Server Learning Experiences

This feels familiar. We have twice this week unsuccessfully attempted to migrate to new servers. The problems all involve Exchange server communication between parent and child domains. I finally decided to pull in some external expertise and discovered that we are doing things the hard way at a couple of levels. First, our four-domain architecture runs counter to the conventional wisdom for organizations of our size and complexity. Microsoft and our consultant recommend a one domain architecture with organizational unit/group policy management of user privileges. Second, we manually complete a number of steps that the consultant has figured out ways to automate or shortcut. For example, we spend 20 minutes per user unjoining them from the old domain, joining them to the new domain, and then setting up their new profile. Apparently, there is a way to edit the user’s registry to move a user to a new domain without changing their profile. After the third attempt to reinstall and correctly configure our new servers, we rolled back to the old servers and returned to the drawing board.

On another note, I confirmed that my struggles obtaining PERL debugging information in the browser is a new IIS6 security feature. I found a description of the problem that indicates that there is not a good way around this feature. Too bad that I have not yet found error handling options in Activestate PERL similar to those found in PHP. While it was convenient to see error messages when PERL scripts did not compile correctly, this forces me to get a legitimate PERL development enrivonment that can provide debugging information live and write my scripts to capture errors on the fly. These are good things.

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