NET 121b: Essentials of Networking
Chapter 14: Network Operating Systems
This chapter discusses network operating systems from several vendors,
and variations on each of them. The topics of this chapter are:
- UNIX and Linux
- Mac OS X and Appleshare IP
The chapter describes features of three families of Windows servers:
NT, 2000, and 2003.
NT servers and workstations run operating systems that Microsoft
no longer supports, but some companies may be using NT because they have
no funding for upgrading hardware, software, or both. When it was marketed
by Microsoft, NT software came in four varieties:
- Windows NT Workstation: used on workstations meant to connect
to NT servers
- Windows NT Server: the basic NT server software
- Windows NT Server - Enterprise Edition: a more robust
NT server for mission-critical applications and for larger networks
- Windows NT Server - Terminal Server Edition:a version of NT
server that let administrator connect non-Windows devices to the network
- All the versions above are 32-bit operating systems that support
- NT supports locking down the workstation or server, so that only a
user who logs in with specific privileges can install/uninstall software
and perform tasks that might damage the system. The default account
on an NT system that has such privileges is called Administrator.
The text refers to this account as a superuser account.
Windows 2000 is also an operating system no longer sold for workstations
and servers. The text lists four versions of it:
- Windows 2000 Professional - a version for workstations; it
can act as a peer, but is not meant to be used as a server
- Windows 2000 Server - the basic Windows 2000 server; can be
used on computers with up to 4 processors and up to 4 GB of RAM
- Windows 2000 Advanced Server - for medium network servers;
can be used on computers with up to 8 processors and up to 8 GB of RAM
- Windows 2000 Datacenter Server - for large network servers;
can be used on computers with up to 32 processors and up to 32 GB of
RAM; also supports clustering (configuring several servers to
act as one)
Windows 2000 facts:
- Clustering supports load balancing
- Active Directory, a network directory service, was first seen
in Windows 2000. Active Directory stores information about network users
and resources, and allows an administrator to manage them.
- Microsoft Management Console (MMC) is used to manage servers
and workstations. It was available with NT 4.0, but is standard on Windows
Windows Server 2003 has no workstation version, but it still comes
- Windows Server 2003 Web Edition - made for web services, supports
up to 2 GB of RAM
- Windows Server 2003 Standard Edition - the standard, smallest
version; supports up to 4 processors, up to 4 GB of RAM
- Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Edition - for servers running
mission-critical applications; supports 64 bit processing, up
to 8 processors, and up to 32 GB of RAM (64 GB of RAM with Release 2)
- Windows Server 2003 Datacenter Edition - available in 32 and
64 bit versions; made to provide scalability for web based data services;
can support up to 128 GB of RAM
Windows Server 2003 facts:
- Uses Microsoft's .NET platform
- Improved clustering, load balancing, and security
- Software Update Service (SUS), used for managing/installing workstation
NetWare is the name of several versions of a network operating system
developed by Novell. The list of
features presented in the text is trivial: most of these features are
found on all networks.
- NetWare is up to version 6.5 as of this writing.
- NetWare version 4 and later include what was originally called Novell
Directory Services (NDS) and is now called eDirectory. This is a network
directory service, similar in intent to Microsoft's Active Directory.
eDirectory can be loaded on a Novell server, a Windows server, a UNIX
server, or a Linux server. It can provide directory services for a network
that includes all these operating systems.
- NetWare 3 and earlier version did not include NDS. They used a flat-file
database system called a Bindery. Each server had its own Bindery service
to manage resources associated with it.
- A NetWare server cannot be used as a workstation, unlike a Windows
- The default administration ID on a NetWare system is called Admin.
(This ID was called Supervisor in NetWare 3 and earlier versions.)
- In NetWare 4.11 and earlier versions, the default protocol suite is
the IPX/SPX suite. NetWare 5 and later versions support IPX/SPX, but
also provide native support for TCP/IP.
- User accounts on dissimilar systems can be synchronized with Novell
DirXML, also called Novell Nsure Identity Manager.
UNIX and Linux
UNIX was developed at Bell Labs in 1969.
It was an attempt to improve on the characteristics of computer
systems that frustrated computer professionals at the time.
UNIX comes in two basic flavors. The AT&T version
is descended from the researchers at Bell, and is called SVR4.
This means System V (that's a Roman 5) Release 4. The second type is called
BSD, for Berkeley Standard Distribution. It is descended from the
version that evolved from the many changes made at the University of California
at Berkeley. What were they doing with it? Well, Bell Labs couldn't sell
UNIX at the time, so they gave it away to schools, who changed to to suit
themselves. If only Bell could have sold it, maybe it could have evolved
into Windows, and no one would have ever heard of Bill Gates.
Features found in UNIX are also found in DOS, Windows, NetWare and other
systems that were developed after UNIX.
Facts about UNIX:
- The administrative user on a UNIX system is called Root.
- UNIX is very case sensitive. On a Windows system, a file might be
called by any version of its name: upper case, lower case, or mixed
case. A UNIX system will consider each of these filename variations
to be different and unique. The same case distinctions apply to UNIX
commands and utilities.
- There are many varieties of UNIX. Some major vendors are Sun, Hewlett
Packard, IBM, and Santa Cruz Operation (SCO).
In 1991, Linux was developed as a low cost alternative to UNIX by Linus
Torvalds in Finland. Several versions of it have been developed since,
and marketed by several developers. Free versions also exist.
- Linux is an open source operating system. Anyone may submit an improvement
to the system.
- Some vendors that sell Linux versions: Novell, Red Hat, Denebian.
Mac OS X and Appleshare IP
Mac Operating System
X (Roman 10) is an operating system for Apple Macintosh computers.
It is based on BSD UNIX and other components from the NeXT company, which
was run by Steve Jobs, a founder of Apple.
Mac OS X facts:
- Mac OS X Server supports clients that run Windows, UNIX, and Macintosh
- The directory service provided by Mac OS X is called Open Directory
2. It supports Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP).
Appleshare IP was
a product from Apple that supported clients that used TCP/IP or Apple's
proprietary Appletalk protocol. It was discontinued in favor of Mac OS
X. The text notes that it supported up to 500 users, and up to 50 web