Monday, June 6, 2011

Upgrading Macalester's Network to AD

This summer ITS is conducting a major network upgrade, moving from Novell Netware directory service to Microsoft Active Directory (AD). A directory service is the central repository for the key elements of a computer network, the place where ITS administrators manage users, computers, network folders and printers. AD provides a more stable, secure, up to date and reliable network.

There are many reasons for this move to Microsoft AD. Novell Netware is being discontinued. AD is now the industry standard. Third-party software products are now routinely created for AD and rarely for Novell. Finally, AD permits Macalester ITS staff to leverage the latest administrative tools for software installation, desktop patches/updates, and an extensive knowledge base for resolving problems.

The move to AD will take place in phases over several months, but with minimal interruption to users. During those months, users will be connected to both Novell and AD. User accounts will be created from the existing Novell accounts and kept in sync until the migration is complete.

The first visible phase of this project is the migration of Macalester staff computers to the AD domain. The next phases of the AD migration will include administrative (staff) files, faculty and academic staff computers, academic files, public computers, and connections to the Web server.

When the upgrade is complete, you will see little obvious difference, but you’ll enjoy faster login times, more reliable network service and improved file sharing.

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