I’d better start practicing my German very quickly. At the risk of letting the world know that I’m not at home I will be in Munich for most of next week. I’ll be meeting one of the current Notes administrators for the company that I am now working for so that we can formulate a migration plan to move nearly 500 people into a new organisation, sounds easy but when you throw in variables like very tight deadlines, MS Exchange migrations for about 150 people and the usual retraining I can only imagine that it’s going to be a fun filled next few months.
I’ll also be walking right into the middle of an argument over which hardware type to buy from. We have been suggesting that all the local offices buy the same brand of hardware and everything has been ok on that front till last friday where the office I’m visiting has decided to go down a different route. While there should be no problems over what hardware manufacturer you go with we were hoping that everybody uses the same stuff for a very specific reason.
Remote Installation Services is a great feature in Windows 2000 and 2003 server. You can install Windows XP onto any machine with a simple network boot, the network card’s boot rom picks up the network, grabs an IP address from your DHCP server and then starts doing the install. If everybody buys the same hardware then rolling out 500 machines across a big network is very easy but if everybody buys different hadrware then the RIS images has to be tested for each bit of kit to make sure that you have the correct drivers etc.
Another thing that the MS guy here is doing is software deployment over active directory and I have to say it’s really cool. In our test lab we have packaged up most of the applications that need to be deployed to our users. As computers are rebuilt and come on the network they pick up the list of applications that need to be installed and before the user logs in the applications are downloaded and installed. Even cooler is if a computer is moved from one part of the Active Directory to another then the computer will install and uninstall the software that is required for that part of the active directory structure.
BTW, If there are any readers in Munich that fancy a few pints then feel free to email me. I don’t speak german so bring your phrase book..