Let the migration begin

By Mike Howell, Network World |  Development

By now, most of us have heard a great deal about Windows 2000 migration.

Since Windows 2000 has been available, there have been questions about adoption rates; uncertainty about the stability of a 1.0 release; confusion about the implications of deploying Active Directory; concern about the amount of new hardware that will be required; and the list goes on. There is a lot to consider.

Nevertheless, the fact remains that Windows 2000 has proven functional improvements, and for many companies there are compelling reasons to move forward and deploy the platform.

Reports indicate that customers have been realizing impressive reliability and performance measures. Some show better than 99.9% availability, which should ease concerns about reliability. And despite a slow start, many IT organizations are now under way with their migration projects. In fact, more than half (51%) of IT organizations surveyed in a recent Enterprise Management Associates (EMA) study had already begun to migrate to Windows 2000 or had plans to do so by May 2001. Another 29% planned to migrate sometime later.

It’s clear that companies are moving to Windows 2000, which means we can relax about adoption rates. Lately, the big focus has been Microsoft’s next release of Windows. Recently renamed Windows XP (formerly Whistler), this operating system will be Windows 2000’s successor.

Do these developments mean that you should hurry up and get your Windows 2000 migration finished? Not necessarily. If anything, these new developments mean that planning is more critical than ever. The prospect of implementing Active Directory, the amount of new hardware required, and a whole host of other issues remain valid concerns. In addition, you need to consider how Windows 2000 fits with your organization’s technology strategy, as well as other Microsoft initiatives, such as Windows XP and .Net.

You may think that you’re aware of all the issues, and maybe you are. In fact, EMA’s research found that many IT managers surveyed have a good handle on major aspects of Windows 2000 migration. They understand the factors to consider in the decision process, as well as what to look out for when executing a migration program. The study also showed that these IT professionals felt that if they addressed certain aspects differently, deployment could run more smoothly.

If you’re one of the IT decision makers responsible for Windows 2000 who’s still in the planning stage, make sure you look closely at resources, timeframes, goals, and other key issues. What you find may surprise you. If you’ve already begun migration, rethink some of the points anyway. You may be able to take steps to increase your level of success.

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