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Hour 10. Adding Client Computers and Member Servers to the Domain

What You’ll Learn in This Hour:

In this hour, you learn about adding client computers to your Windows Server 2008 domain or workgroup. We also discuss adding member servers to the domain.

Adding Client Computers to the Domain

Windows Server 2008 supports a variety of client computer operating systems, including Windows 2000 Professional, Windows XP Professional, and Windows Vista. So in terms of desktop operating system options, Windows Server 2008 provides the same possibilities as those that were provided by Windows Server 2003 (even including Windows desktop legacy versions such as Windows NT and 9X).

However, because Windows Server 2008 and Windows Vista were really parts of a single Microsoft development project, a number of advanced features related to event monitoring, local print job rendering, network access protection, and even IPv6 deployment are best realized when Windows Vista is run on the desktop. And although you may be thinking that Terminal Services can still allow you to get a little more mileage out of legacy desktop operating systems, even some advanced Terminal Services features, such as Terminal Services web access, are limited to clients running Windows Vista (SP1 or better) and Windows XP (SP3 or better).

By the Way

Not only does Windows Server 2008 provide a “typical” network environment for a variety of desktop operating systems, it also makes it possible to connect to Windows Server 2008 running Terminal Server, which can actually enhance the remote connection for legacy operating systems. However, Windows Server 2008 has been built with the assumption that desktop computers will take advantage of Windows Vista and so some advanced features, including new Terminal Services features, are not compatible with computers running legacy operating systems. For more about the Terminal Server possibilities, see Hour 19, “Implementing Terminal Services.”

In an ideal situation (although an ideal situation probably does not exist in the networking world), running only one or two types of the possible client operating systems such as Windows Vista (and perhaps Windows XP) allows you to standardize the user desktop as much as possible. This keeps you from having to configure (and troubleshoot) many different client platforms.

Another aspect of standardizing client computers is standardizing their hardware configurations. If you have the luxury (the budget, in most cases) of configuring your client computers with a consistent hardware configuration, it will be easier to select and configure a particular client operating system.

A network client must be configured so that a user (or users) can log on to the domain. However, the computer must also be configured with the appropriate network protocol (in most cases TCP/IP) so that it can “talk” to the domain controller that grants a user access to the domain and the other servers on the network that provide services such as file and print services. Hour 7, “Working with the TCP/IP Network Protocol,” provides an overview of configuring TCP/IP (v4 and v6) on computers running Windows Server 2008. This hour discusses the basic aspects of configuring network clients with TCP/IP.

Setting up and configuring client computers is a somewhat consistent task when you are working with Microsoft operating systems such as Windows Vista and Windows XP. And if you do plan on running some legacy operating systems such as Windows 2000, you will find that the network configuration only differs slightly (when compared to Vista or XP). Because computers are added to the Active Directory from the server, the minor differences between desktop operating systems doesn’t even play a role.

Windows 2000, Windows XP, and Windows Vista clients must be added to the domain (as opposed to a legacy Windows operating system such as Windows 9X), which means these operating systems provide a secure user environment because the domain administrator determines the computers that are added to the domain and the level of access these computers have to network resources. Let’s take a look at how a computer can be added to the domain using the Active Directory for Users and Computers snap-in.

By the Way

Deploying Windows Vista clients and additional servers running Windows Server 2008 can be an arduous task in terms of installing these operating systems one at a time on client computers or servers. Windows Server 2008 can help automate this task with Windows Deployment Services, which is discussed in Hour 5, “Implementing Windows Deployment Services.”

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