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Windows Server 2003 Glossary - N

Updated: March 7, 2008

Applies To: Windows Server 2000, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2

For more Windows Server terms, see the Windows Server 2008 Glossary.

Glossary - N

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The identifier of your computer on the network.

name resolution

The process of having software translate between names that are easy for users to work with and numerical IP addresses, which are difficult for users but necessary for TCP/IP communications. Name resolution can be provided by software components such as DNS or WINS.

See also: Domain Name System (DNS)   Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP)   Windows Internet Name Service (WINS)   

name resolution service

A service, such as that provided by WINS or DNS, that allows friendly names to be resolved to an address, or other specially defined resource data used to locate network resources of various types and purposes.

See also: Domain Name System (DNS)   service   Windows Internet Name Service (WINS)   

name server (NS) resource record

A resource record used in a zone to designate the DNS domain names for authoritative DNS servers for the zone.

See also: DNS server   Domain Name System (DNS)   resource record (RR)   zone   

named pipe

A portion of memory that can be used by one process to pass information to another process, so that the output of one is the input of the other. The second process can be local (on the same computer as the first) or remote (on a networked computer).

See also: shared resource   


A naming convention that defines a set of unique names for resources in a network. For DNS, a hierarchical naming structure that identifies each network resource and its place in the hierarchy of the namespace. For WINS, a flat naming structure that identifies each network resource using a single, unique name. For DFS Namespaces, a virtual tree of folders that begins with \\ServerOrDomainName\RootName.

See also: Domain Name System (DNS)   Windows Internet Name Service (WINS)   

namespace path

A Universal Naming Convention (UNC) path to the namespace root (\\ServerOrDomainName\RootName) or to a folder under the namespace root (\\ServerOrDomainName\RootName\Subfolder\Folder). The namespace path of a domain-based namespace begins with a domain name, whereas the namespace path of a stand-alone namespace begins with the name of the server that hosts the root target.

namespace root

The top-level folder in the namespace. For example, \\ServerOrDomainName\RootName is the namespace root.

namespace server

A server that hosts a namespace. A namespace server can be a domain controller or member server.

naming context

See other term: directory partition  


See other term: network access server (NAS)  

native mode

In Windows 2000 domains, the domain mode in which all domain controllers in a domain are running Windows 2000 and a domain administrator has switched the domain operation mode from mixed mode to native mode. Native mode supports universal groups and nesting of groups. In native mode, domain controllers running Windows NT 4.0 or earlier are not supported. In Windows Server 2003 domains, native mode is referred to as "Windows 2000 native," and it is one of three domain functional levels available.

See also: Active Directory   domain functionality   mixed mode   universal group   


See other term: NetWare Core Protocol  



See other term: Novell Directory Services (NDS)  

negative caching

In DNS, client caching of failed responses to a query. Negative caching improves the response time for successive queries for the same name.

See also: cache   Domain Name System (DNS)   

Net Logon service

A user-mode service that runs in the Windows security subsystem. The Net Logon service passes the user`s credentials through a secure channel to the domain database and returns the domain security identifiers and user rights for the user. In addition, the Net Logon service performs a variety of other functions related to the user logon process, such as periodic password updates for computer accounts and domain controller discovery.

See also: user mode   user rights   



See other term: network basic input/output system (NetBIOS)

NetBIOS Extended User Interface (NetBEUI)

A network protocol native to Microsoft Networking. It is usually used in small, department-size local area networks (LANs) of 1 to 200 clients. NetBEUI can use Token Ring source routing as its only method of routing. NetBEUI is the Microsoft implementation of the NetBIOS standard.

See also: Compression Control Protocol (CCP)   local area network (LAN)   network basic input/output system (NetBIOS)   protocol   Token Ring   

NetBIOS name

A 16-byte name of a process using network basic input/output system (NetBIOS). The NetBIOS name is a name that is recognized by WINS, which maps the name to an IP address.

See also: IP address   network basic input/output system (NetBIOS)   Windows Internet Name Service (WINS)   


A tool that allows management of Windows domains and trust relationships from the command line.

See also: domain   trust relationship   

netmask ordering

A method DNS uses to give ordering and preference to IP addresses on the same network when a requesting client queries for a host name that has multiple host address (A) type resource records. This is designed so that the client program will attempt to connect to a host using the closest (and fastest) IP address available.

