I've got this kick-ass NT server but what can I do with it?
I will divide this into three parts, one if you are using NT for file-serving, one for if you are using it as an internet server, and one if you are using it as a workstation.
Simple Domain: A domain looks something like this:
PDC: If you want the power of a domain, this is for you, even if you will only have one server.
The Network is made up of this:
PDC: The Primary Domain controller is in charge of the Security accounts. The BDC (Backup Domain Controller) replicates the account information so that in the event that the PDC is down for some reason, the BDCs will validate the logons.
File/Print Servers: These hold the files used by the users, usually through shared directories that only an individual user or group of users can access. Printers can also be attached to these servers.
Clients: Clients running WFW 3.11, Win95, WinNT, or any other LanManager OS.
Hubs, Router: These make up a basic network, not all networks look like the one above, the router is used in a TCP/IP based network and would route all outbound traffic to the outside network, which may be the internet.
Keep in mind that all these servers and clients are in the same domain. The servers that are BDCs can also have other functions, such as WINS, DNS, DHCP, etc.
Server: When installing NT Server, it will give you the option to be either a PDC, a BDC or just a server. Basically, if it is a single server network, and you wish to only have a workgroup, this is your option. If you want a domain, you will want a PDC.
Workstation: If you have NT Workstation, you will either set it up to
be on it's own, or it will participate in the domain somehow, mainly if
you log onto a domain, the exact account that you have on the server will carry over to
Using a server as a workstation and a server: Yes! This can
be done. In fact, server works just as well as workstation for running applications,
and it gives you the power of server. However, if you have a heavily used
file-server, it will affect the application performance, but all that can be adjusted.
Server, what to do?
Server can be used for a lot of great things. Lets say you want to create your own internet/intranet site. Included with NT is Internet Information Server, a powerful, scaleable web, ftp and gopher server. It is easy to install, maintain and design. This site is made with Frontpage 98 (beta) but Frontpage 97 works just as well and is included on the NT Server CD-ROM. I will have detailed instructions for installing it in the future. Server has many other applications, such as SQL - database management, great applications support for many network applications, and it is scaleable, so in the future you can upgrade to a better server and still have the base installation of NT, without even re-installing it if possible.
I have made a page that contains many useful links to other NT sites. I would suggest you check it out.