Chapter 1, "No-Frills Samba Servers" focused on the basics of simple yet effective network solutions. Network administrators who take pride in their work (that's most of us, right?) take care to deliver what our users want, but not too much more. If we make things too complex, we confound our users and increase costs of network ownership. A professional network manager avoids the temptation to put too much pizazz into the way that the network operates. Some creativity is helpful, but keep it under control good advice that the following two scenarios illustrate.
In one case the network administrator of a mid-sized company spent three months building a new network to replace an old Netware server. What he delivered had all the bells and whistles he could muster. There were a few teething problems during the changeover, nothing serious but a little disruptive all the same. Users were exposed to many changes at once. The network administrator was asked to resign two months after implementing the new system because so many staff complained they had lost time and were not happy with the new network. Everything was automated, and he delivered more features than any advanced user could think of. He was just too smart for his own good.
In the case of the other company, a new network manager was appointed to oversee the replacement of a LanTastic network with an MS Windows NT 4.0 network. He had the replacement installed and operational within two weeks. Before installation and changeover, he called a meeting to explain to all users what was going to happen, how it would affect them, and that he would be available 24 hours a day to help them transition. One week after conversion, he held another meeting asking for cooperation in the introduction of a few new features that would help to make life easier. Network users were thrilled with the help he provided. The network he implemented was nowhere near as complex as in the first example, had fewer features, and yet he had happy users. Months later he was still adding new innovations. He always asked the users if a particular feature was what they wanted. He asked his boss for a raise and got it. He often told me, "Always keep a few new tricks up your sleeves for when you need them." Was he smart? You decide. Let's get on with our next exercise.