See also: address (A) resource record   Domain Name System (DNS)   host   IP address   

NetWare Core Protocol

The file-sharing protocol that governs communications about resources (such as disk and printer), bindery, and Novell Directory Services (NDS) operations between server and client computers on a Novell NetWare network.

See also: bindery   Internetwork Packet Exchange (IPX)   Novell Directory Services (NDS)   protocol   

network access server (NAS)

The device that accepts Point-to-Point Protocol (PPP) connections and places clients on the network that the NAS serves.

See also: Point-to-Point Protocol (PPP)   

network adapter

A device that connects your computer to a network. Sometimes called a network interface card (NIC).

See also: device   

network adapter driver

A device driver that works directly with the network adapter, acting as an intermediary between the adapter and the protocol driver.

See also: device driver   network adapter   

network address translation (NAT)

A process that translates the internal Internet Protocol (IP) address of each computer on a local area network (LAN) into an external IP address when that computer connects to the Internet. This process improves the security of the network because internal addresses are not made public.

See also: Internet Protocol (IP)   

network administrator

A person responsible for planning, configuring, and managing the day-to-day operation of the network. Also called a system administrator.

See also: administrator   

network basic input/output system (NetBIOS)

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.

See also: application programming interface (API)   basic input/output system (BIOS)   datagram   local area network (LAN)   node   service   

network bridge

A device that connects networks using the same communications protocols so that information can be passed from one network to the other. Also, a device that connects two local area networks (LANs), whether or not they use the same protocols. A network bridge operates at the ISO/OSI data-link layer.

See also: local area network (LAN)   protocol   

Network Connections

A component you can use to gain access to network resources and functionality, whether you are physically at the network location or in a remote location. By using the Network Connections folder you can create, configure, store, and monitor connections. Formerly called Network and Dial-up Connections or Dial-Up Networking.

Network Control Protocol

A protocol within the Point-to-Point Protocol (PPP) suite that negotiates the parameters of an individual local area network (LAN) protocol such as TCP/IP or Internetwork Packet Exchange (IPX).

See also: Internetwork Packet Exchange (IPX)   local area network (LAN)   Point-to-Point Protocol (PPP)   Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP)   

Network DDE service

A service that provides network transport and security for dynamic data exchange (DDE) conversations.

See also: dynamic data exchange (DDE)   service   

Network Driver Interface Specification (NDIS)

A Microsoft/3Com specification establishing a common shared interface for Microsoft operating systems to support protocol-independent transport of multiple network transport protocols (such as TCP/IP, NetBEUI, IPX/SPX, and AppleTalk). NDIS allows more than one transport protocol to be bound and to operate simultaneously over a single network adapter.

See also: Internetwork Packet Exchange (IPX)   Internetwork Packet Exchange/Sequenced Packet Exchange (IPX/SPX)   NetBIOS Extended User Interface (NetBEUI)   Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP)   

Network File System (NFS)

A service for distributed computing systems that provides a distributed file system, eliminating the need for keeping multiple copies of files on separate computers.

See also: service   

network gateway

A device that connects networks using different communications protocols so that information can be passed from one network to the other. A network gateway both transfers information and converts it to a form that is compatible with the protocols being used by the receiving network.

See also: device   protocol   

network ID

A number used to identify the systems that are located on the same physical network bounded by routers. The network ID should be unique to the internetwork.

See also: router   

Network Information Service (NIS)

A service for distributed computing systems that provides a distributed database system for common configuration files.

See also: service   

Network Information Service (NIS)

A network naming and administration system that was developed by Sun Microsystems and is constructed on the client-server model of computing. Formerly known as Yellow Pages (yp), NIS provides a simple network look-up service that consists of databases and processes.

Network Load Balancing

A Windows network component that uses a distributed algorithm to load-balance Internet Protocol (IP) traffic across a number of hosts, helping to enhance the scalability and availability of mission-critical, IP-based services, such as Terminal Services, Web services, virtual private networking, and streaming media. It also provides high availability by detecting host failures and automatically redistributing traffic to the surviving hosts.

See also: availability   cluster   host   scalability   

Network Load Balancing cluster

Up to 32 Web servers from which Network Load Balancing presents a single IP address to Web clients and among which Network Load Balancing distributes incoming Web requests.

See also: IP address   Network Load Balancing   Web server   

network media

The type of physical wiring and lower-layer protocols used for transmitting and receiving packets, for example, Ethernet, Fiber Distributed Data Interface (FDDI), and Token Ring.

