Adding, Modifying, or Removing WINS

WINS is used on Microsoft networks to facilitate communications between computers by resolving NetBIOS names to IP addresses. Each time a computer starts, it registers itself with a WINS server by contacting that server over the network. If that system then needs to contact another device on the network, it can contact the WINS server to get the NetBIOS name resolved to an IP address. If you are thinking about not using WINS, you should know that the alternative is for computers to identify themselves and resolve NetBIOS names to IP addresses via broadcasts. Broadcasts are inefficient because all data is transmitted to every device on the network segment. Broadcasts can be a significant problem for large network segments. Also, if a network has more than one segment, you cannot browse to remote segments because broadcasts are not typically forwarded by routers, which will eliminate this method of resolution.

Because WINS actually replaces the broadcast communication on a network, it has a positive impact on network resources and bandwidth usage. This does not mean that WINS does not generate any network trafficjust that the traffic is more organized and efficient. The amount of network traffic generated by WINS clients to a WINS server is minimal and should not have a negative impact in most network environments.

WINS server information can be entered manually into the TCP/IP configuration on a system, or it can be supplied via DHCP. If the WINS server addresses change and the client configuration is being performed manually, each system needs to be reconfigured with the new WINS server addresses. If you are using DHCP, you need to update only the DHCP scope with the new information.

Removing WINS from a network increases the amount of broadcast traffic and can potentially limit browsing to a single segment unless another method of resolution (such as the use of the statically maintained LMHOSTS file) is in place.

Adding, Modifying, or Removing DNS

The function of DNS is to resolve hostnames to IP addresses. Without such a service, network users would have to identify a remote system by its IP address rather than by its easy-to-remember hostname.

Name resolution can be provided dynamically by a DNS server, or it can be accomplished statically, using the HOSTS file on the client system. If you are using a DNS server, the IP address of the DNS server is required. DNS server addresses can be entered manually, or they can be supplied through a DHCP server.