of PC-based network operating systems. In an effort to prevent loss of market share, Microsoft has expended considerable effort to develop interoperability and migration tools. This allows existing NetWare shops to deploy Windows 2000 Servers without having to revamp their entire network. It also gives existing NetWare shops a reasonably smooth migration path if they elect to move over to Microsoft systems completely.

Installing NWLink

The foundation upon which Windows 2000-to-NetWare interoperability rests is a common protocol. Prior to NetWare 5, all NetWare systems used the Internetwork Packet Exchange/Sequenced Packet Exchange (IPX/SPX) protocol suite. Microsoft developed its own version of this suite, called NWLink. Even though NetWare 5 and newer systems can use the Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) suite, the interoperability tools for NetWare on Windows 2000 systems requires the use of NWLink (IPX/SPX).

NWLink can be installed manually and independently of any NetWare interoperability services. However, if you elect to install a NetWare interoperability service, the installation procedure will verify that NWLink is installed, or if not install it before installing the desired service.

Configuring the Frame Type

Once NWLink is installed, it must be configured. The real key as to whether configuration is actually necessary and what configuration is mandated depends on the NetWare servers that are installed in your network environment. Different versions of NetWare and the use of different network types (Ethernet or Token Ring for example) each use a different configuration setting. The primary configuration setting to be concerned with is the frame type.

If there is only a single frame type in use on your network, then once NWLink is installed, it automatically detects the frame type and self-configures. By default, NWLink is set to auto configure. However, if multiple frame types are in use, the auto detect and configure option is less than effective. Auto detect is able to detect and configure itself to use only a single frame type. Any other frame types in use on the network will be ignored. However, with manual frame type configuration, multiple frame types can be defined so all traffic can be accessed and understood.

Once NWLink is installed and the frame type configured, you have the ability to communicate with NetWare systems from your Windows 2000 systems. However, as you'll learn shortly, just a common protocol is not sufficient to provide true interoperability between these two network operating systems.

Adding the GSNW Service

The primary NetWare interoperability service for Windows 2000 Server is Gateway Services for NetWare (GSNW). GSNW provides a connectivity service between Windows 2000 Server and NetWare. This service has two aspects. The first is that it provides the Windows 2000 Server system with the ability to interact with the NetWare server as a client. Thus, the Windows 2000 Server system can access the shared printers and files from the NetWare server. Installing the NetWare Client for Windows 2000 onto the Server provides the same services as Client Services for NetWare (CSNW) on a Windows 2000 Professional system.

The second aspect of this connectivity service is that the Windows 2000 Server can act as a gateway to allow Windows networking clients to access NetWare shared resources as if they were hosted by the Windows 2000 Server system.

GSNW is configured to use a single user account on the NetWare system. That one user account defines what printers and files the Windows 2000 Server itself or any Windows clients are able to access.

GSNW lets the Windows 2000 Server function as a true gateway, allowing client computers to connect using TCP/IP, which the Windows 2000 Server translates for communication with the NetWare server using NWLINK. This means that client computers are not required to load multiple protocols to communicate with both servers.

Because GSNW is a gateway service, it is designed for occasional use. If clients need regular or high-volume access to NetWare resources, it may be more efficient to install CSNW on each individual system.

To install and configure GSNW, the following actions must be taken on the NetWare system:

  1. Create a user account (or several accounts) on the NetWare system to act or serve as the gateway access account(s). You could designate an existing account for this purpose as well. All resource accesses will be authenticated using this account.

  2. Create a group called NTGATEWAY. Place all accounts created or designated in step 1 in this group.

  3. Grant the NTGATEWAY group access to the resources you want to share with the Windows clients.

NOTE

Because all users who access the NetWare server through the gateway connect with the same user ID, careful consideration is needed when assigning permissions on the NetWare server. Remember that permissions on the NetWare server can be configured for individual users or for the NTGATEWAY group.

Once the NetWare server is configured, install GSNW on the Windows 2000 Server system for the specific network connection that will be used to connect to the NetWare system. You must define either the Preferred Server name or the Tree and Context information. The Preferred Server name will be used if the NetWare system is version 3.x or higher and running bindery emulation. The Tree and Context information will be used if the NetWare system is version 4.a or 5.x running NDS (NetWare Directory Services).

Once GSNW is installed, it must be configured. You will create the virtual shares on the Windows 2000 Server system that map to resource shares on the NetWare system. To configure GSNW, follow these steps:

  1. Open the GSNW applet from the Control Panel.

  2. Click the Gateway button.

  3. Mark the Enable Gateway checkbox.

  4. Type in one of the NetWare account names that was made a member of the NTGATEWAY group on the NetWare system.

  5. Provide the password for that account.

  6. Click the Add button to create a virtual share mapping.

  7. Type in a name that will be created on the Windows 2000 Server system as the share that Windows clients will access.

  8. Type in the network path to the resource share on the NetWare system using a Universal Naming Convention (UNC) pathname (that is, //servername/sharename).

