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Networking

Although the flashy improvements in Windows Server 2003 are arguably in AD, there were some significant improvements and features added in the area of networking.

DNS

DNS added a number of changes and improvements. We discuss these in detail in Chapter 6, but a few are worth noting here for an overview:

  • Stub zones are now configurable in Windows 2003 DNS.

  • Conditional forwarding allows the Administrator to do custom forwarding of certain zones or domains to specific authoritative DNS servers by their IP addresses. This is a shortcut of sorts—similar to stub zones.

  • _MSDCS zone is automatically delegated when DCPromo configures DNS on the first DC in the forest, helping to address the problem in multi-domain forests where the Cname records and GC SRV records are stored in the forest root domain and may be unavailable at times to DCs in child domains. We discuss this in detail in Chapter 6.

  • ForestDNSZones and DomainDNSZones are two application partitions that are configured by default in Windows Server 2003 and are visible in DNS as forward lookup zones.

  • When application partitions are created, a forward lookup zone is automatically created. We discussed application partitions in detail previously in this chapter.

  • The DNS Event Viewer is now included as part of the DNS Management snap-in.

Another improvement in DNS has been the collective knowledge of how it works with AD. Take advantage of Microsoft's volumes of whitepapers, training, and other documents located in the DNS Center (also called DNS Center for Windows 2000), located at http://www.microsoft.com/windows2000/technologies/communications/dns/default.asp.

Home Networks

The popularity of consumers having networks in their home to connect multiple computers to the Internet has prompted Microsoft to develop features in the operating system to address their needs. This section describes some of those new features.

Network Bridge

The network bridge feature really has its benefit in the home network environment. It allows you to "bridge" multiple network adapters, such as between a public network and a private network, or between a wireless adapter, an Ethernet adapter, and a dial-up adapter. The network bridge allows these adapters to communicate with each other without requiring the user to set up complicated routing tables. You can enable the bridge easily by selecting the adapters to be in the bridge (hold the Ctrl key down as you select them in Network Connections), and then right-clicking and selecting Bridge Connections. It's really that simple. The bridge is created and shows up in the Network Connections under "Network Bridge," as shown in Figure 1.21. You also can use the New Connection Wizard to set up and administer the bridged network.

Device Driver Enhancements

This is another improvement for home networking, removing legacy drivers that are no longer used or supported and adding or improving drivers in the following areas:

  • Local Area Network (LAN) network drivers, such as 10/100 Network Interface Cards (NICs), IEEE 802.11, and Home Phoneline Networking Alliance (HomePNA)

  • Broadband, including cable modems, Asynchronous Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL), and Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN)

  • Modems, including driver-based and 56Kbps V.90 modems

Figure 1.21Figure 1.21 Network Bridge is listed in Network Connections window.

Remote Desktop Client and Resource Redirection

In answering customer support calls at HP, and in speaking engagements at conferences, I hear Administrators frequently comment that Windows 2000's Terminal Services (Administration mode) is the best tool Microsoft offers. It allows remote access to servers anywhere in the network. In HP's Qtest environment, we use Terminal Services (TS) to manage, install, configure, and repair servers all over the world. All we need is someone at the site to put in a CD or do physical tasks.

In Windows 2000, you must install the TS client manually by building floppy disks with the Terminal Services Server Manager or by running %systemroot%\system32\clients\tsclient\win32\disks\disk1\setup.exe from the server. However, only Windows Servers can host the client and allow remote logon. In Windows XP and Windows Server 2003, the TS Client is replaced by the Remote Desktop and is installed and enabled by default. Go to Start, Programs, Accessories, Communications, Remote Desktop Connection, and enter the name or IP address of the computer you want to connect to. You can use Remote Desktop to connect to Windows 2000 Server, Windows 2003 Server, or Windows XP client.

The Remote Desktop feature permits resource redirection, which means you can access your local disks, printers, and even speakers through the Remote Desktop session. This allows you to log on to a remote session and save files (such as log files) to your local disks—a tremendous benefit and improvement over Windows 2000 TS. In addition, Remote Desktop is available on Windows XP clients, allowing you to establish remote sessions to client computers.

Chapter 15, "Terminal Services for Windows Server 2003," contains more in-depth detail on Remote Desktop connections in Windows XP and Windows Server 2003.

Internet Authentication Service (IAS)

In addition to a new MMC snap-in, IAS has several new features. Two important features are noted here.

IAS and Radius Client

In Windows 2000, you can use an IAS server only as a Radius server, configured to perform access request authentication against the domain. In Windows Server 2003, you can configure an IAS server as a Radius Proxy that either authenticates the remote request or forwards the request to another Radius server.

IAS and Cross-Forest Authentication

You use cross-forest authentication to authenticate the user account when two AD forests are connected with a two-way, cross-forest trust. We discuss these trusts in the "Security" section of this chapter.

New Features in RRAS

IPSec over NAT

VPN clients behind a NAT (Network Address Translation) can now establish IPSec (IP Security) or Level 2 Tunnel Protocol (L2TP) tunnels to a Windows 2003 server. This was not available in Windows 2000. You can use this feature to make a connection to the company's internal network when one server is in the company's DeMilitarized Zone (DMZ), a branch office, or perhaps a client in a home network that shares a single IP address behind a NAT.

Broadcast Name Resolution

Also known as the NetBT Gateway, this feature provides TCP/IP name resolution for RAS (Remote Access Service) clients where no WINS (Windows Internet Naming Service) or DNS servers are available. This is similar to the WINS proxy and is shown in Figure 1.22. This is advantageous for small networks in which a DNS or WINS server is not in place.

