This lesson examines issues that you should consider with regard to an impending migration. Earlier in this chapter, you learned about project-based issues; here, you'll consider aspects more directly related to the migration itself.
After this lesson, you will be able to
Estimated lesson time: 20 minutes
The first phase of the migration project involves evaluating the features of Windows 2000 so that you can plan how to deploy them to the best advantage. You'll use this evaluation to obtain the project's scope and goals, based on the declared vision. The scope and goals affect the large-scale decisions regarding the project's objectives and mapping them to the functional specification.
Once you've established the details, you can consider how to involve the employees in making the migration successful.
A Windows 2000 migration imposes a set of requirements on the underlying system of network, hardware, and software. However, it brings a range of additional features that are of considerable benefit in a variety of areas. The issues described in the following sections are by no means exhaustive, and you should research Windows 2000 features as they apply to your target environment.
The advised minimum configurations for a Windows 2000 system are shown in Table 2.1.
Table 2.1 Windows 2000 Hardware Requirements
|Component||Windows 2000 Server||Windows 2000 Professional|
|Processor||Pentium 133 MHz or higher||Pentium 133 MHz or higher|
|Memory||128 MB for up to five clients, 256 MB or higher for most network installations||64 MB recommended minimum; more memory generally improves responsiveness|
|Hard disk||1 GB minimum (at least a 2-GB system partition advised)||2 GB hard disk with at least 650 MB of free space|
|Networking||One or more PCI network cards||PCI network card|
|Display||VGA or higher resolution||VGA or higher resolution|
|CD-ROM||CD-ROM or DVD drive||CD-ROM or DVD drive (not required for installation over the network)|
|Input/output||Keyboard and mouse||Keyboard and mouse|
Note that the minimum requirements are very minimal and that to perform useful work it is advisable to double the performance, memory, and hard disk allocations. Fortunately, most OEM machines purchased in the last two years should be listed in the Windows 2000 Hardware Compatibility List. In Chapter 3, Lesson 1 you'll learn about tools that can automatically indicate whether a given system is capable of supporting Windows 2000.
As of this writing, support exists only for Intel and Intel-compatible processors. No versions of Windows 2000 exist for the Alpha, MIPS, or PowerPC processors.
Windows 2000 is able to make better use of underlying hardware in the following ways:
Windows 2000 can use the same underlying network hardware, infrastructure, and protocols as its predecessor. However, the amount of traffic and the way in which this traffic is controlled might change significantly after the migration. You should consider how replication now works, the integration of Dynamic Host Control Protocol (DHCP) with DNS, and so on.
One key issue is the move toward DNS as the primary mechanism by which resources are named and located. This service can replace the NetBIOS and WINS mechanisms used in Windows NT if NetBIOS is able to be removed. To this end, you should carefully examine the organization's TCP/IP structure to ensure that the addressing scheme and network topology is suited to the migration. During the migration process, you might need to modify legacy addressing schemes that could restrict expansion or make management difficult in the future.
In Windows 2000, Active Directory performs information replication quite differently from the Windows NT mechanisms. This news is almost entirely positive because the exchange of information between servers is more flexible. However to obtain the best performance from the migrated network, you might have to change the network arrangement.
When considering changes to the management regime, you must consider all design aspects. For example, you should consider how non–Windows 2000 clients will access resources when the environment is migrated.
When using Windows NT, you can restrict management abilities only on a domain-by-domain basis, leading to a flat management structure. Windows 2000 allows hierarchies of management so that responsibility can be distributed throughout an organization.
Windows 2000 also provides significantly improved management and logging facilities so that the role and use of systems can be tightly controlled. Microsoft Management Console (MMC) allows customized tools to be made available to a hierarchy of managers.
The distributed file system (Dfs) allows you to create virtual file structures that can be spread over a number of servers. Support also exists for disk quotas, disk defragmentation, and file encryption.
Improvements to the policy mechanisms allow you to more strictly control users' activities, and the powerful Windows Script Host (WSH) scripting environment greatly increases the capabilities of logon and logoff system scripts to set up the user environment.
Windows 2000 provides the same platforms and subsystems as previous versions of Windows NT. However, you should be aware of some issues when considering the upgrade:
Most applications will run correctly; however, don't assume that they will. You should test applications in migrated environments as part of your pilot program.
Chapter 21 of the Microsoft Windows 2000 Server Deployment Planning Guide volume of the Microsoft Windows 2000 Server Resource Kit discusses the issue of application compatibility testing.
Later versions of Windows 2000–aware applications will be able to supply significantly enhanced facilities based on the application programming interfaces (APIs) that the underlying operating system provides. Programs can use the application installation mechanisms that allow features to be automatically added to the system when the user first requests them.
Stakeholders range from top-level managers who'll approve the budget for the project down to secretaries who'll have to contend with a different logon dialog box. All stakeholders must understand why the migration is taking place and feel involved in the process. This means that you must identify stakeholders at each level and supply them with appropriate information, describing both the reasons behind the migration and how it will affect them in the future.
A migration is a good occasion to reiterate existing policies and introduce new ones. The scale of change involved in the migration shouldn't be trivialized, and stakeholders should be aware of the teething problems that might present themselves during the migration process. In addition, properly involving the users in the migration process could release much previously untapped knowledge about how applications are actually used in the organization.
A migration that's sold purely on delivering a host of unrealistic promises and on the basis of everything working the first time will damage morale when it fails to meet those expectations.
In this lesson, you learned about the five key areas and opportunities that you need to consider when embarking on your migration process: hardware, network, user and resource management, applications, and promotion. You learned that you need to identify the capabilities and potential issues of Windows 2000 at the start of the migration project and use them to help create the project plan.