Win2000 features get thumb's up from early e-commerce adopters
By Jeff Berger
The jury is still way out on whether Microsoft's Windows 2000 operating system environment will become the OS of choice for e-commerce computing. But the word from some early adopters is that several new features offer distinct advantages -- at least compared to predecessor NT.
The big plus, says Leo Snetsinger, president of Minneapolis-based On- Line On-Time, Inc., is the ease by which e-tailers can add new systems to a network, something that happens frequently during e-commerce roll- outs. On the minus side, Snetsinger says system administrators may be confused by new error code designations, which are totally different than earlier NT codes. He says, however, that documentation goes a long way toward minimizing the confusion.
Snetsinger's IT solutions firm is aggressively working with more than two dozen Windows 2000 clients in the e-commerce space. His report from the trenches is that one of the most user-friendly features of Windows 2000 is Component Services, which let system managers load e-commerce applications and run them as separate programs or applets.
Reliability and stability are two other areas in which Snetsinger says Windows 2000 outshines NT. "I've been dealing with Windows 2000 in one form or another for nearly a year and a half, and in that entire period I have never seen a blue screen," he says. "I've seen reboots due to improper driver loading, but no blue screens. Not a one."
He also points to Microsoft Management Console (MMC) as a practical innovation that lets system managers access applications like Component Services, Internet Information Server, defragmentation tools, network management and domain management all from a central location.
For Dan Sodhi, co-founder and chief information officer of heyanita.com, a combination web and telephone information portal using Windows 2000 distributed network architecture (DNA), the concern initially was scalability in an expanding e-commerce environment. So far, he says Windows 2000 is providing plenty of firepower to meet the Los Angeles-based startup's increasing load.
Jeff Berger is a contributing editor based in Plymouth, Mass.