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Understanding TCP/IP on Windows Server 2003

Learning TCP/IP basics (IPv4)

Configuring TCP/IP

Understanding and using IPv6

Troubleshooting TCP/IP

Working with Legacy protocols

Understanding SNMP

Configuring and managing Windows Firewall

Using Network Access Quarantine Control

Using Wireless Provisioning Services

Tip Windows Server 2003 includes other features related to TCP/IP, such as the capability to bridge network connections; Internet Connection Sharing (ICS), which enables a single / Internet connection to be shared by other users on the local network; and Windows Firewall, a rudimentary firewall added with Service Pack 1 to replace Internet Connection Firewall (ICS). For more information on ICS and other remote-access-related topics, see Chapter 18.

On both the client and server side, Windows Server 2003 provides easy TCP/IP configuration. As with other Windows applications, you configure TCP/IP through various dialog boxes, but Windows Server 2003 also includes command-line utilities such as ipconfig to help you view and manage a system's TCP/IP configuration. A very useful feature is the capability to change IP addresses and other settings without requiring the system to reboot.

Before you begin configuring and using TCP/IP in Windows Server 2003, you need to understand the basics of how TCP/IP works, which are covered in the following section. If you're already familiar with TCP/IP and are ready to configure it in Windows Server 2003, turn to the section "Configuring TCP/IP," later in this chapter.

Note The following section explains IP version 4, generally referred to as IPv4. The latest version of the IP protocol, IPv6, is also included in Windows Server 2003. See the section "Understanding IPv6," later in this chapter, for a detailed explanation of IPv6 and its use.

TCP/IP Basics (IPv4)

TCP/IP is actually a suite of protocols. The IP portion of TCP/IP provides the transport protocol. TCP provides the mechanism through which IP packets are received and recombined, ensuring that IP traffic arrives in a usable state. TCP/IP arose from the ARPANET, which was the precursor to today's Internet. TCP/IP is standards-based and supported by nearly every operating system, including all Microsoft operating systems, Unix, Linux, Macintosh, NetWare, OS/2, Open VMS, and others. This wide compatibility and the capability to interconnect dissimilar systems are the primary reasons why TCP/IP has become so popular.

Although TCP/IP is most often used to provide wide-area networking (such as on the Internet), it is an excellent choice as a local network transport protocol, particularly where organizations want to serve network resources to local clients through an intranet. You can use TCP/IP as your only network protocol, or you can use it in conjunction with other protocols, such as NetBIOS Enhanced User Interface (NetBEUI). For example, you might use TCP/IP for Internet connectivity and use NetBEUI for sharing local resources. One main advantage to this option is that NetBEUI is nonroutable and therefore relatively secure from unauthorized access from the Internet. As long as you don't bind the file and printer-sharing client to your TCP/IP protocol, your local resources can be fairly safe from outside access.

Windows Server 2003 doesn't incorporate NetBEUI in the list of available protocols, and it isn't available from the Windows Server 2003 CD. You can, however, install the NetBEUI protocol from the VALUEADD\MSFT\NET\NETBEUI folder of a Windows XP CD to Windows Server 2003, if needed. However, NetBEUI should be used only as a last resort.

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