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Chapter 4. Installing Windows 2000 > Choosing Between Windows Professional or S...

Choosing Between Windows Professional or Server

For purposes of this chapter, I'll assume that based on information in Chapter 1, you've decided to install Windows 2000 Professional rather than Server. That's a big assumption on my part, so let's talk about it a bit here. Installation of an operating system isn't something to take lightly because changing your mind midstream isn't always easy or achieved without repercussion. It will behoove you at this juncture to consider whether you want to install one of the Server flavors rather than Professional.

The basic rule of thumb is this: You should install Server if you need centralized services for a group of workstations. Server gives you everything that Windows 2000 Professional does, but in addition, you garner all the advantages of centralized control. For example, user authentication information is stored on one central machine, so managing a network is much simpler using Server than Professional (where user information is stored on each individual computer). You get Active Directory (which is good for locating resources such as printers and files), far easier control over those resources, higher-level networking services (such as RAS Server, DHCP, DNS, and WINS), and more powerful management tools. Of course, these features require training and sophistication to use, so you have to take into consideration your level of expertise and the amount of time you have to bone up on Server topics.


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