MAKING IT ALL MANAGEABLE
We were asked to help a customer with a combined office move and network rationalisation. Because of a number of business acquisitions they were operating 3 separate Active Directory infrastructures (both Windows 2003 and Windows 2000 server based) , spread across 2 buildings with a 3rd remote site at the end of a VPN. They had an Exchange 2000 server, Terminal Server, intranet web server and multiple SQL servers spread between the various AD structures. They had 120+ laptop and desktop users and were also running 4 bespoke desktop applications supported by the SQL databases. A number of servers in their network were past their useful life and proving difficult to maintain.
We developed and tested a migration plan which minimised essential business application down time and then delivered this plan over the course of 2 weekends:
- New hardware and licenses were supplied for a new Exchange 2007, Active Directory Controller and SQL database servers and installed to their new office location. A clean, new Active Directory structure was created as well as a new Blackberry Enterprise Server which was virtualised temporarily.
- We supplied a number of loan servers running VMware Server and virtualized the whole of their legacy network onto the hosts which were also installed at their new offices
- We carried out a full audit of their network prior to the migration so that we had full visibility on all hardware, licenses and applications. Standard desktop and laptop images were created with standardised suites of applications, desktop settings, wallpapers and configuration. We used Windows Deployment Services to deliver these standardised images or bootable CDs for older hardware that did not support PXE
- We configured Exchange message routing so that we were able to route emails from the legacy to the new Exchange servers, and at the same time we setup Messagelabs email filtering and security
- Legacy SQL databases were migrated to the new single SQL server
- Every user profile was migrated to the new AD, every laptop and desktop was backed-up then re-imaged and mailboxes were migrated into the new Exchange server. Blackberry users were migrated from their BIS accounts to the BES server.
- A unified, centralised and consistent backup routine was setup using Backup Exec
- New multi-Wan router was supplied and configured with multiple leased-line and ADSL services with load balance and fail-over policies
- At the end of the migration the legacy servers (now virtualized) were backed-up to tape then stored for archive purposes.
- We restored the virtualised Blackberry Enterprise Server to one of the old legacy servers, another one was reconfigured as a file server, another was configured as a new Terminal Server and the remainder were put into storage.