Migrations to Windows 2000 have come to resemble technical rites of passage. Successful migrations are considered triumphs and failed migrations costly tribulations. searchWin2000 Career Center Survey feedback suggests that most efforts, falling short of being walks-in-the-park, are a far cry from actual disasters.
Approximately 60% of the searchWin2000 Career Center Survey respondents told us that the migration was easy, reporting only a few problems. Only a quarter of them called the passage "somewhat difficult."
These migration experiences validate many of the recommendations a Giga/Sunbelt Software survey advanced after hearing their customers tell the good, the bad and the ugly of expensive, difficult and lengthy migrations. Giga heard that most migrations to Windows 2000 Professional Release are almost a slam dunk, contrasted to the angst of installing Windows 2000 Server. Giga gave very clear advice to executive management: Business cases should drive the technology decision, timing the migration to fit their individual needs and situations and not vice-versa.
That's the approach reported by Shreveport, LA Convention Bureau Webmaster Pat Gill, who is installing Windows 2000 Professional on the tourist bureau's client PCs but holding off on server deployment. "Is there a strong reason to migrate to Windows 2000? Probably not," adds Buster Lee of Cogent Systems, Shreveport's tech support vendor, especially given server database compatibility issues that need to be addressed, proven viability of the company's existing NT4 network and a relatively conservative implementation timeline.
Still, Lee is confident that when the convention bureau eventually moves its two small domains to Windows 2000, the deployment will be "relatively simple." The one exception he cites is a planned Active Directory implementation, which he says will be a challenge to master. Lee's concern underlines one Giga caveat that the imposing demands of AD will make mincemeat of companies unwilling to commit the necessary training, hardware and software resources to install it correctly.
The go-slow approach also mirrors a moderate migration trend reported by industry analysts like IDC and the Gartner Group. They report that only 20% of medium to large companies surveyed plan to migrate to Windows in 2001 and only 25% in 2002.
For those who have already made the leap, Windows 2000 migration has served up an almost unlimited learning curve with both intriguing challenges and thoughtful regrets. "I should have learned more concerning the use of network address translation services and other routing protocols and services related to Microsoft network operating systems," reflects consultant Matthew Rummler when asked how he could have better prepared for the task. "This additional knowledge would have sped the migration up," he said. "But probably not considerably."
About Patricia Kutza:
Patricia Kutza is a technology writer based in the San Francisco Bay area.
Internet Communications Manager
Shreveport-Bossier Convention & Tourist Bureau
Windows 2000 Update: Complexity, Third-Party Tools, Slow Deployments
Giga Information Group
Cogent Systems, Inc.
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