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Overview of WINS Deployment

Updated: March 28, 2003

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

WINS provides a dynamic solution for network basic input/output system (NetBIOS) name resolution in enterprise networks. Although most large networks currently have a WINS infrastructure, some still rely on other methods of NetBIOS name resolution, such as the Lmhosts file. If your organization does not currently use WINS, and intends to continue operating with Microsoft® Windows® 95, Windows 98, Windows Millennium Edition, or Microsoft® Windows NT® version 4.0, consider implementing WINS when you deploy Windows Server 2003 in order to automate NetBIOS name resolution. Certain applications, such as Microsoft® Exchange Server, also rely on NetBIOS name resolution. Therefore, even if all of your computers are running Microsoft® Windows® 2000, Windows XP, or Windows Server 2003, you might still require NetBIOS name resolution based on the applications running in your environment.

If you are upgrading your current WINS servers to Windows Server 2003, determine if your existing hardware is compatible with Windows Server 2003, then migrate your WINS solution to Windows Server 2003.

By deploying WINS, you provide NetBIOS name resolution for clients on your network. WINS implements a distributed database for NetBIOS names and their corresponding addresses. WINS clients register their names at a local WINS server, and the WINS servers replicate the entries to the other WINS servers. This ensures the uniqueness of NetBIOS names and makes local name resolution possible.

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