Some companies have already made the decision to migrate to Windows 2000. Some migrations have gone smoothly, others have not. On March 31st John Day discussed why you might decide to migrate to the new OS and some strategies to make the move easier. If you couldn’t join us then, enjoy the transcript and we hope to see you on our next live Guild Meeting. You can find a schedule of Guild Meetings in your weekly TechProGuild Notes TechMail or on the Guild Meeting calendar.

Some companies have already made the decision to migrate to Windows 2000. Some migrations have gone smoothly, others have not. On March 31st John Day discussed why you might decide to migrate to the new OS and some strategies to make the move easier. If you couldn’t join us then, enjoy the transcript and we hope to see you on our next live Guild Meeting. You can find a schedule of Guild Meetings in your weekly TechProGuild Notes TechMail, or on the Guild Meeting calendar.

Note: TechProGuild edits Guild Meeting transcripts for clarity.

MODERATOR: Hey, everyone, welcome to today’s Guild Meeting. Today we’re going to talk about Windows2000 and why you should or should not migrate up. Our speaker today is John Day — otherwise known as gw4goofy.

GW4GOOFY: Are you on Win2k yet? Or just thinking about it?

MADDBA: No programming – just database work!

GW4GOOFY: Anyone here already on Win2k?

MADDBA: Yes.

MIKKILUSA: Yes is what this computer is on right now.

GW4GOOFY: How is that going?

MADDBA: Good – some issues with connecting to Netware servers.

MIKKILUSA: Okay, but I want to know why when I’m in an e-mail and click go to it does it put the whole URL in the browser?

I was thinking
GW4GOOFY: I thought it was supposed to integrate seamlessly with Netware. I haven’t tried it in a mixed environment with Netware.

MADDBA: I have had the same problem — it breaks the URL in half. It works fine, however we had to install the Netware client. And client services for Netware. This was necessary to allow for the printing to work.

GW4GOOFY: I had the same problem with Exchange 5.5 in an NT 4.0 environment and there is a fix on MS knowledge base. I don’t think it is Win2k specific, but Win2k may have caused the problem to surface. Do you use 5.5 exchange?

MADDBA: Now, when we open a Word document – its like it tries to open it twice.

MIKKILUSA: No we want security so we use a real e-mail client groupwise.

MADDBA: No, we use Groupwise 5.5.

GW4GOOFY: I have never had luck with MS Netware client until I’m ready to upgrade to the next version of NT.

MADDBA: We are using the Novell Netware Client 4.7 — not MS.

GW4GOOFY: Groupwise? Hmm. That is new to me, but the problem was the same so I’ll bet they are related.

GW4GOOFY: Are both of you using NDS over NT r 2000?

MIKKILUSA: Pure 2000 on workstation.

MADDBA: We use NDS on W2K clients to connect to Netware.

GW4GOOFY: Sorry Mikkilusa, I grouped u with MadDBA. But you are having the split URL problem since using win2k?

It seems to be getting worse
MIKKILUSA: Yes. It seems to be worse when cgi is in the URL.

GW4GOOFY: Hate to say it Mikkilusa, but I’ll bet it will take a service pack to fix it. I found a work-around by converting to plain text and setting the margins of my exchange server to 256 characters. It was a mess, but we could cut and paste links to our browser.

JACK WALLEN: What about security in win2k?

MADDBA: Both Mikkilusa and I are having the broken URL problem.

GW4GOOFY: Exchange service pack 3 fixed it. Mad, I think that there will be a service back, but until then see my last.

JACK WALLEN: Does win2k server improve on the exchange server? I know that the exchange server, as is, is horrible. (Of course I’m biased to sendmail servers.)

MIKKILUSA: Cut and paste is fine for me, but if we roll this out to our 120 users and tell them that, there is going to a public flogging.

GW4GOOFY: This killed us with our techmails, which included lengthy URL’s. So we used plain text and then sent them to a POP3/SMTP server from lyris. Exchange 2000 will be the answer for many users, especially if like TR and TPG you are into e-mailing HTML pages. Since everything in Exchange 2k is a web page, content deployment is a breeze. But like MadDBA I still believe exchange should be behind a firewall, and a sendmail server “like a cube box” is best used to relay e-mail and for large e-mail blasts.

MIKKILUSA: Any idea on MadDBA question why, in word97, if you bring a word doc we get this: copy in use would you like to use a copy?

Can we get a copy?
GW4GOOFY: This also improves security by protecting your addresses and distribution lists from hackers and virus/worm attacks. I’m only guessing Mikkilusa, but I think it is the ads and treating docs as web pages.

Sounds like both of you have already jumped in, my spin on to be or not to be win2k was going to go something like this: Get a server up and running but wait until service pack stability for wide-spread deployment.

If you have a small shop without a geographical spread of domains, don’t upgrade now. Why? Because the true advantages of win2k are the use of Org Units read (NDS) vs. domain relationships. This helps large organizations.

