Provide Scalability

One of the basic realities of our time is that everything changes very quickly. A system that needs to support only 10,000 users today might have to support 100,000 users tomorrow. Scalability must be built into every DNS and is one of the most important elements in creating an effective DNS. Scalability can be created through either hardware or software solutions. We'll look briefly here at hardware solutions, but this tutorial will focus on software solutions.

Hardware solutions

Intel and Microsoft are developing products that support a much higher capacity by using faster processors, more memory, more clustered computers, and multiple processors. Ultimately, Microsoft's vision is to create scalable computing using clusters of smaller computers that cooperate via software. These clusters will provide redundancy and scalability and will offer an alternative to monolithic mainframes. With the release of Windows 2000, PCs with 32 processors connected in a cluster consisting of up to four PCs should become a possibility.

Software solutions

Windows DNA provides a framework for designing, building, and reusing software components to build a DNS. Large, distributed systems can be built using the Windows DNA framework. These Windows DNA systems are distributed because they can have components that are located anywhere in the enterprise-that is, on the client machine; on a Web, database, or middle-tier server; on a mainframe computer; or on any computer within the enterprise.

The XML extensions proposed in BizTalk are being developed to overcome some of the barriers that currently exist with extranets. Extranets are networks created by connecting computer systems from two different corporations. Usually, the two corporations are corporate partners. Using BizTalk, information can flow in a standardized format through the extranet.

The XML extensions proposed in SOAP are being developed to solve the problems of communication between platforms (UNIX, Windows, and so on). SOAP also addresses the difficulty of calling methods through a firewall by using XML and Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) to pass messages to methods behind a firewall.

The combination of XML and the Internet will allow the actual physical locations of the different elements of a Windows DNA system to span the entire globe. The Windows DNA systems that use the Internet and XML will be capable of moving messages across international boundaries inside and outside the corporations of the world.

These Windows DNA systems can be created using Component Object Model (COM) components, such as those built from Microsoft Visual Studio in C++, Microsoft Visual Basic, or Java; ASP pages; and Web browsers such as Internet Explorer 5. They will be supported by the full range of Microsoft's software, including BackOffice, Office, Exchange Server, Site Server, SQL Server 7, and so on. Essentially, Microsoft provides all of the support and development products to create a customized enterprise solution that meets the specific needs of any corporation.