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Netware 4.1 conversion to Windows 2003

Posted on 2004-10-24
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Last Modified: 2010-03-18
I have downloaded the information from Microsofts web site and am now seeking and real world experiences or tips that may help me with this conversion.  I am running Netware 4.1 on 7 servers spread over the WAN.  I have one tree called, MH, and 7 sub-divisions, (MS, CH, MS, ME, CO, SE, JH).  What I would like to do is migrate the domain in a fashion that will allow the Windows environment to control secuirty (logon/logoff, etc.) but the Novell servers must act as print servers and datastores until July when I can have them replaced by other servers.  I am trying to answer questions such as:
1. When I run the migration utility what can I expect on the Novell server side?
2.  Are there any known problems?
3.  Will workstations be able to use either the Netware logon or the Windows logon after the conversion?
4.  Do I need to run services for Netware on the Servers and clients?
5.  DOes this add any additional overhead to the network I should be aware of?
6.  Anything else anyone thinks would be important and helpful.....

Thank you.
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Question by:ctunks
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    My main experience with migrating NetWare to Windoze is that it usually ends up costing the organization more hardware, more administration time, and more money. Not to mention turning your network into one that any 16-year-old twerp in Germany can bring to its knees on a whim. Enjoy the endless stream of "critical" security patches, virii and worms; and the knowledge that any bozo with a compromised laptop can plug into your network and bring down your servers as well as your workstations. Good luck... you'll need it.

    As to your specific questions....

    1. Probably nothing - they'll continue to run as before, assuming that the M$ migration tool doesn't hose them like XP SP2 has been trashing machines left and right.

    2. Would you like that list alphabetically, or just the first 100?

    Some major issues spring to mind... file security in the Windoze environment is a crude subset of the granular and adaptable security you're used to in the NetWare environment. You can't prevent users from seeing that subdirectories exist, for example; nor can you grant a user the limited ability to give directory rights to other users without granting them "full rights" to the directory. So forget about trying to migrate your file security - you're going to have to sit down and re-think it from scratch, and work as best you can around the crude limitations of Windoze file security.

    Similarly, if you've made ANY use at all of the Directory Service structure to help you manage your environment, that all goes out the window (no pun intended) with the laughable excuse for a directory service known as AD. For example, there is no time synchronization in AD - for this and several other reasons, it is possible for changes to overwrite each other - you thot you added Joe to that Group, but whooops! It just vanished. Now where did it go? Also, you can only use Groups and Users as security principals. Have you made use of Org Roles? Assigned rights to an OU so all the user accounts in the OU get those rights? Sorry, no can do in AD. So, forget about migrating and sit down and re-think your entire directory service tree structure from scratch, doing you best to work around the limitations that AD places upon you.

    Want to keep your directory structure and DNS independent? Ooops! Can't do that in AD.

    3) As Long as you leave the NetWare Client 32 on them, yes. Just add the M$ Client for M$ networks.

    4) Services for NetWare is garbage. It is a deliberately crippled pile of crap. It also makes the Windoze box look like a NetWare v2 server. I would avoid it (I'd also not do a migration like this, I'd upgrade to NetWare v6.5, but then I like quiet nights at home not having to worry about the LAN at work).

    5) Yes - NetBIOS is a VERY chatty protocol. AD replicates entire objects, rather than just the deltas, so you can expect the bandwidth consumed by network "housekeeping" to increase significantly.

    6) Yeah, but I doubt you want to hear how you're pouring money down a rathole, or that NetWare hasn't needed IPX since v5.0 came out in 1999, or that NetWare v6.5 (the latest) ships with Apache v2 webserver, Tomcat, PHP, Perl and MySQL - none of which will you find on your Windoze boxes.

    I'm always amazed to see people still fall for the M$ line of BS. It amazes me how the endless parade of malware and security warnings and media reports of anti-competitive strong-arm tactics from Redmond fails to dissuade people from turning their enterprise over to Redmond. But hey, mebbe your company's competitors are making better business decisions.
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