The other is the use of IP Sec and PKI security tools, and if you are currently not facing remote-user security issues or domain relationship complexities I see no reason to upgrade until the platform is stable.

That said, since you have already jumped in, let’s see what we can do to help. If I were running NDS over NT for my users because of a legacy with Netware 4.xx and I had a good Netware admin, I would work that side to fix the bugs and watch for service packs or knowledgebase fixes for specific problems.

If I had an experience MCSE—read “experienced”— I would think about migrating away from Novell and leverage exchange 2000 and win2k as soon as possible. I can’t imagine these two playing well together in the active server vs. NDS arena much longer. And yes MadDBA, I would use a sendmail server as my mailbox to the web. Exchange and NT/2000 are still full of holes.

MIKKILUSA: Well play together nice or not, I see 2000’s role here as just a workstation.

MADDBA: There should be no problems if we stay solely with Netware Servers?

MIKKILUSA: It does seem to be stable. I only completely blew it once.

MADDBA: We only intend to use W2K as clients.

GW4GOOFY: Gosh do you guys bleed red? I’m an old CNE from 3.xx days so I understand. If NDS had been easier to learn/deploy and marketed correctly, we wouldn’t be having this discussion—oops.

MADDBA: It took Novell about 8 years to get NDS right.

GW4GOOFY: I agree.

MADDBA: I doubt MS can get Active Directory right any faster!

GW4GOOFY: Perhaps I should revisit NDS.

MADDBA: NDS does work pretty well now!

GW4GOOFY: Oh mad, you know money fixes everything or at least buys the press to make it seem that way.

MADDBA: Sure.

GW4GOOFY: I agree, I have seen some nice NDS implementations. For large orgs. that wanted to be server independent, where else could they go?

MADDBA: Have you any experience with old software and W2K?

MIKKILUSA: And goofy, who gets all the hackers attention—MS or Novell?

MADDBA: We have several Win3 and Dos programs hanging out there.

GW4GOOFY: I agree, but it is easier to hack 80% of the world and get noticed when NT admins are a dime a dozen and NT is open by default vs. Netware where you have to open every door manually.

MADDBA: Example – DOS program that accesses modem in a DOS window?

MIKKILUSA: Sorry but I think they are a nickel for 13 now.

Nickel for your thoughts
GW4GOOFY: I’ve always agreed that Netware is more secure, more DOS-friendly, and harder to get up and running; and NT are easy to get started, but near impossible to lock down. Mad, are you talking about ADP? Are online banking?

MADDBA: I’m talking about switching to W2K and making it work with old programs in general.

GW4GOOFY: And as far as hacking NT, don’t use defaults for your client directories, server directories, or anything for that matter. Make up names and you’ll stop 90% of the hackers and worms. Disable MS file and print sharing today.

MADDBA: We have customer service reps that dial up banks to charge on credit cards.

GW4GOOFY: Sorry Mad, I’ve spent the last four years in start-ups, including TechRepublic and TechProGuild, so I may have forgotten how it feels in the legacy world.

MADDBA: Unfortunately, the legacy world is the real world!

GW4GOOFY: I remember working for a company that polled cash registers and posted to credit card companies by modem, and yes I can understand the problem. I don’t know is the most honest answer I can give you about DOS programs and Win2k.

MADDBA: We have conservation, banking, engineering, and AS400 programs to use in W2K!

GW4GOOFY: I’ll be glad to research if for you if you will send me the response (if you beat me to it).

MADDBA: Is the DOS world in W2K similar to NT 4.0?

GW4GOOFY: My understanding is that yes there is still a DOS world, I’ve gone to DOS but I haven’t run any of the hardware interfaces like an as400 emulator or a dial-up DOS program, so I don’t know the answer. I haven’t seen any indication that there are problems, so let me know what you’re finding.

There is no indication
MADDBA: Same here, but I have a lot of testing before rolling out W2K.

MIKKILUSA: That’s what I do.

GW4GOOFY: Cool. Win2k security? Anyone?

MIKKILUSA: No. How about the top 10 reasons to use win2k, excluding server things? Then it’s lunchtime.

GW4GOOFY: Well, I’m thinking the server side is the most compelling reason to migrate. But workstation security is much better on win2k.

MADDBA: Also, a list of any problems with W2K.

MIKKILUSA: Yes, not all 62000—just the worst ones please?

GW4GOOFY: Send me an e-mail to my gw4goofy@yahoo.com address, and I’ll forward you some links.

MIKKILUSA: COOL.

MODERATOR: MadDBA, Mikkilusa, you two have been great! Thanks for your loyalty today! I think you both should get a T-shirt. Even if you already have one 🙂 MadDBA, I think outtalked Mikkilusa by just a fraction, so I’d like to give you the Windows 2000 Server Administrator’s Companion by MS Press. If you could both send snail mail addresses to jharvey@techrepublic.com, I’d appreciate it.
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