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Novell to Windows switch

By Mick11 ·
As a part of my contract work, I have been approached with a potential project of converting a Novell server over to a Windows 2k Server environment. There are only about 10 workstations, which are all running some platform of Windows currently and no direct connection to the outside world.

I was wondering if anyone out there has had any experiences with this and would be willing to share their trials and tribulations.

Thanks in advance,

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Make the MS network as Novell like as possible

by Jim Phelps In reply to Novell to Windows switch

I haven't had any experience with this myself, but I have had the following experience:

I have worked all my life in a strictly Novell environment (from a networking perspective) until this year. I am now in an all Microsoft shop.

Things I took for granted (e.g. drives will be available when you click on them) from my Novell days are now only dreams from the past. I have found that Microsoft needs to go a long way to equal Novell in terms of stability, reliability, architecture, etc etc.

There is one thing that is particularly irksome with an a Microsoft network. So much of the network is client-centered, rather than server-centered. This means that you must make continual adjustments and settings on the PC level. For example, even though you have mapped My Documents to the user's network folder, Outlook ALWAYS defaults to the My Documents folder on C:. What I want to know is, who is Microsoft to dictate to me where I want to save my files?

I will consider the possibility that our network may not be set up optimally. But I have no control over these issues, I just have to make it all work.

In a Novell environment, everything simply worked, and worked very well.

If I were you, I would make sure that I designed the network with Novell architecture in mind. Make it as Novell-like as possible -- i.e. server-centric. In this way, you'll avoid many of the hassles inherent in doing things the Microsoft way.

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File access setups

by Jim_MacLachlan In reply to Make the MS network as No ...

I'm primarily a Netware shop & had to install a Win2K server 1.5 years ago. The thing that gave me the most trouble was setting up the file system for the users. If I were to swtich to a MS file server, I think I'd have to structure my user directories differently for security.

In Novell, I have a directory where each user is automatically setup with a folder & 2 subfolders, one shared to all on a read only basis, the other for their private files. No one even knows if they have other folders or files, unless the user puts them in their shared directory.

I found this very difficult to setup on the Windows server - impossible in the case of new folders, unless they are created below the level of the first sub folders. MS has a LONG was to go in file rights.

I also found a patch for Oracle recreated the Everyone group on the server & shared out - with full access - the roots of the two drives on that system. I've never had that experience in Novell.

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Find a new contract?

by Oz_Media In reply to Novell to Windows switch

I contract for two Netware shops, if they swapped it out for MS I would either:

1) Demand double tha pay for doing twice the work

2) Find another contract

To move from a secure and stable environment into a Microsoft nightmare would take some REAL convincing. I would question the company's motives. Usually the only time this happens is when a MCSE is hired or an admin that only knows Microsoft products.

I would question the admin (or decision maker of the switch) and his reasons before wasting company time and unlimited amounts of money and resources on an unstable and regularly targeted OS. What a mistake!

If yuo HAVE to switch it over for whatever ridiculous reason, like Jim says, make it as Novell friendly as possible, if that can be done!?

I used to work on Microsnot servers but it was too much work and way too much hassle. If I wanted to work that hard, I'd find a real job.

CRAZY is all I can say?!

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Door #1 or door #2

by Jim Phelps In reply to Find a new contract?


Whenever I've had my fill of M$ "networking", I come to one of two conclusions:

(1) Microsoft started off with their own brand of networking, not being that good at it, and built in some really bad concepts; and over the years, they've never improved on these concepts (e.g. PC-centric, rather than centrally-managed, in SO MANY WAYS! Don't you agree that that is a STUPID way of doing things?)
or (2) Microsoft decided to do things differently than Novell, so that they could offer a truly different product.

I'm not sure which is the case. But what really makes me sick is when companies decide to abandon Novell for Microsoft just because "everyone else is doing it"!

I don't know if you know it or not, but Microsoft has been pressuring school systems in the US to switch to an ANNUAL LICENSING FEE on software THEY HAVE ALREADY PURCHASED! But suppose a school system doesn't want to do this? Microsoft then demands proof that that school system isn't pirating any Microsoft software! Which would be cheaper and easier, to prove, at a moment's notice, that you aren't pirating Microsoft software, or to simply cave in to the pressure?

That would have been a great opportunity for some of these school systems to consider Linux. As you can probably imagine, when you have 1000 PCs, you can afford to try something like Linux, because once you get it working and get a good image, it's easy to replicate and distribute that to all 1000 PCs.

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linux in schools

by cass.harley In reply to Door #1 or door #2

I agree with that.

Windows is pretty easy to use, but getting your hands dirty with another o/s while still in school would definetly be a good learning experience.

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Recent merge

by Oz_Media In reply to Door #1 or door #2

Well with Novell teaming up with Ximian Linux and creating a decent desktop, things may change.

I think this is the best idea Novell has had since dumping Word Perfect.

Novell has always been focused solely on servers and server architecture, they don't make flight simulator software, they don't make racing games.
They don't make keyboards, they don't make mice. They just build servers and do it in a way that others can only hope for.

If only the world has their eyes open and paid attention to details. Like you say, everyone uses MS because everyone uses it. Sheep and followers. The scary part is these are the people running businesses, not just kids under peer pressure but people expected to make decisions that will impact others livelihoods!

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You are scaring me

by cass.harley In reply to Find a new contract?

I think I have established the fact that I am a newbie thrown into the sys admin role.

However, we used to (up until january of this year) run just 1 Novell 3.12 server, and 26 win95 workstations.

At the beginning of this year a win2000 terminal server was added to this, this is also the same time I was given this role.

The novell 3.12 is dying (our software vendors no longer support it and the software is causing major problems) and we have been in talks with our external IT consultants and settled on an SBS server. (yes they are an MSCE mob).

I was all for the bringing in of an SBS server as opposed to say a Novell 6 server. My argument was they this firm is not big enough to support a f/t or am experienced sys admin, so the role is thrust upon someone within the firm who knows which side of the mouse is up. I argued that 1 o/s is easier to master then 2, and that windows is easier to master for someone who has been working in windows.

But now you are scaring me.

Is it really that bad?????

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It is really that bad, Cass!

by Jim Phelps In reply to You are scaring me

It is really that bad, Cass!

You'll find a lot of little things which really irk you, the deeper you get into Microsoft.

And as far as an untrained person doing sys admin, that's a big mistake. Microsoft put out the idea that their stuff is so simple, anybody can do it, because they use the stolen MAC interface (i.e. Windows).

But network administration is a complex issue. You HAVE to be trained and have experience in order to understand all of the complex issues involved. So don't for a minute buy that bill of goods from Microsoft.

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Horror show

by Oz_Media In reply to You are scaring me

need I say more?

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SBS Easier????

by bchesmer In reply to You are scaring me

Think again if you make that statement. SBS May look easier, but it is definatly a wolf in sheeps clothing!

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