with many services in Windows Server 2008 R2, the installation and
configuration process of a WINS server is streamlined through the Add
Features Wizard. This wizard automatically installs all necessary
services and databases and configures other settings pertinent to a
particular service. Although other methods of installation still exist,
this method is the preferred approach in Windows Server 2008 R2.
To install WINS on a server using the Server Manager Add Features Wizard, follow these steps:
Start, All Programs, Administrative Tools, Server Manager. In the
console tree, right-click on Features, and then click Add Features to
start the Add Features Wizard.
the Select Features page, scroll down the list of features and select
the check box next to WINS Server. Then click Next to continue.
Verify that WINS Server is displayed in the selections window.
Click Install on the Confirm Installation Selections page to begin installing the WINS server.
It will take a few minutes for the installation to begin and the basic configuration of the WINS server to complete.
If desired, click the Print, E-mail, or Save the Installation Report link to archive the installation results.
Click Close on the Installation Results page to finish setup.
Configuring Push/Pull Partners
If a WINS server in an
environment is the sole WINS server for that network, no additional
configuration is required other than ensuring that clients will be
pointing to the WINS server in their IP configuration. However, if it
has been decided that WINS is required, it is a best-practice
recommendation to deploy a secondary WINS server to provide redundancy.
Unlike DHCP, however, WINS replication partners will replicate their
registered entries between each other. WINS replication is established
through the designation of WINS push/pull partners.
A push partner for a
particular WINS server is the server that pushes WINS database
information to a receiving or pull partner. A pull partner is a WINS
server from which changes are “pulled.” In a nutshell, if Server1 has
Server2 configured as a push partner, Server2 must have Server1
configured as a pull partner, and vice versa.
A WINS push/pull topology
should roughly map to an organization’s network topology. For example,
if an organization is composed of two main offices that serve as network
hubs, and several branch offices, each with its own WINS servers, the
WINS push/pull topology could look something like Figure 1.
In many organizations, however, if network connectivity is reliable
between locations, it is a best practice to deploy only two WINS servers
for the entire organization. This reduces WINS database replication and
administration. Remote or branch office WINS servers should only be
deployed on networks where network and/or firewall administrators block
WINS traffic from remote networks.
Figure 1. Sample WINS push/pull topology.
Examining WINS Replication
WINS replicates database
changes on a set schedule, which can be modified on a per-connection
basis. Just as with any network communications, the replication schedule
should be modified to fit the particular needs of an organization. If a
wide area network (WAN) link is saturated with traffic, it might be
wise to throttle back the WINS replication schedule. However, if a link
between push/pull partners is robust, a shorter schedule can be
established. To establish WINS replication between two WINS servers,
complete the following steps:
Install WINS on two designated servers as previously outlined. For our example, we will use SERVER10 and SERVER60.
one of the servers, log in and open the WINS console (Start, All
Programs, Administrative Tools, WINS). If prompted, click Continue to
confirm the action.
the WINS server in the console tree, and then choose Replication
Partners. The right pane will display any existing replication partners.
the desired replication partner is not already defined, in the console
tree, right-click Replication Partners and select New Replication
the name of the desired WINS server and click OK. This adds the
designated WINS server as a push/pull partner, meaning that these
servers will replicate and synchronize their database with one another.
In the WINS console tree, right-click the WINS node and choose Add Server.
Type in the name of the WINS server previously defined as a replication partner.
the second WINS server is added to the console, repeat the preceding
steps to add the first server as a replication partner.
WINS replication partners need to be defined on both systems before replication will function.
partners will replicate their database information with one another
every 30 minutes by default. If you, the WINS administrator, want to
change this replication schedule, complete the following steps:
Open the WINS console (Start, All Programs, Administrative Tools, WINS). If prompted, click Continue to confirm the action.
Expand the WINS server in the console tree, and then choose Replication Partners.
Right-click Push/Pull Partner (if one does not exist, it will have to be created), and choose Properties.
the replication partner property pages, select the Advanced tab, and
change the Replication Interval time to the desired length, as indicated
in Figure 2, and click OK to save the settings.
Figure 2. WINS replication settings.
Repeat this process on the other replication partner.
This can also be used to
change other partner replication settings, such as number of retries,
start replication at service startup, persistent connections, and other
pertinent replication information.
Understanding NetBIOS Client Resolution and the LMHOSTS File
Windows client does not immediately resort to a WINS server to
determine the IP address of a NetBIOS name. This knowledge is essential
in the troubleshooting of name resolution on a Windows client. Instead, a
client first accesses its local NetBIOS cache for resolution. If an IP
address changes, this cache might report the old address, impeding
troubleshooting. To flush this cache, run nbtstat -R (with uppercase R) at the command line.
In addition to the local
cache, clients by default always parse an LMHOSTS file, if one exists,
before contacting a WINS server. If the LMHOSTS file contains erroneous
information, it will impede proper name resolution. Always check to see
whether this file is populated (it is usually located in
%systemroot%\system32\drivers\etc on clients) before beginning to
troubleshoot the WINS server.