Article

BindView upgrade helps customers ease into Win2k

Meredith B. Derby, Assistant News Editor

BindView Corporation's new Managed Migration Initiative promises to take the complexity out of migrating scores of users to Microsoft Windows 2000.

Available August 1, Managed Migration Initiative is comprised of three products that update BindView bv-Admin suite for Windows. The MMI suite consists of bv-Admin for Windows 2000 4.1, bv-Admin for Windows 2000 Migration 4.1 and bv-Admin for Exchange 4.1.

Third party migration products like BindView's MMI can be lifesavers for enterprises with over 1,000 users, said Gartner Group research director Michael Silver. Some companies do find the migration tools included in the Windows2000 operating system sufficient, but they're too basic for more complex environments. The market is ripe for tools like MMI, he said, because "enterprises have underestimated the value of migration tools."

MMI is more than an incremental upgrade of bv-Admin, because it expands the suite's functionality so dramatically, said Silas Matteson, Vice President of bv-Admin Development at Houston, TX-based BindView. Amongst the improvements that change the face of bv-Admin are MMI's new resource migration, security, internationalization, and Exchange administration tools.

Focusing on the bv-Admin for Windows2000 Migration 4.1 piece, Matteson said the rewritten resource migration component is a key improvement because it now includes full rollback support.

"I can do a trial migration on a file on a file server, and

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I can find out ahead of time who has all the permissions on them and take whatever actions I want in a pure trial mode, actually do all the migrations and, if need be, do a rollback," Matteson said. On both resource projects and account projects, trial migrations can be done before the actual migration.

Furthermore, Matteson said, "you can run a trial with us, get the errors and then go in and fix those errors in the trial and then rerun it and just run the errors." The product allows you to overwrite the data with the fixed errors.

Another key feature is Security ID (SID) history cleanup, according to Matteson, whereby users can still use their same ID even if they have other accounts. As with the rollback feature, SID history cleanup has added data synchronization capabilities to allow the migration of a file and later be able to migrate any changes to that file since the migration started. There is also the flexibility to migrate data offline using a third party mechanism.

"One of the nice little twists to that, for SID history cleanup, it's not limited to just our products. In other words, if a customer has migrated accounts over with NetIQ or some other product, they can still use our product for SID history cleanup," Mattson concluded.

The last added element to the bv-Admin for Windows2000 Migration 4.1 is what BindView calls "migrating password manager trustees." When users are setup on the new Windows platform, they do not have to re-delegate all the places they were set up on with NT. Essentially, user's roles are also migrated, said Matteson.

Additional enhancements to the bv-Admin for Windows2000 4.1 include improvements in the Find-n-Fix tools, which query the directory to find information, and managed collections that control all Windows 2000 resources. Also, internationalization support offers the ability to support European-based platforms.

The MMI bv-Admin for Exchange 4.1 also offers improvements in Find-n-Fix capabilities. Other improvements include role-based delegation support for Exchange 5.5 and Exchange 2000 and co-management of Exchange and directory objects.

A twelve-month license for the bv-Admin Managed Migration Initiative is $9.95 per month with the option to extend or get a permanent license.

How does it work?

Through the Managed Migration Initiative's assessment and analysis, customers understand what they have and how it is going to be migrated, Matteson said. BindView calls this "model and migrate."

"We can build these virtual organizational units (OUs) on NT as a way to not only road test and get used to how Active Directory works, because it's exactly the same [as on Windows] but when you're ready, it's literally push button. You just specify that OU in a project and it all gets migrated," said Matteson. "Bv-Admin creates OU's in Windows NT that are 100% compatible with OUs in Active Directory, thus making it a great tool for helping to get ready for Active Directory while still operating off Windows NT."

The virtual OU method acts as a test, but Matteson also said it's a good way for customers to organize physically how they will migrate all their accounts, computers and files over.

Matteson compared migrating to Windows2000 to moving. One box is not used to pack up the entire house, he said. Each room is packed up in different boxes. "How you load the truck is dependent on the order of how you want to unload," he said.

Therefore, "you can use these OUs purely as boxes to facilitate what gets moved in what order because it's completely virtual," Matteson said.

After the "road test," when customers feel comfortable, they can enable the migration via a Web-based interface called "self-service account activation." Users will receive an e-mail to complete the activation, which also tells them about their new account.

"We give you a nice, logical, manageable process for transitioning users over to the new environment without flooding the help desk with tons of calls," Matteson said.

Chris Wilburn, Product Marketing Manager, Microsoft Solutions at BindView, summed up the product: "Our overall solutions allow you to assess up front, 'What is the configuration of my environment?' before you even thing about migrating or even modeling."

By using third-party migration products like MMI, IT managers will have access to enhanced reporting tools, which allow companies to understand where they are now; added cleanup capabilities; and the option to backout of the migration if it is not going as planned, Gartner's Silver said.

As most companies can't migrate in a weekend, companies who choose migration tools have the security of knowing the migration will be done more easily over time, said Silver. "Migration tools give you a much better way to plan to move certain users."

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