An Interview with Art Williams

Art Williams is the program director for scalable business solutions at IBM's Thomas Watson Research Center. Here are his thoughts about the process of implementing the IBM Network Station Series 300s throughout the Palisades Executive Conference Center.

Q: What did you like about the project's implementation?

The ease and speed of application deployment were amazing: One engineer completed the server build and deployment in 10 business days. We delivered state-of-the-art, personalized, and secure PC functionality to hundreds of client desktops in a matter of days. We effectively eliminated the need for desktop support. All of these changes were possible because of IBM's extensive experience with Windows NT's roaming-profile technology. This technology and its interaction with application deployment are the core challenges of WinFrame; WinCenter; NT Server 4.0, Terminal Server Edition; and Zero Administration for Windows (ZAW) implementations.

Q: What didn't you like about the project's implementation?

We didn't have a multiuser version of NT 4.0 available.

Q: What would you have done differently on the project?

We would have used Terminal Server because the NT 4.0 environment includes several new functionalities that make the solution more attractive. Specifically, user profiles are easy to access. For example, with Terminal Server, we can write scripts that add applications relatively easily, and grant or deny individual user or group access to applications.

Q: What advice can you give your peers?

Don't try this implementation yourself! Roaming-profile technology is complex. Developing and maintaining the expertise required to exploit the technology effectively is an unjustifiably large business expense for most organizations. When experts dedicated to this technical area handle the deployment, everyone benefits and avoids frustration.

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