Microsoft admits OS flaws

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Microsoft admits OS flaws

Cliff Saran
Microsoft has admitted to the existence of a number of design flaws in Windows 2000 which makes the server operating system difficult to administer in large, enterprise installations.

Speaking at a workshop on Windows .net, Stuart Kwan, Microsoft's group programme manager responsible for Active Directory software, said, "Users have said the Active Directory [in Windows 2000] could be a lot easier to deploy."

He admitted that even Microsoft had experienced difficulties with the software. One of the main problems with Windows 2000 concerned the speed with which an administrator could replicate domain controllers, which are used within a network for authenticating users. "On a big [network] like Microsoft, it takes 24 hours to replicate the domain controller," said Kwan.

Replication is an important task, because domain controllers need to be kept constantly up-to-date with the list of users allowed to access a company's network.

While Microsoft recommended replicating Windows 2000 domain controllers every 15 minutes, a complex network took longer than 15 minutes to replicate. This, said Kwan, limited the complexity of a Windows 2000 network to installations comprising no more than 200 branch offices.

This limit will be extended in the Windows .net release to 5,000, but to deploy a network of this size, Kwan said users would need to upgrade entirely to the new operating system.

He also admitted that Microsoft had misjudged how users would prefer to manage the Active Directory in Windows 2000.

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