Almost a Third of Windows 2000 Shops Not Using AD

Out of 1,139 votes, 61 percent of respondents who had migrated to Win2K had moved to Active Directory.

Although Windows 2000 implementation is going strong, companies are less enthusiastic about instituting one of Win2K's main features, according to an poll.

Microsoft Certified Professional Magazine's online presence took a poll late last year and found that, of 1,139 votes, 61 percent of the respondents who had migrated to Win2K had moved to Active Directory, while 29 percent had not yet made the switch to Microsoft's version of directory services. About 10 percent of those responding in the unscientific survey didn't know if their company switched to AD or hadn't move to either product. (Click here to view the results.)

AD on Win2K is more stable and much more scalable than Windows NT's limited directory services architecture, but is a radical departure from previous Microsoft OSs, with a steep learning curve. Implementation often requires outside consultants, and IT staff must learn the intricacies of DNS and TCP/IP, making it a costly network upgrade.

About the Author

Keith Ward is the editor in chief of Visual Studio Magazine.

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Reader Comments:

Sun, Mar 31, 2002 Brent Southern Cali

42 sites, 4 domains, 4,000 users. All Domains now running AD w/ E2k. AD is fairly stable, and makes my life easier. E2k is the biggest piece of crap i have ever seen.

Mon, Mar 11, 2002 John Silver

Hmmm... this tech is over 7 years old.

Are we forgeting NDS for Novell 4.0?
and not to mention Microsoft bought it from them?

Sat, Feb 16, 2002 Hasnuddin Hamdan Malaysia

I agree with Brendan from London.

Almost all existing enterprise networks in Malaysia embraced Novell, so they are not going to make a grand change to AD. Smaller networks are happy with WinNT and SAM, so even if they migrate to 2000/XP, Active Directory might not feature in their plans. The only ones who would benefit from moving to AD are those offices with multiple sites/multiple domains/complex trust relationships. With very few Windows 2000 MCSEs around, migration to AD will not be painless .... .....

Having said that, I'm sure AD will eventually be accepted as an alternative to Novell NDS for newer installations, but Microsoft Certification Team screwed up their own marketing plan when with those indecisions regarding MCSE certification.

Wed, Feb 13, 2002 Brendan London

Anyone who wanted a client serve architecture that was scalable and useful would have been running Netware for the last 7 years anyhow so if that client is using NT now these factors aren't important so they may as well stay with NT 4.0 let alone even moving to 2000 at all. ps. thankx Microsoft for making all the years experience of NT obselete by the way. Will I be doing the 2000 MCSE up from my 4.0 MCSE ?? No. After 9 years I just cannot be bothered as I'm sure in another 3 years you'll have another new OS to learn...

Wed, Feb 13, 2002 Tbone Anonymous

Most Companies are scared of AD because they do not know how to implemnt or approach it. A test lab with two or three workstations will be the best place to begin.

Wed, Feb 13, 2002 Bob Morris Nairobi

For the size of LAN's that I support (50-200 users), I can see no benefit at all from using AD. The client has to do far more for AD than AD will do for him, and that is the base of the problem.

From a programming point of view AD (LDAP) query syntax is clumsy and abstruse and there are always better ways to achieve a required result without it.

I think MS need to rethink this one.

Tue, Feb 12, 2002 Bitstasher terra incognita

Using AD, and the associated Kerberos session keys issued by the CA, presents a significant improvement over the limited directory services and LDAP used in NT4, making it exponentially harder for me to aquire "zombies". Happily, exploits are constantly being tested, and there remains a significant group of users that simply do not have their boxes "locked down" correctly. When Win2K was rolled out I lost almost 80 "hosts", and I am still playing catch-up.

Tue, Feb 12, 2002 Bjorn Nottingham

Erm, strangerq... Thats the point of WindowsXP Professional. Why would the "home" version of any operating system be required to run on a domain? Think about it eh?

I dont see the point of most of the posts here. If you have an efficient network (small or large) then AD is unnoticed in any migration from NT to 2K. Its whether you decide to use the functionality of AD or not. If you do, then you are required to have a bit of knowledge about it. AD is more reliable and flexible than SAM and all its third party tools ever was.

Mon, Feb 11, 2002 Shah Jab SA

Well!! these peoples have no sence of using a OS, AD is the major Change

Sat, Feb 9, 2002 strangerq la

AD is surprisingly stable, functional and
adequetely designed.

