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From WORKGROUP to DOMAIN
2

From WORKGROUP to DOMAIN

From WORKGROUP to DOMAIN

(OP)
Hi to all Domain Gurus,

New CEO came to our company and wants to change the WORKGROUP to DOMAIN based network. We have a network of one server and about 45 users (workstations) and currently we have setup as WORKGROUP.
We have WIN 2003 ENT Server and workstations are XP Professional and MAC.

Network Requirements:
•    Users are sharing files on file servers.
•    Users are sharing files by sharing folders on their PC’s.
•    User are sharing files using network neighbourhood.

I do not have past experience of Domain network, active directory or Group policies…etc. I don’t know where to start. I have no idea how I am going to accomplish and what kind of problems I might come across.
I would appreciate if someone can put me in the right direction.

RE: From WORKGROUP to DOMAIN

1 - Hire a consultant
2 - Start reading every W2K3 Server book you can find

Not being flippant, but if you have zero experience with domains, on the job learning is not a good route for you at this point.

However...in a nutshell, you'll have to DCPROMO your server, create a domain, enable and configure DNS and DHCP, set and apply Group Policy Objects (GPO's), move all of the shared information from workstations to the server, establish a backup procedure for the data, etc. etc. etc.

I'm Certifiable, not cert-ified.
It just means my answers are from experience, not a book.

RE: From WORKGROUP to DOMAIN

I have to agree with Davetoo.  Hire a consultant to help you move to a domain, and start learning everything you can about 2003 server, Active Directory, etc.

You should also get at least one more server.  You are not going to want everything on one single server.  With at least a second server you can split up the roles they perform and have some redundancy.  If you only have one server doing everything and it goes down, everything goes down with it.

Good luck,

RE: From WORKGROUP to DOMAIN

How fast does the company expect to grow?  If not that fast - adding 5-10 users per year for the next couple of years, then you probably should look into buying a new server running Small Business Server (SBS).  It will allow you to manage things much easier than a regular server as SBS uses MANY wizards that allow you easier ways of setting up users, computers, and server services.

SBS IS 2003 Server Standard, but with a few minor limitations (minor to most small businesses; no trusts, max 75 users, SBS server must be your FSMO Master DC (you'll learn more about this later)).  It also includes Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 so that you can share calendars, contacts, tasks, and of course, host and manage your own e-mail.

I have a web page on SBS you might want to review to get an understanding of it - it has many links to many topics.
http://www.lwcomputing.com/tips/static/sbs.asp

Books are good but not great - definitely get a couple that look good TO YOU.  Go to a book store and look over some books.  Pick the ones that look like you'll find them easiest to understand.  What I like and what you look could be two very different things.

Last bit of advice - get a subscription to Microsoft TechNet Plus Direct - it includes downloadable copies of MANY different products including SBS and other products.  They are NOT TO BE USED for production, but you can setup a test network (even a virtual one using Virtual PC or VMWare) and experiment and learn.  It's always best to do things you are unfamiliar with in a test environment first so you have an idea of what to expect when you do this in your production environment.

Domains are much easier to manage for 45 users - one user account PERIOD.  You can manage things from ONE workstation if you are logged in appropriately as an administrator.  But when you convert, you MIGHT find that you lose all your permissions - this is because the accounts are different - local vs. domain.  Again, if you build a test environment first, you'll know what to expect.

RE: From WORKGROUP to DOMAIN

(OP)
I already have an Exchange  2003 running in house, having mycompany.local domain and mycompany.com as public domain. Email works great.

Is the existing domain created on EmailServer is going to conflict with the new one?
Or will I be able to add another server for example mainserver.mycompany.local or something like that?

As you all have suggested, I am going to read books on domains and stuff. Can anyone recommend any book or any online resources ?

RE: From WORKGROUP to DOMAIN

How exactly do you have Exchange running if you don't have a domain?  Exchange REQUIRES a domain.

O'reilly books tend to be quite good - but other than that, as I said, books that I or someone else might recommend might not be good for YOU.  Go to a bookstore and look through some - see what's available and what would be easy for you to read/understand.  Most books are not really good to "read through", but rather, are much better as references.

RE: From WORKGROUP to DOMAIN

I would post your thread in the Exchange forum because there are a lot of implications for Exchange, and you didn't mention it in your original post.  

Exchange MUST be a domain controller, so if you have a second server for Exchange, you may already have a domain and not even know it.

Good luck,

RE: From WORKGROUP to DOMAIN

Quote:


Exchange MUST be a domain controller

This is UNTRUE.  Maybe you meant what I said in that Exchange requires a domain, but Exchange SHOULD NOT be on a domain controller - it CAN be, but it shouldn't.

RE: From WORKGROUP to DOMAIN

I think he simply meant that the Exchange server in the OP's case is actually a DC as well since Exchange must have AD to work and the OP only has one server.

I'm Certifiable, not cert-ified.
It just means my answers are from experience, not a book.

RE: From WORKGROUP to DOMAIN

Yes, I'm sorry, you are correct.  It NEEDS a domain but doesn't have to be a DC and really shouldn't be a DC as lwcomputing stated.  Sorry about that.

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