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Wacked out network

By trockii ·
I am 25, straight off active duty with the Air Force with 3 1/2 years as a Windows 2000 network administrator. I was just recently was hired as the IT Director for a small business. My task is to bring them into the 21st Century IT wise. I currently have one server running Linux Red Hat. I have a total of 20 users I am responsible for. There are 4 windows 95 users, 4 Windows 98 users, 1 windows 2000 user, 2 XP home users, 4 XP pro users, and 6 terminals running off the main Linux server. The person that I took over for was fired due to all the problems occuring within the network, I wonder why? HAHA. All my experience is with Windows and the company is fine with moving to a Windows platform. I am researching buying all new Windows XP Pro machines from Dell along with 2 PowerEdge servers. Once I get the new servers and computers in place I now have the task of moving the users' data off their old computers to their new computers. My dilema is whether to slave the old hard drives or transfer data via network connections. What is the quickest and most proficient way of accomplishing this task? Thanks everyone for your suggestions and for sharing your vast knowledge. I learn something new everyday.

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How much space on the servers

by jdmercha In reply to Wacked out network

Why two servers? I'd install the new server first, then ask the users to move all their files up to the server. Then leave them there, where you can back them up. Once they movet their files, you can give then their new computers.

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Good solution

by rapell In reply to How much space on the ser ...

I think that is the best solution. Install and configure the new server, create folders for each user, perhaps give the folders user names respectively, back them up and then you can bring in the new boxes and import the folders for each user.
Note: I think he needs the two servers to act as PDC and BDC

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Re: Good Solution

by jermaine.oldham@tempurped In reply to Good solution

Yes, I know he is purchasing two servers for redundacy purposes...that is the only way to go. Good sugesstion on the folder solution. In addition to what you have already stated, he may also want to consider purchasing large hard disks...80+ GB, thus creating a two partition setup for each client. This will ensure data recovery is possible if the operating system were to crash.


Jermaine C. Oldham

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Re: Wacked out network

by jermaine.oldham@tempurped In reply to Wacked out network

Hey...how does it feel to be off of active duty? I am facing a similar situation as yours; I am leaving the Air Force after 8 years of service. Check out my discussion called "Transition from military to civilian Advice" posted by myself. Anyway...the task at hand. You do have a couple of options here (slave hard disks or transfer via the network). Depending upon your network bandwidth, slaving hard disks may be the "fastest" and most efficient way for you to transfer your user's data. For example, we are running a 100 mb/s network via fiber optic cabling and transferring large amounts of data via the network take forever. In addition, I am a Windows Administrator and have extensive experience in maintaining a Windows 2000 domain. You may know this...I am sure, but I will offer some advice on establishing your new domain.

1. I suggest you make both of the new servers domain controllers for redundancy purposes. This will allow your domain to be protected in the event that one DC was to go down. In addition, distribute the server "roles" between the two servers as well.

2. You may even want to consider MS Clustering for your Exchange Server if you are running one. I developed a plan for my organization and it works really well...if one Exchange Server is shut down...the secondary node automatically takes over the Exchange services...it actually works!

3. I would also look towards upgrading the client computer software/hardware as well. Nothing later than Windows 2000 Pro w/SP4 for your clients or XP of course. Because essentially every user wants a fast, reliable, and effective computer.

I think once your project is complete, you will have much happier users...If you need any advice or are unsure of something, don't hesitate to email me directly or post a message here. I want to see you succeed as the new IT Director! Good luck.


Jermaine C. Oldham

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Thanks for the info

by trockii In reply to Re: Wacked out network

The two servers I am installing are like what two people already guessed the PDC and BDC. I don't have enough users (25) to justify an exchange server. However one of the servers will have to run Sql to keep our databases of invoices and inventory tracking. The PDC will have two 73GB HDD and the SQL server will have two 250GB HDD. All the computers are gonna have XP Pro on them. The servers will have Windows 2003 Server Standard Edition. I like the idea of all the users transferring their own data, but there's NO way they will be able to do that. They are very computer eliterate. So it's up to me to do it. I am guessing I will have to come in on the weekend and do the transfers. I am having an IT consulting company in to sit down and discuss everything I want to do and what it will require. I just want to make sure this IT refresh won't take weeks because I forgot any small detail.

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Data transfer

by jtakiwi In reply to Thanks for the info

Assuming you have a good network infrastructure, wiring and decent 10/100 switch, you'll probably be better off moving stuff over the wire. It will be easier to locate the user data w/ their pc working, rather than hunting over their HD in windows explorer.

Future reference, place everything in user folders on the network, then redirect their My Documents to those folders on the network (also, disable offlien files). Makes life so much easier.

You didn't mention it, but I'm sure you have a backup solution.... You'll be placing all of your eggs in one basket. BTW, Windows 2003 has an smpt server built in, if you need a free email server.

Drop me a line if you have questions, I am former military and like to help out when I can. I have been bringing crap networks up to snuff for 4 years now, got something like 40 under my belt. I haven't seen it all, but I've seen enough.

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