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Netware to NT Migration



Manufacturing Company, Boston, USA.

Business Problem

Company wished to migrate their Novell Netware system to Windows NT.

Tools Used

  • Windows NT 3.51 Server
  • Dell PowerEdge Server
  • Scripting
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Novell Netware 3.11

While they saw the benefits their UK office had gained from using Windows NT, they did not have the necessary skills available to execute this migration. Rather than spend time trying to source such a resource locally, they opted instead to utilise our skills given we already had a track record with this (apparently) new operating system.

Exmos Solution

In 1996 Windows NT 3.51 was deemed relatively new. However, we already had a significant hands-on, real world experience with this operating system having been using it since the beta releases in early 1993. However, it was to be our first major Netware to NT migration project and would be based in the United States.

The Process

Once the base NT Server installation had been created, the customisation of the server and the migration of the users and their files from the Netware servers were all scripted. This allowed the migration process to be planned, tested and finely tuned while the users continued to use the existing systems throughout the week. Microsoft Excel was used to manipulate the user/group data exported from the Novell system into the necessary batch files to create the users, groups, group membership etc on the NT system.

This was not merely a file copying exercise - part of our remit was to re-engineer the way in which the users stored their files and to migrate the existing files into their new structure and security.

A new system was put in place for the creation of project folders. These were now built to a consistent structure using scripts and importantly, a consistent security model was applied every time.

At close of business on the Friday, the migration was started and allowed to run overnight. On the Saturday the migration was checked and work started on changing the network protocols on each of the eighty workstations.

We received a phone call on the Monday to say the migration had been a total success and everyone was up and running with no problems. Making a trip back to site 3500 miles away was not an option!

Business Benefits

The customer had made the jump from an operating system that was primarily file/print to an operating system that could function as an application server. Crucially, they were also moving into what would become the most prevalent business operating system in use throughout the world.

It offered security capabilities for file/folder permissions that were not possible with their existing systems.

This project took place in April 1996.