See also: packet   protocol   Token Ring   

Network Name resource

The name of a device that exists on a network and is supported as a cluster resource by a Resource DLL provided with Windows.

See also: Resource DLL   

Network News Transfer Protocol (NNTP)

A member of the TCP/IP suite of protocols used to distribute network news messages to NNTP servers and clients (newsreaders) on the Internet. NNTP is designed so that news articles are stored on a server in a central database, thus enabling a user to select specific items to read.

See also: Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP)   

network number

In the Macintosh environment, the routing address or range of addresses assigned to the physical network that AppleTalk Phase 2 routers use to direct information to the appropriate network. Also called network range and cable range.

See also: router   

network partition

A state in which one or more of the nodes in a cluster cannot communicate with the other cluster nodes.

See also: cluster   node   

network place

A folder on a Web server. You can view files and folders on Web servers just as you would view files and folders on network servers. However, when you save a file to a network place, the file is saved on a Web server, not on your computer`s hard disk. You can create network places by using the Add Network Place Wizard, which is located in My Network Places. Network places are available only on Web servers that support Web Extender Client (WEC), FrontPage extensions, and Distributed Authoring and Versioning (DAV) protocols.

See also: Web server   

Network Service account

A predefined local account that is used to start a service and provide the security context for that service. The name of the account is NT AUTHORITY\NetworkService. The Network Service account has limited access to the local computer and authenticated access (as the computer account) to network resources.

See also: access control list (ACL)   Local Service account   Local System account   service   

network/bit-masked identifier

An IP address that includes a subnet bit-mask. Active Directory uses the subnet bit-mask to recognize sites and establish how replication of directory information will occur.

See also: Active Directory   IP address   replication   site   subnet   

network-to-network interface (NNI)

An interface that defines how switches in a network communicate with each other.


See other term: Network File System (NFS)  

NFS client

A computer running client software to access shared Network File System (NFS) resources.

NFS server

A computer providing Network File System (NFS) disk resources to NFS clients.


See other term: Network Information Service (NIS)  


See other term: Network Information Service (NIS)  

NIS map

A database served by Network Information Service (NIS). The NIS lookup calls require a map (database) name and an NIS domain name. An NIS domain consists of a collection of such maps.


A Windows command-line utility that transfers the entries in the Network Information Service (NIS) map source file specified by mapfile located in the UNIX NIS domain specified by NIS_domain to the Active Directory domain specified by AD_domain.


A Windows command-line utility that administers Server for NIS on the local computer or on a remote computer.


A Windows command-line utility that manages the map specified by mapname maintained by Server for NIS on a local computer or a remote computer.



No Override

In Group Policy in the Windows Server 2003 family, to force the Group Policy object (GPO) links of the parent container to take precedence over the GPO links of the child containers. By default, the GPO links that are closest to the user or computer (links to the child container) have higher precedence than GPO links higher up (links to the parent container). Enforcement causes GPOs that are linked in parent containers to take precedence instead. In Group Policy Management console (GPMC), Enforce is used instead of No Override.

See also: block inheritance   enforce   Group Policy   Group Policy Management console (GPMC)   Group Policy object link   inheritance   precedence   


For tree structures, a location on the tree that can have links to one or more items below it. For local area networks (LANs), a device that is connected to the network and is capable of communicating with other network devices. For server clusters, a computer system that is an active or inactive member of a cluster.

See also: local area network (LAN)   server cluster   

nonauthoritative restore

A restore operation performed on an Active Directory domain controller in which the objects in the restored directory are not treated as authoritative. The restored objects are updated with changes held on other domain controllers in the domain.

See also: Active Directory   authoritative restore   

noncontainer object

An object that cannot logically contain other objects. For example, a file is a noncontainer object.

See also: container object   object   

noncontiguous namespace

A namespace based on different DNS root domain names, such as that of multiple trees in the same forest.

See also: domain name   Domain Name System (DNS)   forest   namespace   

nonhubbed mode

A mode in which asynchronous transfer mode (ATM) Address Resolution Protocol/multicast address resolution service (ARP/MARS) does not forward multicast and broadcast traffic for multicast group clients. In this mode, the service returns a dynamic listing of ATM hosts currently registered for the multicast group address to requesting clients. Clients then use this list to initiate and establish their own point-to-multipoint virtual connections with each of the members in the multicast list.

