More about WINS server settings

Applies To: Windows Server 2008 R2

When adding the DHCP Server role in Server Manager, you can specify whether or not WINS is required for applications on the network. WINS primarily supports clients that run older versions of Windows and applications that use NetBIOS. Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista®, Windows Server 2003, and Windows Server® 2008 use DNS names in addition to NetBIOS names. Environments that include some computers that use NetBIOS names and other computers that use domain names must include both WINS servers and DNS servers.

If all of your network computers are running Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2008, and you are not supporting any applications that require NetBIOS names, you should establish DNS as your only method of name resolution. However, before you consider decommissioning or not installing WINS servers, identify any computers or applications that rely on NetBIOS, and determine the impact of removing NetBIOS. You might find that a critical application relies on NetBIOS (with no alternative currently available) in which case, you must continue to use WINS. For example, older versions of certain applications, such as Microsoft® Systems Management Server (SMS) and Microsoft® BackOffice® client/server mail configurations using Exchange Server, might require NetBIOS naming.

Additional Resources

For a list of Help topics providing related information, see Configuring DHCP Server Role Settings.

For updated detailed IT pro information about DHCP and WINS, see the Windows Server® 2008 documentation on the Microsoft TechNet Web site.