Microsoft Corp has previewed an enhancement to its year-old Windows NT Advanced Server 3.1 operating system in the shape of Windows NT 3.5 Server. Key improvements centre around improved communications and better interoperability with Unix and Novell Inc NetWare. The company says the system offers improved communications due to a new TCP/IP transport stack, which […]
Microsoft Corp has previewed an enhancement to its year-old Windows NT Advanced Server 3.1 operating system in the shape of Windows NT 3.5 Server. Key improvements centre around improved communications and better interoperability with Unix and Novell Inc NetWare. The company says the system offers improved communications due to a new TCP/IP transport stack, which has been rewritten from the ground up and is said to be smaller and faster than its forerunner. The 3.5 Server should improve performance with NetWare as Microsoft has incorporated Novell’s IPX stack which includes multiple network and SPX II support. In addition, the offering features Dynamic Host Configuration Program, which assigns Internet Protocol addresses dynamically from a centrally managed pool of addresses. This relieves administrators of the chore of assigning addresses to individual workstations and maintaining those addresses, says the company. It also includes a Windows Internet Name Service, which maps computer names to IP addresses, enabling users to refer to a machine by a simple name – ‘mymachine’ for example – rather than by its address. Other enhancements include increased capacity for dial-in support, boosted to 256 from the previous limit of 64 supported sessions, and the ability to use the dial-in server as a gateway to NetWare and Unix servers. It also features Point-to-Point Protocol and Serial Line Interconnect Protocol support in the Remote Access Server, enabling TCP/IP support over asynchronous lines. Remote Access Server is also said to support IPX over Point-to-Point Protocol for NetWare installations, enabling remote administration of NetWare servers. Microsoft claims that the new release needs between 4Mb and 8Mb less memory to run efficiently, and offers file server performance up to 20% to 30% faster than its predecessor. As with the original release, it runs on iAPX-86 and Alpha and R-series RISC processors, and is said to meet US C2-level security requirements. Windows NT 3.5 will also be available as a workstation version, designed specifically as a desktop operating system for the power user, says Microsoft. Windows NT 3.5 Workstation and 3.5 Server are due to ship in the late summer of this year. Pricing details to be announced shortly before shipment. Microsoft says it will offer free upgrades to users who purchased NT 3.1 and NT Advanced Server 3.1 after May 15, and for six months thereafter.