New Features in Windows Server 2003
Windows Server 2003 includes enhancements for several resource sharing methods. They are as follows:
This feature was incorporated from Small Business Server. It builds on the Windows 2000 Fax service, which was a standalone fax service. Fax sharing in Windows Server 2003 permits network clients to send faxes to a fax server just as they would send print jobs to a print server. Inbound faxes can be converted into email attachments and routed to an office administrator for distribution.
This feature, which stands for Web-based Distributed Authoring and Versioning, was present in Windows 2000 but has been enhanced with a specialized network redirector. It permits opening files using HTTP as the wire protocol. You can use WebDAV over HTTP in place of classic LanMan Workstation over SMB or ftp.
The two-node Administrator access via Terminal Services in Windows 2000 has been made a standard part of every server. The Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) network provider has been enhanced with more features and improved performance, making Remote Desktop the preferred method for managing servers.
In addition, Windows Server 2003 incorporates several enhancements to resource sharing technologies:
File Replication Service topology management.
The topology of replicated links in a Distributed File System (Dfs) volume can be separately defined and managed. In Windows 2000, the replication topology was required to follow the Active Directory topology determined by the Knowledge Consistency Checker (KCC). This was often not efficient for large data transfers involved in replicated Dfs links.
Background Intelligent Transfer Service (BITS).
This is a new API that supports flow control for file transfers across the Internet. It knows when a user terminates a connection or shuts down the computer, and it restarts the download from the point it left off when the computer restarts. Windows Update uses BITS to control downloads. There are no management features in the user interface (UI) to control this.
Kernel-mode driver blocking.
This feature prevents loading legacy drivers on Windows Server 2003. Newer, miniport-based drivers are much less likely to cause stability problems and are preferred over the older, monolithic drivers.
New group policies.
Windows Server 2003 includes several new group policies to control Remote Desktop, printing, and file sharing.
Data Link Control (DLC) transport no longer supported.
If you use DLC to communicate with print server interface units, you may not consider this an enhancement, but by removing DLC from the product, Microsoft has eliminated a significant source of network traffic and router problems. Before you upgrade to Windows Server 2003, be sure to check that your print server devices support TCP/IP printing.
A standalone XP desktop will not permit file and printer sharing by default. This helps prevent exposing files to the Internet inadvertently. Although not strictly a server enhancement, this feature may surprise you so it is covered in this chapter.
Network Location Awareness (NLA).
The Winsock driver has been enhanced with a new set of routines that permit a developer to determine where a client is located based on the DNS domain name and network address. Developers can use this information to automate wireless device configuration, proxy determination, mapping, and other applications.
32-bit application support on IA64 servers.
An Itanium server can run 32-bit applications via a WOW64 subsystem. This is essentially a 32-bit emulator that intercepts Win32 API calls and maps them to their 32-bit equivalent.