Active Directory may spark turf battles

Microsoft Corp.'s Active Directory's reliance on Domain Name System undoubtedly will cause resistance at some agencies that have relied on Unix-based DNS servers for years.

Because of Active Directory's DNS requirements, administrators will want to migrate DNS from Unix-based systems to Windows 2000. Active Directory requires a DNS server that provides support for service resource records and dynamic updates through Dynamic DNS (DDNS).

Although Windows 2000 technically could work with a Unix-based DNS server that meets those requirements, many shops are likely to have concerns about supportability. Will a Microsoft support technician have experience with your flavor of Unix-based DNS?

Some shops will not like having to fully adopt Windows 2000's DDNS server, even though it is a capable option and features benefits such as reduced administration. Staffs running a Unix-based DNS system will need to be persuaded that Windows 2000 DNS is everything that you get on Unix and more.

The alternative sell for an agency looking to deploy Windows 2000 on a Microsoft-hosted DNS may be to propose a delegated sub-domain strategy, in which the Windows 2000 DNS

domains are sub-domains of the larger Unix-based DNS domain. However, this approach will complicate the model of flat DNS architectures, making administration a little more complicated.

— Symoens is a free-lance analyst and a senior IT systems engineer at Advanced Micro Devices Inc.

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