  9. Select a drive letter to be mapped to the share. This drive letter is used by Windows 2000 to emulate a local drive, which is then shared with the network.

  10. If desired, elect to restrict the number of simultaneous users of this share.

  11. Click OK.

  12. Repeat steps 6 through 11 for each resource share.

  13. For each defined share, select it, then click Permissions.

  14. Configure the user and group permissions for each share in the same manner you would configure a normal Windows 2000 share.

  15. Click OK.

  16. Click OK twice to save changes and close the GSNW applet.

Once GSNW is configured, clients will be able to see new shares in the list of available resources when they look at the Windows 2000 Server that is acting as the Gateway in My Network Places.

File and Print Services for NetWare

GSNW provides the ability for Windows systems to connect to NetWare resources. If you want NetWare systems to connect to Windows resources, you must employ the File and Print Services for NetWare tool. This service is installed on a Windows 2000 Server system and provides gateway services to NetWare clients running IPX/SPX.

File and Print Services for NetWare lets the Windows 2000 Server emulate a NetWare 3.12 server and supports many of the standard NetWare 3.x commands and utilities. Because File and Print Services for NetWare is not included with Windows 2000 (it must be purchased separately), it is not covered in detail on the exam. Consequently, there is little reason to cover it in more detail here.

Interoperability with Macintosh

In addition to NetWare systems, another computer system commonly found in organizations is Apple Macintosh. Microsoft provides four tools to support limited Macintosh interoperability.

The first of these tools is the AppleTalk protocol. AppleTalk is the proprietary protocol used by many Macintosh systems. However, just as with NetWare, newer versions of Macintosh systems rely on TCP/IP rather than their own protocol. In spite of this, the interoperability tools for Macintosh on Windows 2000 require the use of AppleTalk. AppleTalk can be installed manually before installing one of the other interoperability tools, or it will be installed automatically when you attempt to install one of the other two tools.

When the AppleTalk protocol is installed, it must be configured to interact with the network. Macintosh systems are logically segmented on a network into zones. AppleTalk on Windows 2000 can be configured to operate within any detected zone. However, the Windows 2000 AppleTalk implementation cannot be used to establish or define new zones.

The second tool is File Server for Macintosh. This service allows Windows 2000 to act as a file server for Macintosh clients. To use File Server for Macintosh, you must have an NTFS volume that can be used to host the Macintosh files. Once the File Server for Macintosh is installed, new Macintosh shared file volumes can be created through the Shared Folders section of the Computer Management tool. Each individual Macintosh volume can be assigned a password to limit access and a maximum simultaneous user limit.

Although Macintosh clients are able to connect to Windows 2000 Servers using plain-text passwords, this is not a secure method of authentication and is not recommended. To utilize secure, encrypted authentication, the Microsoft User Authentication Manager (UAM) must be installed on each Macintosh client.

The third tool is Print Server for Macintosh. As you might guess, this allows Macintosh clients to use Windows-hosted printers. However, it also allows Windows clients to print to Macintosh-hosted printers. Once Print Server for Macintosh is installed, you can map print shares for Windows clients by connecting to Macintosh printers shares from the server and sharing those printers to the Windows clients. In most cases, this requires the creation of a new port in the Add New Printer wizard set to AppleTalk Printing Devices.

Unix Interoperability

Support for Unix systems is still strong in numerous industries. Because of this, Microsoft has developed interoperability tools for Unix systems. Interacting with Unix systems takes place over the TCP/IP protocol. There are two Microsoft services that provide interoperability with Unix: Print Services for Unix and Windows Services for Unix.

Print Services for Unix allows Windows clients to print to Unix-hosted printers, and Unix systems to print to Windows-hosted printers. Once installed, Unix systems can connect to Windows printers just by linking to the printer share. To grant Windows clients access to Unix printers, you must create a Line Printer Remote (LPR) port via the Add New Printer Wizard that will redirect print jobs to the Unix-hosted printer.

Like File and Print Services for NetWare, Windows Services for Unix is not included with Windows 2000 and must be purchased and installed separately. Windows Services for NetWare provides functionality for Unix clients similar to what GSNW adds for NetWare. Also, like File and Print Services for NetWare, Windows Services for Unix is not covered in detail on the exam; the information provided in this section is sufficient for exam preparation.

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