Upgrader's Guide to Win2

Keep your NT-to-Win2K migration in check with this helpful book.

Working with the latest technology is often a dream come true - all the way up to the point where you have to upgrade the entire network. Then the dream becomes a nightmare. What about domains, partitions, backups and, oh man, security? The boss thinks you're ready for Windows 2000 because SP1 is now available. So we'll all be upgrading tomorrow. Right?

Let's slow down and think things through. We need a plan. Our plan needs to make sure that when we switch over the users see it as an almost seamless transition.

Enter Windows 2000 Server: Planning and Migration from MacMillan Technical Publishing. This guide helps lay out the framework and structure needed for a successful Windows 2000 installation. The book is aptly named, since it is really for those planning on upgrading an existing network or installing a new Windows 2000 network. It's not a daily operation guide or the book you turn to when Peoria can't login to the network.

The book is broken into five sections, each covering a different facet of creating an installation and migration plan. The first section delves into some of the changes that have been made to make Windows 2000 more of an enterprise level OS. Here you'll find out about NTFS 5, VLM and even how the name Kerberos came about for Microsoft's security protocol. This section lays the foundation for those new to Windows networking or networking in general. Experienced network professionals will be able to skim this section for a quick update on the changes between NT 4.0 and Win2k.

Section 2 digs into the hardware side of things looking at everything from processors to performance tuning. This section could almost serve as a textbook on server configuration and should be read by anyone planning a server purchase. If you're on a budget (and who isn't) the comparison between cost and benefit is something you can lay down before the bean counters. Wait 'til they see RAID 10 referred to as "heinously expense" - your RAID 5 will look downright cheap! If you're preparing for a new install, you might be tempted to skip the chapters on Windows NT 4.0 migration. Don't do it! If not for the historical knowledge of how we got to this point, read it for the valuable and numerous tips and pointers.

Section 3 covers NT 4.0 migration and planning of all the core services. There really isn't much more to say than "read it."

Daily operation and management of the network is one of those tasks that fall into the "it will take of itself" category. Many companies install a network without even thinking about how they're going to add a new user or lock out that troublemaker who was fired last week.

This book doesn't just give this a passing nod; it devotes four chapters to planning for daily operations. While the ideas presented are mainly for a large enterprise installation they can be scaled down for smaller shops. This is where you cover those transitions that weren't quite seamless and still look like a hero.

If I have one gripe against this book, it's that it was based on the beta, which is clearly stated on the back cover. Hopefully, the second edition will correct this, pick up on several of the traps that people fell into with the first rollouts and also cover any SP1 gotchas.

So, are you ready to upgrade yet?

About the Author

Paul G. Brown, MCSD, a developer, speaker, and a frequent contributor to MCPmag.com, lives in New Berlin, Illinois. When not in front of the computer, he can be found chasing Jerry, Wesley, Jordan and Dillon for Mom.

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