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Novell admin to Microsoft admin

Discussion in 'General Microsoft Certifications' started by THXbob, May 27, 2011.

  1. THXbob

    THXbob Bit Poster

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    Hi

    For the last 10+ years the company that I work for has used Novell from NetWare 4.11 days to Suse Linux Enterprise Server 10.3. We have in place eDirectory and GroupWise 7.0.3, there are Windows Servers in use but just as hosts for SQL etc.

    We are moving away from GroupWise to Outlook/Exchange of which neither I have any knowledge, and I can't ask anyone else as I'm the sole IT guy.

    I have no knowledge of AD, Outlook/Exchange or Windows Server so basically I'm asking where do I start? Is a foundation course on Windows Server 2008 best thing to do to get me started?

    I haven't studied for years so going to embark on some of the CompTIA certs first (A+ and Network+) just to get back into home study.

    Slightly daunted but very excited.

    Thanks

    Robert
     
    WIP: CompTIA A+ and Network+
  2. dales

    dales Gigabyte Poster

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    Oh dear your in for a bumpy ride then! I've always wanted to have AD for users and groupwise for email, Outlook and exchange together are very shaky compared to groupwise. (I left a novell environment myself nw6.5 and gw8 by the time I went).

    I take it your doing exchange and outlook 2010. For books you could get either the certification path titles for the version of exchange you are deploying LINK or the inside out series.

    GroupWise to Exchange 2007 - Interoperability and Migration (Part 1)
    this link may prove useful and from memory there is a migration tool for gw to exc cant remember if it was on M$ or novell site (prob M$) to help the user and mail merge.
     
    Certifications: vExpert 2014+2015+2016,VCP-DT,CCE-V, CCE-AD, CCP-AD, CCEE, CCAA XenApp, CCA Netscaler, XenApp 6.5, XenDesktop 5 & Xenserver 6,VCP3+5,VTSP,MCSA MCDST MCP A+ ITIL F
    WIP: Nothing
  3. Shinigami

    Shinigami Megabyte Poster

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    Yeah, it's going to be quite a trip to learn Exchange and AD. Exchange will only work well if you've mastered AD as well.

    You could take the easy road and migrate to Office 365, that would seriously reduce the administrative overhead.

    Good luck, hope you'll enjoy the experience :)
     
    Certifications: MCSE, MCITP, MCDST, MOS, CIW, Comptia
    WIP: Win7/Lync2010/MCM
  4. THXbob

    THXbob Bit Poster

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    Thats right migrating to Outlook/Exchange 2010, also updating our very old version of Office 97 Pro to Office 2010 Pro.

    Heard conflicting views of how stable Exchange/Outlook is compared to GroupWise on Linux. Our GW on SLES has been rock solid over the last few years! But I think GroupWise has had its day unfortunately.

    We have only around 75 users and work in a manufacturing environment, IT for some reason has never had the investment it deserves probably because IT is only seen as a service dept only. Sales and production bring value into the business whereas IT doesn't.

    Robert
     
    WIP: CompTIA A+ and Network+
  5. THXbob

    THXbob Bit Poster

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    Talked to the MD about hosting Exchange offsite and cloud computing but he didn't want to know, rather have the data/servers on site in the server room.

    That would have been beneficial to me being the sole IT Monkey.

    Robert
     
    WIP: CompTIA A+ and Network+
  6. Shinigami

    Shinigami Megabyte Poster

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    Well, the products are only as stable as you are able to architect them. I know customers running Exchange and AD for years without a single serious incident. But as they say, YMMV (your mileage may vary).

    If you've been a Groupwise/Novell/eDirectory/Linux admin for years, learning something veeeeery different like AD and Exchange will keep you seriously busy for quite some time. It's not an overnight task... This is why doing O365 could have made sense as you could be up and running considerably quicker, and the prices are not too shabby either. Maybe showing your VP's the cost savings benefit for O365 versus a high-available and stable in-house configuring which could take many months to setup (since you have to also learn the products) would make them change their mind... Plus you get Office Web Apps, Lync 2010 and SharePoint as well. And you'll have webmail capabilities, Exchange ActiveSync with Windows Phone 7 devices or even BlackBerries (or iPhone/Android if you so wish) in their hands at a speed which will make their heads spin.

    Personally I think certification is going to be the last thing you should be worrying about right now. Most certification related study material is there to help you pass the exams, but may not always be the best when it comes to implementing and administering the environment, and of course the whole thing about starting from scratch (which does bring along it's own advantages). You need to start this with the necessary baby steps, learn the latest Windows operating system. Understand the networking technologies behind it. Learn AD and how to implement it correctly. Learn a lot about Exchange and how to best leverage all the features within. Granted a 75 person company will not need the most elaborate configuration (you may even be setup in a single site/location making things so much easier to manage), but then you need to also learn everything about disaster recovery, backups and restores, and the list goes on (well, you probably know all of this as you'll be faced with similar DR scenarios with your current systems as it only makes sense to ensure they too can be recovered if trouble rears its ugly head).

    What's the timeline for implementing all of this? I would not commit to anything below 1 year unless you had help from a consulting company... Learning the ropes on your own quite simply takes time, and you've got your day to day job to worry about as well. You don't want to spend all your nights studying either, friends and family need some of your time as well.

    Hope you can balance it all in an efficient manner.
     
    Certifications: MCSE, MCITP, MCDST, MOS, CIW, Comptia
    WIP: Win7/Lync2010/MCM
  7. Shinigami

    Shinigami Megabyte Poster

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    p.s. you "could" simply sign-up for O365 on your spare time (for a free beta test) for your own personal domain, spend a few days playing with the very easy to use Admin interface and the provided features until you've seen it all, and then "just by the way" show your VP how easy it was for you to be up and running, how you're able to get your emails via Outlook, a webbrowser or a phone, how you can use Lync, how even a simple SharePoint collaboration site can be setup for your personal use and how the web version of Office could be used even from a home computer.

    Usually a personal demonstration does wonders to change minds. And when you mention things such as the uptime figures, how people can work from "anywhere", potentially boosting productivity due to the occasional email read at home, on vacation and so on (which happens of course), and if you can show him the cost figures versus getting all the hardware inhouse along with the licenses, they may just see it in a new light.
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2011
    Certifications: MCSE, MCITP, MCDST, MOS, CIW, Comptia
    WIP: Win7/Lync2010/MCM
  8. THXbob

    THXbob Bit Poster

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    Shinigami, thats a cracking reply, most of all thanks for spending the time in constructing an informed and valuable answer to my question.

    I do have help from a company that looks after our Novell servers and will be migrating GW over to Exchange 2010 for me, all I need to do is manage it on a day to day basis.

    Thank you

    Robert
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2011
    WIP: CompTIA A+ and Network+

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