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Can you explain the Windows 2000 logon process?

Could you explain or provide a link that explains the Windows 2000 logon process? In addition, would you recommend having clients authenticate and access network resources over a 1.544Mbs WAN Link? I believe the GPO refresh and logons taking place in our network is causing congestion. Our network snapshot: 1 Data Center, 18 Remote locations 1.544 PPT connection to data center, 1 Domain,400 client machines, 2 Domain Controllers, 1 DC runs: DNS, Backup Server, Files Server. The other DC runs DHCP, Wins. We have just the default site. In addition, we use Cisco IP/Telephony which travels over the same WAN Links, 2 Web Servers hosting both Intra and Internet Sites, 10 Citrix Servers distributing applications and we are a Public Library System so we see heavy usage.

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Check out this white paper on the Windows 2000 authentication process: http://www.microsoft.com/windows2000/techinfo/howitworks/security/kerberos.asp. Microsoft usually recommends a T1-speed or better connection if you are going to be authenticating clients over a WAN link; however, your decision will need to be based on your actual network usage and traffic patterns. You can configure separate sites to fine-tune the way that network traffic is handled on your network. For example, any Software Installation and Folder Redirection settings will not take place over a link that you have designated as a "slow link." Your other option would be to place a local controller in heavily-used remote sites; this decision will need to be based on your ability to remotely secure and administer a machine in an off-site location.

This was first published in March 2004

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