Well let me tell you, he’s been busy. He told me that he upgraded his entire forest to Windows 2008. He’s now running AD in 2008 native mode and is also taking advantage of a lot of the new features and capabilities.
I asked him what was the underlying goal for upgrading to Windows 2008 the day it went RTM (he did all his testing and planning using Beta code. talk about bleeding edge) his reply was
“I want to include the windows 2008 feature set in my environment. I’m a one man shop and I cover a very large area. so any tools, features or capabilities that can make my life easier is welcomed”
Here is a map of the locations Todd is responsible for: (click on it for more details)
The network supports and Exchange 2007, and about 100 workstations scattered throughout the libraries. But the problem is that other than the 30 staff members that work in those libraries that are over 12,000 users of this network. (library members)
Todd’s challenges were mainly the maintenance of those desktops in libraries across the county. This was originally done by getting in a car and driving to all locations. not something he liked doing especially when you have to drive through blizzards like we have had lately.
Here are some of the changes that Todd has now implemented:
- Change Desktop icons on Kiosk machines and add local content by using GPO and Preferences.
- Eliminated the complex Logon script thus shortening the logon process
- Established different security policies per OU
- Implemented folder redirection to enable roaming users to access their files anywhere on the network.
- Implemented WDS – WDS and Multicast support allows him to deploy single MDT images to the library desktops and kiosk in a multicast scenario.
Todd also told me that because of the size of his environment the Migration from Windows 2003 AD to Windows 2008 was virtually painless.
All he had to do after taking a good backup was to:
- Extended the schema
- Perform an in-place upgrade of one of the 2003 DCs to Windows 2008
- After verification of the success of the upgrade he upgraded all the other DCs sequentially.
- When all the DC’s were converted to 2008 he switched the domain and forest functional levels to Native.
And now after 10 months of operations…. all is well. no issues.
What is the environment like for the IT staff now?
So I asked him, How has the change affected your IT staff? he replied:
“I put on some weight because I don’t move as much anymore…. And my car does not need as much maintenance. but other than that, it’s been rock solid.”
when I asked him what had been the impact on the users?
“They have not noticed a thing. Other then that I’m not around as much anymore… 2008 makes the management of the environment a lot easier and there will be saving in time and money.... Witch translates into saving my own neck. “
I know Todd is planning his next move….. I’ll be sure to let you know how it unfolds.