Updated: April 17, 2008

Applies To: Windows Server 2008

Network Transports are networking protocols responsible for moving network traffic (packets) from one device to another over network media. Networking transports utilized by Windows operating systems include TCPIP, NDIS, NetBios, QoS.

Managed Entities

The following is a list of the managed entities that are included in this managed entity:

Name Description

NBT Protocol

The NBT protocol, also known as the NetBT protocol, provides NetBIOS support for the TCP/IP protocol.

The network basic input/output system (NetBIOS) protocol allows browsing of network resources and handles basic functions of Windows networking by using two-way acknowledged data transfer.

NetBIOS is an application programming interface (API) that can be used by programs on a local area network (LAN). NetBIOS provides programs with a uniform set of commands for requesting the lower-level services required to manage names, conduct sessions, and send datagrams between nodes on a network.

Network Driver Interface Specification

A Network Driver Interface Specification (NDIS) miniport driver has two basic functions:

  • Managing a network adapter, including sending and receiving data through the adapter.
  • Interfacing with higher-level drivers, such as intermediate drivers and transport protocol drivers.

A miniport driver communicates with its network adapter and with higher-level drivers by using the NDIS library, which abstracts the network hardware from network drivers. NDIS also specifies a standard interface between layered network drivers, abstracting lower-level drivers that manage hardware from upper-level drivers, such as network transports. NDIS also maintains state information and parameters for network drivers.

Quality of Service Platform

The Windows Vista developer platform for network Quality of Service (QoS) consists of a user-mode application programming interface (API), available from Qos2.h and qwave.dll, and a kernel-mode packet scheduler (Pacer.sys), which manages QoS flows created by using the user-mode API.

The Windows Vista QoS API supports the differentiated services discipline in that:

  • Layer 3 Differentiated Service Code Points (DSCPs) can be set in the IPv4/IPv6 packet header
  • Layer 2 802.1p tags can be added to the Ethernet frame header
  • Send-rate throttling can be applied

This API is applied at a network socket level. Multimedia scenarios on Windows-based clients (not servers) are enabled by using this platform to provide end-to-end bandwidth estimation and congestion detection for network IP traffic that uses either TCP or UDP.


TCP/IP provides the ability to frame and route packets from host to host. Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) along with the Internet Protocol (IP) are the basis for communication on the modern Internet.




Winsock enables programmers to create advanced user-mode or kernel-mode Internet, intranet, and other network-capable applications to transmit application data across the wire, independent of the network protocol being used.

User-mode applications are created by using the Winsock2 application programming interface (API). In Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008, kernel-mode applications are created by using a new transport-independent kernel-mode Network Programming Interface (NPI) called Winsock Kernel (WSK). WSK NPI replaces the Winsock Kernel API used to create kernel-mode applications in earlier versions of the Windows operating system.

By using the WSK NPI, kernel-mode software modules can perform network communication by using socket-like programming instructions similar to those supported in the user-mode Winsock2 API. Although the WSK NPI supports most of the same socket programming concepts as user-mode Winsock2, such as socket creation, bind, connect, accept, send and receive, it is a completely new programming interface with unique characteristics, such as asynchronous input/output (I/O), that uses input/output request packets (IRPs) and event callbacks to enhance performance for kernel drivers.

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