What are the Windows .NET Server (Win.NET Server) 2003 domain and forest modes?

A. Windows 2000 domains have two modes: mixed (which lets Windows NT 4.0 BDCs participate in domain replication) and native (which lets only Win2K-based domain controllers--DCs--participate in domain replication). Win.NET Server introduces new functionality to both domains and forests, including new domain renaming abilities. As a result, Microsoft has added a new mode for domain functionality, as listed below.

Domain Mode DCs Supported
Win2K mixed (default) Win.NET, Win2K, NT 4.0
Win2K native Win.NET, Win2K

The differences between Win2K mixed and Win2K native are the same under Win.NET Server as they are under Win2K. However, the Win.NET Server domain mode adds support for

  • a DC renaming tool.
  • an enhanced user log-on timestamp.
  • Kerberos Key Distribution Center (KDC) key version numbers.
  • user password support for InetOrgPerson, which is a standard object class defined in IEEE's Requests for Comments (RFC) 2798.

Win.NET Server also adds a new mode for forest functionality, as listed below.

Forest Mode DCs Supported
Win2K (default) Win.NET, Win2K, NT 4.0

To upgrade the forest to Win.NET Server, all domains within the forest must be in Win.NET Server mode or Win2K native mode. The Win.NET Sever forest mode adds support for

  • tuning Global Catalog (GC) replication.
  • creating bidirectional transitive forest trusts.
  • performing domain renaming (DNS and NetBIOS name).
  • improving replication algorithms (including the ability to replicate individual group membership changes instead of replicating information about the entire group).
  • deactivating an unneeded class or attribute.
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