DOD cleared for Windows 2000

On his last day of work at the Pentagon, the Defense Department's chief information officer gave the green light for military implementation of Microsoft Corp. Windows 2000.

Art Money, whose last day as Defense CIO was April 6, lifted an economic analysis stipulation he had placed on DOD organizations in a May 31, 2000, memo.

Now, DOD organizations that deploy Windows 2000 no longer have to list their hardware and software replacement costs, software licensing fees and maintenance, and training expenses before using the software.

A key component of Windows 2000 server is Microsoft Active Directory, which some have called the company's version of Novell Inc.'s Network Directory Services. Microsoft Active Directory gives systems administrators a place to store data about network users and devices, such as application files, servers and printers. The directory can simplify management and improve security and interoperability, according to Microsoft.

In his April 6 memo, Money wrote that the Defense Information Systems Agency has set naming conventions for Windows 2000 to "ensure a consistent Windows 2000 Active Directory naming structure" within DOD, "thus providing the highest level of interoperability." Windows 2000 is not mandatory within DOD, according to Money's memo.

The Army's Active Directory pilot is its Global Combat Support System logistics program, which will use Windows 2000 on more than 40,000 workstations during the next few years. The Air Force Air Mobility Command is also deploying Windows 2000 across its enterprise, said Keith Hodson, a Microsoft Government spokesman.

The Marine Corps and Navy will receive Windows 2000 through the Navy Marine Corps Intranet procurement by 2003.

Users with .mil domains can access more information through the Directory Services Working Group within DISA's Defense Information Infrastructure Common Operating Environment Configuration Review and Control Board at www.disa.mil/directories.

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