Windows 2000

Definition of Windows 2000 in The Network Encyclopedia.

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What is Windows 2000?

Windows 2000 was designed as the successor to Windows NT and, to some extent, Windows 98.

The Windows 2000 family has four members:

  • Windows 2000 Professional (Workstation)

    A desktop operating system that replaces Windows NT Workstation 4 and builds on the ease-of-use of Windows 98 and the power and reliability of Windows NT. Windows 2000 Professional includes the following features:

    • Wizards for simplifying system configuration and common system maintenance tasks, and time-saving improvements for the user interface, including Microsoft Internet Explorer 5, an integrated Web browser
    • Features for mobile users, including Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI) support for laptop power management and offline files, and Synchronization Manager for remote use of network resources
    • Support for 4-GB RAM, two-way symmetric multiprocessing (SMP), universal serial bus (USB) and IEEE 1394 interfaces, Microsoft DirectX 7, OpenGL 1.2, video port extensions, and digital versatile disc (DVD) and smart card technologies
    • IntelliMirror client for deployment and maintenance in conjunction with Windows 2000 Server
    • Local data protection using the Encrypting File System (EFS)
    • Support for TCP/IP virtual private networking using Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP), Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol (L2TP), and Internet Protocol Security (IPSec)
    • Add-on Windows Services for UNIX components for interoperability with UNIX networking environments, including a Network File System (NFS) client and server, Telnet client and server, scripting tools, and password synchronization features
  • Windows 2000 Server

    Windows 2000 Server, Standard Edition:
    A comprehensive application, file, print, and Internet services platform that replaces Windows NT Server 4 and provides increased reliability, scalability, management, and applications support. Its features include the following:


    • Active Directory, a directory service based on the X.500 directory specifications that simplifies centralized, one-point management of distributed network resources.
    • Windows Management Tools, which are snap-ins for the Microsoft Management Console (MMC). MMC provides a unified interface for managing enterprise-level network resources.
    • Enhanced Internet services, including Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP), File Transfer Protocol (FTP), Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP), and Network News Transfer Protocol (NNTP) server support through Internet Information Services (IIS).
    • Windows Terminal Services for running terminal emulation on thin clients, replacing Windows NT Server, Terminal Server Edition.
    • Four-way SMP support.
    • Enhanced COM+ component services.
    • Support for Kerberos and public key infrastructure (PKI) security services.

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  • Windows 2000 Advanced Server:
    A powerful server operating system that replaces Windows NT Server 4, Enterprise Edition, Windows 2000 Advanced Server is designed for enterprise-level networking environments that require high availability and scalability. Its features include all those in Windows 2000 Server, Standard Edition, plus the following:


    • Support for up to 64-GB RAM (through Intel’s Physical Address Extensions) and eight-way SMP
    • Network-based and component-based load balancing with failover clustering
    • High-performance sorting
  • Windows 2000 Datacenter Server:
    Designed to be the high end of the Windows 2000 Server family when it is released. It will support all features of Windows 2000 Advanced Server plus advanced clustering and 16-way SMP, with 32-way SMP available through original equipment manufacturers (OEMs)

    Graphic W-7. Windows 2000 Desktop.


The architecture of Windows 2000 is similar to that of Windows NT. Some of the notable differences include the following:

  • The kernel is modified to include support for Terminal Services.
  • Kernel Mode includes two new modules: Plug and Play Manager and Power Manager.
  • I/O Manager includes additional drivers for Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM), quality of service (QoS), and so on.

If you are a Windows NT system administrator who is moving to the more powerful and scalable Windows 2000 operating system platform, you might be confused at first by the differences between administrative tools on the two platforms. The following table is designed to help you get up to speed quickly on Windows 2000 system administration by highlighting some of the differences between the basic administrative tools on the Windows NT and Windows 2000 platforms. Note that there is usually no one-to-one correspondence between tools on the two platforms; what can be done with one tool on Windows NT might require several on Windows 2000, and vice versa. The tools listed in the second column are therefore not exact equivalents of those in the first column. Unless otherwise indicated, all Windows 2000 tools referred to are in the Administrative Tools program group, which can be accessed either from the Start menu or from Control Panel.

Comparison of Administrative Tools in Windows 2000 and Windows NT

Windows NT Administrative Tool Windows 2000 Equivalent(s)
Administrative Wizards
Configure Your Server
(Various consoles also have integrated wizards.)
Backup (in System Tools in Accessories)
Disk Administrator
Computer Management
Event Viewer
Event Viewer
License Manager
Network Client Administrator
No equivalent
Performance Monitor
Remote Access Admin
Routing and Remote Access
Server Manager
Computer Management
System Policy Editor
Active Directory Users and Computers
Group Policy
User Manager for Domains
Active Directory Users and Computers
Active Directory Domains and Trusts
Windows NT Diagnostics
Computer Management