Microsoft NT Systems

This section briefly covers Windows NT 4.0. Cisco Systems requires you to have no more than a conceptual overview on Windows NT systems, so the detail in the next section is only provided to give you the required foundations to pass the CCIE Security written exam.

Windows NT allows clients and servers to be grouped into domains or workgroups. A domain is typically a large group of devices under a common administration. A workgroup usually describes a smaller group of Windows devices or any logical collection of computers. A domain is managed by a primary domain controller (PDC), which is a Windows-based server that stores and controls security and user account information for an entire domain. Each domain must have at least one PDC. A backup domain controller (BDC) maintains a copy of the database in the event the PDC is unavailable.

NetBEUI was first developed by IBM in the mid 1980s to provide an interface for applications that were currently using Network Basic Input/Output System (NetBIOS).

Before routing became popular, NetBEUI was developed as a Layer 2 protocol that allowed devices, such as PCs, to communicate over a broadcast medium, such as Ethernet. NetBEUI was also designed for earlier versions of Windows (Windows 3.1 and MS-DOS-based clients).

NetBEUI is not routable and must be bridged when networks are not locally reachable. NetBEUI is still used today.

NetBIOS is a session layer protocol that allows communication between PCs in domains or workgroups.

NetBIOS provides the following functions:

• Authentication

• Connection management

• Error control

• Full-duplex transmissions

• Name resolution

• Print sharing

• Session management

NOTE NetBIOS over IPX is called NWLink, and NetBIOS over TCP/IP is called NetBT.

Next, you learn how Windows devices can find network resources by browsing and using Windows name resolution.

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