I heard through the grapevine that WINS was going to be phased out / not supported officially from Microsoft any more [ and yet they have it in Windows server 2008 ]. I can't find any information about this on the web. Does anyone know of this rumor and/or have an official release from Mircosoft (URL?)? ( This question relates to Policy - large corporate networks)
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The WINS server is a shipping part of current Windows Server versions. It's "supported" by Microsoft.
WINS is a necessary evil because there are still applications out there (and bits of Windows, though increasing less with newer releases of Windows) that rely on NetBIOS name resolution. If you are one of the lucky people who have no applications that need NetBIOS name resolution go ahead and disable NetBIOS and run w/o WINS. On the other hand, if you still need NetBIOS then you really should be using WINS to cut down on broadcast traffic and to make NetBIOS name resolution reliable. You should also be setting your clients to "H-node" type name resolution (or, if you want no broadcast resolution at all "P-node") and specifying WINS servers as part of their static or DHCP-provided configuration.
Your comment to @MDMarra leads me to believe that your disk imaging application uses NetBIOS name resolution. In that case you're stuck needing a WINS server. I wouldn't get too hung-up on it. The WINS Server consumes few server resources and the replication can be tuned so that it isn't a bandwidth hog.
Microsoft has to support it as it is a freely installable role on their currently supported server platform. They will support it as long as they support OSes that they distribute it with.
That said, for the good of all mankind, please use DNS instead.
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