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Removing WINS on Windows 2003 with Exchange 2003 Server

Medium Priority
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Last Modified: 2013-11-25
Hello experts,

I manage a one subnet network running Windows 2003 network with Active Directory and Exchange 2003.  At this time we're running DNS and WINS for computer name to IP address resolution and DHCP for IP address configuration.  I would like to remove the WINS protocol because since the release of Windows 2000 is no longer required by Windows 2003, also, I think it will improve network performance by not having NetBIOS traffic.  The only concern that I have is will Exchange still continue to function properly?  According to this article titled "Exchange Server 2003 and Exchange 2000 Server require NetBIOS name resolution for full functionality" http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=837391 but my understanding of this article is that it only applies to larger subnetted networks and not a single subnet network like ours.  I would really appreciate your input for my question.  Thank you in advance.
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Henrik JohanssonSystems engineer
Top Expert 2008

Commented:
If removing WINS, NetBIOS traffic will still exist and broadcasted in the single subnet. WINS or NetBT (NetBIOS over TCP/IP) is neaded to get NetBIOS to work between routed subnets.

Author

Commented:
henjohn09,

We do not have routed subnets, we only have one subnet.  Do we still need NetBIOS?
I really advise against removing WINS...
I've tried in the past and I got weird results in name resolution in the test network.

the thing you can try if you want to improve network traffic is to suppress broadcast messages sent from the client computers and instruct them to query the WINS server only.

This plus the windows client cache should reduce your braodcast traffic greatly since
your traffic is probably mainly from the client to the server and not between clients

this is done at the DHCP server level by changing the DHCP option number 46 and assigning it a value of 0x2 p-node mode.

you can have more info on the subject at the following MS article

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/160177
Henrik JohanssonSystems engineer
Top Expert 2008

Commented:
NetBIOS-traffic will still exist and be broadcasted in the single subnet if trying to remove WINS.
NetBIOS is a broadcasting protocol that normally isn't routed, and WINS/NetBT is by that reason neaded if having multiple subnets.

WINS isn't necessary in your network when just having a single subnet as NetBIOS will still work by using broadcasting, but using WINS reduces the broadcasting and improves network performance.
Expert of the Quarter 2009
Expert of the Year 2009

Commented:
The network performance gain from removing WINS will be negligible - at best.

Simon.

Author

Commented:
I get the impression that everyone is pro-NetBIOS and I'm surprised anyone hasn't mentioned the following facts:

NetBIOS and NBT are legacy name resolution protocols left over from NT days.

NetBIOS is inefficient because it broadcasts information to all computers in a network segment.

Windows 2000, 2003 and XP rely can now rely on DNS for name resolution and there's no need for WINS or NetBIOS.

By the way, NetBIOS traffic can be disabled by going to your DHCP Scope options > Microsoft Options > 001 Microsoft Disable Netbios Option.
Systems engineer
Top Expert 2008
Commented:
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