Even small companies can benefits from
group policies with centralized management.

Now: why would M$ cripple it's functionality with the home version
of XP?

It's like they're still more interested in milking everly last $ out of their desktop
monopoly than in creating an Enterprise

Novell thanks you for giving them a reprieve from execution.

Sat, Feb 9, 2002 Beoweolf San Jose

I was able to implement AD without too much drama, it is not that difficult once you make up your mind to rollup your sleeves and to the job at hand. The fear factor was the only thing that held me back. Just make sure your DNS, DHCP ducks are in a row. It is difficult to recover from a "bad" implimentation, just be careful, plan, review and revise.

Sat, Feb 9, 2002 John Patrick krecke The Netherlands

I don't see mentioned that 3rd party solutions like NDS eDirectory from Novell is used in mixed environments where Netware and linux servers are part of the network also. For those companies there is no gain in using AD.

Fri, Feb 8, 2002 Jamie Newark, DE

We've got about 80 users and we're in the process of migrating to Windows 2000. Once we do, we'll certainly be using Active Directory - it's the whole point.

Fri, Feb 8, 2002 Jim LA

My comany is starting to migrate to W2k/XP. For us (20,000 worldwide) AD will be a huge benefit but I can see why smaller companies are staying away from it. Also, as mentioned before, many staffs are under trained to setup and manage AD...even if they passed the MS test. At a previous employer we used W2k from the first day so implementing AD was straight forward compared with migrating an entire office.

Fri, Feb 8, 2002 Juggle12 Houston, TX

We're a small shop of 30 users who just migrated to Win2k/Exchange from NT4/Domino. I was forced to install AD for Exchange2K. I see the headaches that small business deals with in scaling Down a system geared for the enterprise. Now that its up and running I'm quite pleased with it. Convince the higher-ups to think about the growth and expansion of the company. Create your network to be compatable with the 5 year plan. Then you may see the benefits of AD. If you plan on being a Mom-Pop forever, then skip it for file and print. imho

Fri, Feb 8, 2002 Bob Hanover, PA

On the small business side if you deside to have w2k Small Business edition preinstalled on the server it is pretty much required that you use AD. However On the small Business side this move definetly requires more memory because you end up running every thing from this point to include central NAV mamngement, Backup services and what ever server based application the business has. I had planned on 512k but ended up putting 1 gig of memory just to get the servers baselines under 50% and that was on a 1 processesor 1 gighz machine.

Fri, Feb 8, 2002 Eric London

We have been running Windows 2000 with AD for over a year now. We have three offices around the country, but our total number of employees never excedes 50 people. AD has given absolutly no benefit to us. If it was optional I would never have installed it.

Thu, Feb 7, 2002 Consultant Cincinnati

I agree with the consultant from NC. Only one of our customers is running AD, and it is not due to a lack of us urging them to move toward it, it is due to them not seeing the necessity. To tell you the truth, I don't see the necessity either. They are small, single office implementations with a file server or so and an email server for their 50-some employees. Why even bother?

Now, for our larger customers, they are moving to AD as is the rest of the world. They can use the scalability, but the little guys don't seem to care and I can't seem to make them want to care.

Thu, Feb 7, 2002 A Consultant NC

This doesn't surprise me. Small companies get very little benefit from AD, and many large ones have staff that is underpaid/qualified or untrained. For these comapnies, moving to AD will cause nothing but pain.

Thu, Feb 7, 2002 Dave Anonymous

Windows 2000 offers laptop users a lot of extra value including hotswap PCMCIA and USB (2.0 real soon I hope).
I think companies are still nervous about committing to AD as well as operating in 'mixed mode'. Maybe by SP6 they'll start to settle down. :)

Thu, Feb 7, 2002 Lee Torrance, CA

This seems very weird to me. The primary reason I upgraded to Win2000 server *at all* was to get the advantages of AD. As to the complexity issue - the Win2000 DNS tools are much better and easier to use than the ones provided with NT and I would have thought most places that were using Win NT would have already been using TCP/IP as a primary routing protocol.

Thu, Feb 7, 2002 Scott Spiess Roseville, CA

I think this is a shame. I think AD is a great improvement over NT 4.0 and allows for better scalability. I suggest that people, who have rolled out Windows 2K servers, re-look at what AD can do for you and how it can simplify your life. It is true that you need to think a little bit before you roll it out, but the planning is well worth it in the long run.

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