Using and migrating to Linux ...

Anyway, those who have been doing Microsoft or PC networking for a few years have probably experienced many previous migrations. You possibly migrated to NT 4, and from there to every service pack. Most service packs were, in effect, major system upgrades frequently resulting in unforeseen difficulties and requiring careful testing and planning. If you still run Windows NT today, then you are facing a very expensive and forced migration to Windows new version.

On the other hand, migrating to Linux is easier in many ways because reliable support is available. With Linux, "reliable support" means not only being able to get the help you need to solve your current problems, it also means that you are empowered to prevent such problems from happening again in the future.

Also, think of it this way -- what is all that expensive Windows NT training worth now that Windows 2000 is here? And was it you or Microsoft who decided when those skills would become obsolete? Linux skills remain applicable for as long as you choose to have software around, and there is rarely any need to upgrade more than a few components at any one time.

Windows forced you to a new directory scheme, a complete new suite of mail, Internet and other servers, and also demands enormous hardware resources. What degree of pain will Windows 3000 impose? In comparison, Linux offers a very attractive migration path.

How to Migrate

If you are reading this document, you probably already know why you should migrate to a Linux-based system. It's the "how" of doing such a migration that can often be overwhelming. Here are some quick tips to keeping the scope of the task to a manageable scale. The key here is to avoid trying to do everything at once.


Don't migrate everything at once. Frequently, the best way to handle a migration is to phase NT out of the server area first, then to later concentrate on the workstations.


Avoid application development. It is always tempting to fix obviously bad programs during a migration. It is far better, however, to have multiple stages in a migration, between which you can address application issues.


Linux does more, so use its capacities. Linux can do things that are impossible with NT and other systems, and can also save you both time and money.


Use fewer, more open, protocols. The larger the number of protocols you use in your networks, the larger the network management overhead.

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