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Active Directory Still Blocking Move to Windows 2000

Dragging your feet on a Windows 2000 server deployment? You’re not alone, according to a new study from market researchers at IDC.

Rolling out Win2K Active Directory continues to serve as a major roadblock for organizations in getting to Win2K, and that new directory service technology may be keeping those organizations from even considering moves to subsequent operating systems such as Windows XP clients and the forthcoming Windows .NET servers, IDC found in a survey of more than 300 IT managers.

“Most Microsoft customers will continue to follow the Windows roadmap, with broad plans for Active Directory deployment,” says Al Gillen, research director for IDC’s Operating Environments service. “However, users say their movement to Microsoft’s latest operating systems will proceed on their schedule, not on Microsoft’s schedule.”

Three quarters of the respondents said that less than half of their server systems have been updated or deployed new with Win2K, Gillen says. “Probably only a third of the systems out there are Windows 2000,” Gillen estimates. A disproportionate number of the most comprehensive deployments appeared in smaller shops, the IDC survey showed.

Of the respondents, IT managers known to have Windows NT or Win2K installed, 36 percent said they delayed their Win2K rollouts because of complexity associated with AD.

As for licensing, IDC’s survey indicated that Microsoft’s controversial Licensing 6.0 program isn’t having a major effect on IT manager’s rollout plans. However, a notable percentage is angry over the increased cost of the revised software licensing. About 15 percent of respondents said Licensing 6.0 gave them an incentive to seek alternative products.

But Gillen says, “The bigger picture shows that few customers will be replacing their Microsoft technology with alternate products over the short term, so competitive products need to continue to offer a strong story of interoperability with Microsoft environments.”

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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Reader Comments:

Thu, Apr 11, 2002 Ralf Berne, Switzerland

The survey confirms our observations and our approach to handle the problem with the RENO-Suite, the RTC Enterprise Network Operation Suite. This Solution is based on a central Database containing all necessary Information to operate a TCO-optimal MS-Environment, especially in regional distributed companies. The central Database is easy and userfriendly to maintain, feeds up the AD and "builds" the reality. So you get all the new features in a controlled way.

Wed, Apr 10, 2002 Johnny Arizona

About a year ago reading about all the AD components and new tools, was quite overwhelming. However, after a year of reading about it but more imprtantly creating a test lab/domain at home, I'm quite confortable with the move to AD from Novell's NDS. I have nothing against Novell, the tools for the directory are superior to MS's but AD will get there. The fact of the matter is that the apps are developed for MS and not Novell, so why pay a license for NOS authentication and another for the apps under NT or AD?. If you decided to go with a lab, look up VMware... this is a tool that allows you for example to run one or several W2K server under a W2K machine (desktops is what I use), yes real servers that authenticate/replicate/etc...check it out. Believe it or not this is old mainframe technology ported to open systems. Thanks

Mon, Apr 8, 2002 Bob NYC

Eric: Thanks for getting back to me. It's really interesting to see how the migration process is going in other countries. I have a client who is French and travels back and forth from New York to France often and he often tells me that he has many friends who could use my services in France. Not that I have considered going there, but after reading your post...maybe he's right. I am a MCSE (Win2k) and in the process of going it alone with my own consulting company. Does the company you work for have a web site...I would be interested in taking a look. Oh, this may be a stupid question, but what is the "CV" you refer to in your previous post?? Thanks Again - Bob

Mon, Apr 8, 2002 JL Tampa-FL

After taking the classes in the 2000 Pro and Server track it clarified many questions. TechNet had actually provided some useful scripts and 3rd party apps to help w/ the migration. The BIG migrations are sure tough and definitely are not going to be done in a few weeks mainly because of the 8th layer of the OSI model...politics!!

Thu, Apr 4, 2002 eric Paris

Bob : well i'm not actively prospecting , i'm just dont have time to remove my CV from all the sites i'm on , but here in paris there has been a lot of work for certified people with migration experience ( i've donne about 60 to 70 domains , 1200 servers and i think about 30 000 workstations in the last 24 months) i'm not even dreaming about vacations , presently i'm migrating one of the world top gaz producer european subs AND a major french bank chain , so basically on these 2 projects i have 34 sites in 9 contries , 600 servers , and i dont even know yet how many WS .
i am working thrue a service company , and we've been hiring non-stop , i'm even getting friends from the states and Canada to work here on contract base .

ciao ;)

Tue, Apr 2, 2002 CNE/MCSE Anonymous

blaxshep states that you need only one license if you have AD. Not true, you need a client OS license for the Pro box, and a client access license (either MS or Novell) to get to the server. No difference.

Tue, Apr 2, 2002 GenoPool Ctown

To Blaxshep: Why put in ADS when NDS is lightyears ahead. You should listen to the old timers, they could teach you a few things.
ADS is much better than NT4, so if you stay with MS, it's time to upgrade.

Sat, Mar 30, 2002 Jim NY

adding to blaxshep - once you get inside of it, Active Directory is about as simple as it gets

Thu, Mar 28, 2002 blaxshep Tampa

It is too bad Microsoft didn't set up Windows 2000 to operate in PDC, BDC mode without active directory. If they did we would have implimented it here locally months ago. As it stands the 30% assesment is correct for us. This is mainly becase in a Corporate structure, sites are dependent on the central (Corporate) IT to establish a root or Global Master. Unfortunately most Corporate IT Staff are old timers still hung up on antiquated Novell systems and are afraid to migrate to AD. Novell is server software NOT a network solution. Without a workstation you still have microsoft at the desk top, only now your paying for 2 licenses when only one is needed. As for customers not wanting change,.... I suppose they think they live in a vacuum. Truth is they think they are playing the depreciation game and saving money. Sooner or later it's time to pay the piper. I realise people don't impliment every new release, and probably shouldn't, but wake up people! Windows 2000 is over 2 years old now, It is hardly a new release.

Tue, Mar 26, 2002 Bob New York

Eric: Just wondering...How are you able to get so many job offers each day? Is it the area you are in or do you go out and find the work. I also do some consulting, that's why I am interested.

Fri, Mar 22, 2002 Manfred Zurich

I can confirm the numbers in this study. In our customer base about 30% or less have made the move to Win2K. It's not the lack of MCSE's out there, because here there are too many certified professionals anyway. The customers just don't see an advantage in moving. NT4 runs fine for them. They just see a lot of cost involved in upgrading their infrastructure, applications, training staff and so on. Why touch a working system? Today people don't automaticaly implement every new release that Microsoft comes up with, unless there are very good reasons for it. Obviously the customers are not convinced of that.

Fri, Mar 22, 2002 Eric Paris

i guess this is mostly because of lack of certified personel able to do a AD migration , i personally get at least 2 jobs offer a day ..... if microsoft would have stuck to their initial plan to push NT4 mcse to upgrade we would be here 2 years after the roll out of the OS ... but gee more work and raises for me ;)

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