Preparing for a heterogeneous network environment
Posted on 2004-03-25
I have to prepare for an integration of our network (Only Microsoft -AD, VS.net, MS SQL, Exchange, ISA, Sharepoint etc.) with another network that consists of mixed *nix (all flavors) and Microsoft.
My first problem is that I have very limited information at this time about which technologies will be more common.
My second problem is that I don’t have any experience in the *nix environment.
I need a place to start, any recommendations, and some questions answered.
More information (the bits I have at the moment):
- At the moment I plan for 5 sites with 40 users in total.
- The 40 users might grow to 300 before the end of the year.
- Microsoft SQL server HAVE TO run at all sites.
- I will be doing the administration from a single point (Desktop, Firewall, VPN, eMail, Antivirus etc).
- A redundant VPN solution using Microsoft Internet and Acceleration Server to join all sites is already in place.
- Initially we will be going with Active Directory.(Almost all of the the initial 40 users are already WinXP, Win2K Clients)
- Let’s assume that at the end of the year there will be 50% *nix clients, and 50% MS clients.
Some Questions to start with:
- What will be my biggest concern in a situation like this? (Apart from the fact that the deadline is in less than a month)
- Should or shouldn’t I go with Active Directory from the start?
- What are the alternatives to AD as a directory in such an environment, and do I loose or win if going with another directory?
- Which is better in a 50/50 situation: getting the *nix clients to work nicely on a MS environment, or getting the MS clients to work nicely on a *nix environment?
PS: Please recommend the best solutions / practices, or share some experiences. Please don’t criticize either Microsoft or *nix products because of your own preferences.
I will split points between all valuable contributions to this question, and I will increase the point if I need to.