Why do we still need WINS?

by Mitch Tulloch [Published on 11 July 2006 / Last Updated on 11 July 2006]

Why do we still need WINS servers on AD networks?

Why, in this age of Windows Server 2003 R2, is it *still* a good idea to run WINS servers on your Active Directory network? Doesn't AD use DNS for name resolution? Yes. Isn't NetBIOS obsolete? Yes. Do any applications still use NetBIOS? Unfortunately, yes! Some of the common apps that need WINS servers in order to run effectively are:

- My Network Places (or Network Neighborhood) to quickly repopulate this browse list as the Browser service is still based on NetBIOS.

- Any third-party network applications that leverage the browse list to find network resources users can attach to. You can probably track these puppies down by monitoring activity on your WINS servers by logging perfmon counters on them.

When will NetBIOS ever go away? Sigh.

Cheers, Mitch Tulloch, MVP

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The Author — Mitch Tulloch

Mitch Tulloch is a well-known expert on Windows Server administration and cloud computing technologies. He has published over a thousand articles on information technology topics and has written, contributed to or been series editor for over 50 books.

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