Windows NT versus Windows 2000

Windows NT versus Windows 2000

From Windows 2000 Active Directory by Alistair G. Lowe-Norris, O'Reilly and Associates, 2000.

This table briefly covers the major differences between Windows 2000's Active Directory and Windows NT's SAM (Security Accounts Manager):

Windows NT Windows 2000
Single-master replication is used via PDC and BDCs. Multimaster replication is used via DCs.
Domain is the smallest unit of partitioning. Domain is the smallest unit of partitioning.
Domain is the smallest unit of authentication. OU (Organizational Unit) is the smallest unit of authentication.
Domain is the smallest unit of policy (system policies). OU is the smallest unit of policy (group policy objects).
Domain is the smallest unit of security delegation/administration. A property of an object is the smallest unit of security delegation/administration.
NetBIOS broadcasts as primary browsing and connection mechanism. TCP/IP connections to Active Directory as primary browsing and connection mechanism.
WINS or LMHOSTS required for effective browsing. DNS and Active Directory required for effective browsing WINS required for older clients.
Object is the smallest unit of replication. Property is the smallest unit of replication.
Maximum recommended database size for SAM is 40 MB. Maximum database size for Active Directory is 70 TB.
Maximum effective number of users is 40,000 (if you accept the recommended 40 MB maximum). Maximum numbers of users (objects) in one domain is between one and two million. Maximum number of users (objects) in one forest is 10 million.
Four domain models (single, single-master, multimaster, complete trust) required to solve admin-boundary and user-limit problems being per-domain. No domain models required as the complete-trust model is implemented. One-way trusts can be implemented manually.
Schema is not extensible. Schema is fully extensible.

Go to http://www.oreilly.com/catalog/win2000ads/ to purchase Windows 2000 Active Directory


This was first published in March 2000

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