When the RAS server receives a request to resolve a name to an IP address, and it does not have that information in its NetBIOS name cache, it performs a NetBIOS name query over the network on behalf of the RAS client. The computer who owns that name replies to the RAS server, who caches the name/address and sends the reply to the client. The client can then contact that computer resource. The NetBIOS name cache in the RAS server and the client has a ten-minute lifetime.

NOTE

If the NetBIOS over TCP/IP option is disabled on the RAS server, Broadcast Name Resolution will fail.

Broadcast Name Resolution is enabled by default, but you can disable or reenable it by doing the following:

  1. In the Routing and Remote Access snap-in, right-click on the appropriate server icon.

  2. Select the IP tab.

  3. Clear the Enable broadcast name resolution option (or check it to enable the service).

This option is controlled by the Registry key EnableNetbtBcastFwd:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\CurrentControlSet\Services\RemoteAccess\
Parameters\Ip\
Name: EnableNetbtBcastFwd
Type: REG_DWORD
Data: 0 (disabled)
   1 (enabled)

Figure 1.22Figure 1.22 Configuring the NetBT Gateway in the RRAS snap-in.

RRAS Firewall and NAT Integration

This feature enables you to integrate a firewall with a RRAS NAT function. It provides the Administrator a built-in firewall in RRAS. I have used this firewall for my home network, and while it isn't as flashy as some third-party applications, and it doesn't have logging or reporting features, it works quite well.

Enable RAS Interface as a NAT Private Interface

This feature allows a user, as a RAS client, to access the Internet via a server that is used for both NAT access to the Internet and dial-in access to his or her corporate network. Previously, you could not use this server for both.

Protocols

Support for IPv6

Windows Server 2003 supports the IPv6 protocol, which may someday replace the existing IPv4 standard TCP/IP. IPv6 provides for 128-bit addresses, or more than 3.4 x 1038.

Removal of Legacy Networking Protocols

In Microsoft's effort to increase security, Windows Server 2003 has eliminated inclusion of and support for some legacy protocols. These include

Data Link Control (DLC).

  • NetBIOS Extended User Interface (NetBEUI).

  • Internet Packet eXchange/Sequenced Packet eXchange (IPX/SPX) and IPX dependent services have been removed from RRAS in all versions of Windows Server 2003, and thus cannot use IPX for routing, VPN, or RAS. In addition, IPX/SPX is not included in the 64-bit version of Windows Server 2003.

  • Infrared Data Association (IrDA).

  • Open Shortest Path First (OSPF).

Addition of New Protocols

HTTP.sys

HTTP.sys is a kernel mode driver that supports client-side and server-side APIs, although client-side APIs are disabled in the Windows Server 2003 implementation. Some server applications already take advantage of HTTP.sys, including IIS (Internet Information Services) v6.0, SQL's next release code named Yukon that are all usermode applications. HTTP.sys also supports the WebDAV (Web-based Distributed Authoring and Versioning) redirector described in the "Security" section of this chapter. You can find an excellent resource on this topic in the Internet Information Services (IIS) 6.0 Resource Guide available from the Microsoft web site's IIS 6.0 Resource Center at http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?pr=iis60.

Internet Group Management Protocol (IGMP) v3

Windows Server 2003 supports IGMP (Internet Group Management Protocol) v3 (currently an Internet draft). Some of IGMP v3's features include

Support for source filtering, which allows multicast traffic only from a specific source address or addresses.

  • New IGMP extensions.

  • Prevention of denial of service (DoS) attack by a rogue server by configuring multicast routers to not forward multicast traffic outside of specified networks.

Other Enhancements and Changes

Other networking enhancements include improvements for wireless LAN security, TCP/UDP (User Datagram Protocol) port ownership, removal of support for some modems and network adapters, and improvements in IPSec monitoring.

Secure Wireless LANS

Windows Server 2003 provides security and performance improvements for wireless LANs, such as automatic key management and user authentication and authorization prior to LAN access. It will also provide access control for Ethernet networks when wired Ethernet is used in public locations.

TCP/UDP Port Ownership

A new NETSTAT option displays the process that owns the (TCP/UDP) port. An Administrator can use this feature for configuring secure servers, security audits, and performance improvements.

Modems and Network Adapters No Longer Supported

Microsoft has dropped support for a number of modems and network adapters in Windows Server 2003, largely due to the respective vendors not supporting them anymore. They fall into five classes:

  • Home phone line network adapters

  • 10Mb-only Ethernet adapters

  • End of Life 10/100 PCI (Peripheral Component Interconnect) adapters

  • End of Life Wireless PCMCIA (Personal Computer Memory Card International Association) adapters

Other adapters that vendors do not support in Windows Server 2003

Details on the specific adapters that are not supported are available in Microsoft KB article 320892 "List of unsupported modems and network adapters in Windows Server 2003."

IPSec Monitoring Improvements

Windows Server 2003 includes the IPSECMON MMC that replaces the ipsecmon.exe monitor program found in Windows 2000. IPSECMON MMC includes all the features of ipsecmon.exe, but also includes RSoP data and contains the logging mode and planning mode, just like any other policy. With RSoP, the IPSec policies can be analyzed for application of the policy, and settings applied by using the logging mode. The planning mode allows "what if" scenarios—enabling you to configure a policy and then get a report on what effect it had.

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