However, Wells Fargo had an added incentive to choose Active Directory: The bank had been invited by Microsoft to participate in the Joint Development Program, which gave it the ability to closely follow and influence the development of Windows 2000.
After 18 months, Hall's group has completed its Active Directory migration and rolled it out on 30 hulking eight-CPU servers with 8GB of RAM each -- enough to keep the company's 120,000-user, 1 million-object, 4GB directory in memory. "We went with the best we could have," says a proud Hall. "What's a couple of extra grand in hardware?"
Each of Wells Fargo's lines of business has its own funding and IT plans. "When they're ready, we're ready for them," says Hall. "We're the core infrastructure that everyone can plug into and that we guarantee will be up always."
Washington state's Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) had similar plans, recounts enterprise networking manager Mike Frost. His nine-person team is responsible for running the agency's Microsoft Exchange e-mail system and its new Active Directory service. The department consists of eight administrations and 26 divisions, all of which will eventually plug into the directory.
"We already had a large foundation of Microsoft networking and e-mail, so [Active Directory] was a natural evolution," says Frost. One of the agency's divisions is currently testing a 6,000-user NetWare and GroupWise site. The rest of the agency is mainly using Microsoft Exchange.