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Chapter 1: Introduction

Published: June 07, 2005

This introduction provides a brief overview of the technologies addressed in this guide to migrate a Novell NetWare environment to the Windows Server 2003 operating system and Active Directory. For links to more information on any of these technologies, see the "Bibliography/References" section in Appendix A.

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Novell NetWare Novell NetWare
Windows Server 2003 Windows Server 2003
Windows Storage Server 2003 Windows Storage Server 2003

Novell NetWare

Novell NetWare is a base operating system. Novell NetWare should not be confused with eDirectory or NDS, which are the directories that run on top of NetWare. NetWare has evolved from NetWare 86, 286, 386, 2.x, 3.1, 3.2, 4.0, 4.1, 4.12, 4.2, 5.0, 5.1, and 6. The current version is the NetWare 6 product; however, most organizations are still running a version of NetWare 4 or 5.

The major version change came between NetWare 3 and NetWare 4. NetWare 3 was the last “bindery” directory version of NetWare that was replaced by NetWare 4 and the first version of the NDS “real directory” version in the early 1990s. Many organizations that had NetWare 3.x migrated to Windows NT4 over the years as the migration from NetWare 3.x to 4.x was relatively complicated.

Organizations that have migrated to NetWare 4 or 5 but did not migrate further are good candidates for Windows migrations, because they will need to migrate to NetWare 6 to gain access to any of the future Novell versions, and NetWare 4.x will reach end of life March 2005. Organizations still using NetWare 3.x will also find that the migration path to Windows Server 2003 is equally as easy.

In the next version of Novell, the operating system will no longer be NetWare; it will be Novell on top of Linux. As a result, organizations with existing versions of Novell will not be able to easily upgrade to the next version; they will have to build the Linux infrastructure and then migrate to the new version. While this is similar to the process to move to Windows, tools for migrating from NetWare to Windows, such as Microsoft Services for NetWare (SfN) and Quest NDS Migrator, have been developed and proven in countless real world environments.

With the change to the base Novell operating system, upgrading will require organizations to support three operating systems: Novell, Linux, and Windows. (Pure Novell environments are rare. Increasingly Windows NT® or Windows 2000 has already been introduced into Novell environments to host applications and services.) Maintaining

Novell and Linux along with Windows increases administrative and training requirements. In addition, resource availability becomes an issue, as it is difficult to find engineers that are well versed in all three operating systems.

Windows Server 2003

The Windows Server 2003 product is a comprehensive network operating system that can serve many roles such as a file and print server, Web server, an application server, and a Windows .NET application host. Windows Server 2003 comes with several programs and tools to provide networking functionality. Some of the application server functions include domain controller, global catalog server, DNS server, DHCP server, cluster server, terminal services server, remote access server, Web server, media server, and Distributed File System (DFS) server.

During the design and planning process an organization needs to choose how to best implement Windows Server 2003 and the various networking features that can be implemented to meet your business needs.

One of the major additions to the network operating system, introduced with the release of the Windows 2000 operating system, was Active Directory. Active Directory creates an enterprise-wide Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) directory that is scalable and extensible. Because Active Directory adheres to open standards such as LDAP, it facilitates communication with LDAP-aware programs and other directory services. Active Directory provides for centralized account management and allows distributed resource control. Windows Server 2003 extends the capabilities of Active Directory by providing better management tools, provides for more robust directory replication across a global enterprise, and allows for better scalability and redundancy to improve directory operations.

The logical structure of Active Directory enables it to scale from small offices to large multinational organizations. Core components of Active Directory include forests, domains, schema, organizational units, and groups. Each of these components must be addressed when implementing Active Directory.

Windows Storage Server 2003

Microsoft® Windows® Storage Server 2003 is a network attached storage (NAS) operating system that enables original equipment manufacturers to build appliances that provide dedicated file serving capabilities and storage on the network. Windows Storage Server 2003 is built on top of Microsoft Windows Server 2003, which ensures that NAS devices built upon the Windows Storage Server operating system have all the performance and scalability benefits associated with Windows Server 2003.

A NAS Windows Storage Server 2003 is designed to perform without requiring a monitor, keyboard and mouse. Instead, this “headless” appliance is remotely managed through a Web-based user interface for the minimal configuration tasks required for setup. Unlike application servers which require proper planning to implement well, NAS devices built with Windows Storage Server 2003 are designed to be deployed in under 15 minutes, and can be attached directly to the company local area network (LAN) with no interruption to services. After they are plugged in, these NAS devices require minimal maintenance.

Windows Storage Server 2003 does not require proprietary hardware, as it works with standard hardware from multiple original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). This gives businesses maximum flexibility in choosing among vendors with the hardware solution that best meets their needs.

After the Windows Server 2003 environment is established, Windows Storage Server 2003 provides you with an additional storage option for file service.

For additional information about Windows Storage Server and NAS deployment scenarios see Windows Servers in a Storage Area Network Environment http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserversystem/wss2003/techinfo/plandeploy/mssans.mspx.

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