Do you like the feeling of having one foot on the boat and the other on the dock? Most people don’t, especially most IT managers in federal agencies.
But unless you’re going to shut down the network and make your co-workers sit through hours of downtime until everything is finished, that’s what a Windows Server 2003 migration project boils down to. At some point, you’ll have a population of migrated users, a population of not yet migrated users and a population of users in the middle. The farther apart the project pulls the boat from the dock, the greater the risk to your agency.
That’s where the term “coexistence” comes in: maintaining connections among these different populations to the co-workers and network resources they need to get work done while migration is underway.
In our four-pillar ZeroIMPACT methodology of migration projects – prepare, migrate, coexist and manage – I like to talk about migration and coexistence in the same pillar. We see the best results when agencies tackle them together as two sides of the same coin. Once the project gets moving, migration and coexistence tend to blend into each other.
Migration and Coexistence in Windows Server Projects
You’ll be keeping your eye on a few different balls when you migrate to Window Server:
- Active Directory
- Windows Server data
- eDirectory (if Novell is in your environment)
The best way to mitigate the risk of data loss and downtime is to ensure the fidelity of Active Directory and file server data between the old platform and the new.
If you’re restructuring or consolidating Active Directory, put a plan in place to recover any lost or changed objects, attributes and forest components from a single console. Maintain secure boundaries between Microsoft Exchange Server and Active Directory forests.
Meanwhile, on the coexistence front, keep migrated and not yet migrated users talking to one another and connected to resources like AD, printers, SQL servers, SharePoint sites and email. Don’t forget the need to synchronize directories and calendars between populations. Without preparing for a period of coexistence, you cannot have an effective transition (unless you think you can pull off the entire migration in a couple of hours).
Once you begin the work of migration, facilitate the movement of data from file servers to your target Windows Server version while maintaining all security and access points to the data.
Are you migrating from Novell to Windows Server? Get ready for a transition from eDirectory to Active Directory. You’ll also need to migrate all the data that resides within Novell and re-permission it to users’ new Active Directory identities.
Finally, schedule and automate your migration tasks to simplify the transition and keep your workload manageable.
New White Paper: How to Achieve a ZeroIMPACT Migration
Market Connections has published a white paper called Windows Server Migration – How to Achieve a ZeroIMPACT Migration. They surveyed 200 IT directors and managers from defense agencies and civilian agencies on the status of their migration off Windows Server 2003. Have a look at the paper to see how your project plans rate among those of your colleagues in federal agencies.
Quest can help mitigate the risk of data loss, ensure coexistence so your users remain productive, and minimize user impact with a high-fidelity migration of Active Directory and file server data.