Is WINS required for Exchange 2000 or Exchange 2003?
This seems to be a pretty common question on the newsgroups, in design meetings, and in classrooms. I was inspired this morning by Russ Kaufmann's WINS is a Friend of Mine blog entry. Read it! Yes, you should continue to include WINS servers in your designs for Windows 2000 and Windows 2003 networks. Exchange 2003 has some of it's own particular need for NetBIOS name resolution and WINS is the best solution for this. The Exchange 2000 and 2003 setup program, Exchange System Manager, Exchange 2000/2003 clustering, and ExMerge all make a the occasional name lookups using NetBIOS name resolution.
Other reasons (besides the ones that Russ well illustrates in his blog) that I have found include migration. Any migration tool that is migrating from Windows NT 4.0 will need to be able to resolve the NetBIOS name of the hosts in the Windows NT 4.0 domain as well as the domain entries themselves. Trust me, you don't want to be distributing LMHOSTS files on an enterprise-sized network.
Some good references for this include: