Managing Computer Roles

Microsoft® Windows® 2000 Scripting Guide

One of the primary goals of system administrators is to continually reduce the need for system administration. For example, system administrators could manually edit host files, thus enabling users to access resources over the intranet and the Internet. Alternatively, system administrators can use DNS and allow computers to carry out this task. System administrators could visit each individual computer in the organization and use a known user name and password to log users on the network; alternatively, they can rely on Active Directory and allow domain controllers to authenticate users.

What this means, of course, is that computers are dynamic role players largely responsible for keeping a network functioning. This also means that all computers are not alike: some are workstations, some are member servers, and some are domain controllers. Others take on additional roles; these computers might be responsible for key services such as DNS or DHCP, or they might hold important Active Directory roles such as global catalog server or PDC emulator. Scripting provides a way for you to identify the various roles played by a computer, and also allows you to change those roles as needed.