See also: Address Resolution Protocol (ARP)   asynchronous transfer mode (ATM)   hubbed mode   multicast address resolution service (MARS)   multicast server (MCS)   

nonpaged memory

Memory that cannot be paged to disk. Paging is the moving of infrequently used parts of a program`s working memory from random access memory (RAM) to another storage medium, usually the hard disk.

See also: paging file   random access memory (RAM)   

nonpaged pool

Operating system memory that is never paged to disk. Paging is the moving of infrequently used parts of a program`s working memory from RAM to another storage medium, usually the hard disk. In Task Manager, the amount of memory used by a process, in kilobytes.

See also: paging file   Task Manager   


The use of cryptography to ensure that someone performing an action on a computer cannot falsely deny that they performed that action. A system with nonrepudiation provides undeniable proof that a user took a specific action such as transferring money, authorizing a purchase, or sending a message.

See also: cryptography   

nontransitive trust

A trust relationship in a multiple-domain environment that is restricted to just two domains. For example, if domain A has a nontransitive trust with domain B, and domain B trusts domain C, then there is no trust relationship between domain A and domain C. Nontransitive trusts can be one-way or two-way.

See also: forest   nontransitive trust   one-way trust   trust relationship   two-way trust   


Operating systems that are not Windows-brand operating systems.

normal backup

A backup that copies all selected files and marks each file as having been backed up (in other words, the archive attribute is cleared). With normal backups, you need only the most recent copy of the backup file or tape to restore all of the files. You usually perform a normal backup the first time you create a backup set.

See also: copy backup   daily backup   differential backup   incremental backup   

notification area

The area on the taskbar to the right of the taskbar buttons. The notification area displays the time and can also contain shortcuts that provide quick access to programs, such as Volume Control and Power Options. Other shortcuts can appear temporarily, providing information about the status of activities. For example, the printer shortcut icon appears after a document has been sent to the printer and disappears when printing is complete.

See also: taskbar   

notify list

A list maintained by the primary master for a zone of other DNS servers that should be notified when zone changes occur. The notify list is made up of IP addresses for DNS servers configured as secondary masters for the zone. When the listed servers are notified of a change to the zone, they will initiate a zone transfer with another DNS server and update the zone.

See also: DNS server   IP address   primary master   zone   zone transfer   

Novell Directory Services (NDS)

On networks running Novell NetWare 4.x and higher, a distributed database that maintains information about every resource on the network and that provides access to these resources.

See also: resource   


A command-line tool used to diagnose DNS infrastructure.

See also: Domain Name System (DNS)   

NTFS file system

An advanced file system that provides performance, security, reliability, and advanced features that are not found in any version of file allocation table (FAT). For example, NTFS guarantees volume consistency by using standard transaction logging and recovery techniques. If a system fails, NTFS uses its log file and checkpoint information to restore the consistency of the file system. NTFS also provides advanced features, such as file and folder permissions, encryption, disk quotas, and compression.

See also: file allocation table (FAT)   file system   

NTFS permissions

The settings that administrators apply to access control entries (ACEs) for managing access to files and folders under the NTFS file system. Take Ownership is an example of an NTFS permission.

See also: access control entry (ACE)   access control list (ACL)   NTFS file system   permission   


A group of NetWare servers. Accounts used to create a gateway must belong to this group.

See also: gateway   

NTLM authentication protocol

A challenge/response authentication protocol. The NTLM authentication protocol is supported in Windows 2000, Windows XP, and the Windows Server 2003 family, but it is not the default. It was the default authentication protocol for earlier versions of Windows.

See also: authentication   protocol   

null modem cable

Special cabling that eliminates the modem`s need for asynchronous communications between two computers over short distances. A null modem cable emulates modem communication.

See also: modem (modulator/demodulator)   

null password

See other term: blank password  


NWLink IPX/SPX/NetBIOS Compatible Transport Protocol (NWLink)

The Microsoft implementation of the Internetwork Packet Exchange/Sequenced Packet Exchange (IPX/SPX) protocol used on NetWare networks. NWLink allows connectivity between Windows-based computers and NetWare networks running IPX/SPX. NWLink also provides network basic input/output system (NetBIOS) functionality and the Routing Information Protocol (RIP).

See also: Internetwork Packet Exchange/Sequenced Packet Exchange (IPX/SPX)   NetWare   network basic input/output system (NetBIOS)   Routing Information Protocol over IPX (RIPX)   

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