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Core Network Overview

Updated: May 28, 2009

Applies To: Windows Server 2008 R2

The following illustration shows the Windows Server Core Network topology.

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Following are the components of a core network.

This deployment guide provides instructions for deploying a core network with two subnets separated by a router that has DHCP forwarding enabled. You can, however, deploy a Layer 2 switch, a Layer 3 switch, or a hub, depending on your requirements and resources. If you deploy a switch, the switch must be capable of DHCP forwarding or you must place a DHCP server on each subnet. If you deploy a hub, you are deploying a single subnet and do not need DHCP forwarding or a second scope on your DHCP server.

All of the servers in this deployment are configured with static IPv4 addresses. Client computers are configured by default to receive IP address leases from the DHCP server.

Both Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS) and Domain Name System (DNS) are installed on this server, providing directory and name resolution services to all computers and devices on the network.

Installing Windows Internet Name Service (WINS) on your core network is optional. It is often difficult to determine whether applications and services require WINS for name resolution. In some cases, you might need WINS; in other cases, DNS might be the only name resolution service that you need on your network. Because WINS is low maintenance and is not processor-use intensive for medium and small networks, you can install WINS on the DHCP server in the event that applications or services need the service.

The Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) server is configured with a scope that provides Internet Protocol (IP) address leases to computers on the local subnet. The DHCP server can also be configured with additional scopes to provide IP address leases to computers on other subnets if DHCP forwarding is configured on routers.

The Network Policy Server (NPS) server is installed as a preparatory step for deploying other network access technologies, such as virtual private network (VPN) servers, wireless access points, and 802.1X authenticating switches. In addition, installing NPS prepares your network for the deployment of Network Access Protection (NAP).

Client computers running Windows® 7, Windows Vista®, and Windows XP are configured by default as DHCP clients, which obtain IP addresses and DHCP options automatically from the DHCP server.

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