Unscramble the Complexity

Get the information you need to nail your next upgrade project

Are you good at figuring out word jumbles? For example, can you unscramble the following nine letters to find a word for the process of making your applications and data work on a new or different platform?


If you got migration in 3 seconds or less, I'd say you're pretty good. But, are you equally skilled when it comes to figuring out how to migrate your enterprise to a new platform? For example, are you able to unscramble the many benefits, costs, and technical considerations of upgrading your existing—and likely complex—infrastructure to Windows Server 2003? This month, we'll help you do just that—with advice and best practices from a couple of IT pros who have successfully spearheaded such projects.

Our cover story, "Lessons for an AD-to-Windows 2003 Upgrade," page 40, features contributing editor Sean Deuby, a senior member of the directory services team at Intel. Sean provides insights and recommendations to help you make smart decisions in planning and executing an AD infrastructure upgrade. In the accompanying IT Pro Hero story, "Migration Unifies Far-Flung Users," page 41, Jason Wilkins, Head of Information Technology for Xstrata, a $10.5 billion international mining company based in Zug, Switzerland, relates how his team pulled off Xstrata's biggest migration project to date in less than a year: taking more than 5000 desktops and servers running a diverse group of OSs, networking, and email platforms spread over 100 locations and moving them to Windows 2003, Exchange Server 2003, and a single global AD.

Our recent industry survey found that IT pros list OS upgrades/migrations as one of their top three current priorities, so we're also providing an opportunity for you to collaborate with others who are in the throes of a migration or have recently completed one and can answer your questions or offer advice about your particular situation. Beginning the last week in December and running through January, check out the AD migration blog hosted by Sean Deuby and three very special guests (read on to discover who these people are). To access the blog, go to http://www.windowsitpro.com, enter 44703 in the InstantDoc ID text box, and click the link in the Interact! box.

Meet the IT Prolympics Champions
A couple of months ago, the magazine kicked off the Windows IT Prolympics, a first-of-its-kind competition that let contestants show off their AD prowess through a written exam and a virtual-lab (v-lab) skills test. Thanks to all 3000+ of you who participated in this inaugural event and helped make it a success. I'd like to take this opportunity to congratulate the three medalists and tell you how you can take the tests for fun and rate your AD expertise.

The gold medal goes to Steven Schullo of Hixson, Tennessee, with an impressive v-lab score of 12 minutes, 26.9 seconds. Steven wins a trip to TechEd 2005, a subscription to Windows IT Pro, and an AD Super Hero T-shirt. The silver medalist is Michael Royer of West Hollywood, California, with a v-lab score of 29 minutes, 11.7 seconds. Michael wins an Apple Computer iPod, in addition to the magazine subscription and T-shirt. The bronze medal goes to Nathan Casey of Santa Rosa, California, with a v-lab score of 56 minutes, 27.4 seconds. For his efforts, Nathan receives a Microsoft Xbox, plus a subscription and T-shirt. Steven, Michael, and Nathan are the special guests who will add their expertise to the AD migration blog that I mentioned previously. To find out more about these IT Prolympians, turn to page 28 in this issue.

Even though the contest is over, you can still test your AD knowledge and see how you stack up against your peers. Go to http://www.windowsitpro.com/itprolympics, download the study guide, then take the written and v-lab exams. Let me know how you fare. And because we were unable to offer the contest worldwide this year, I'd particularly like to invite our international readers to take the challenge. What can we do to make the IT Prolympics better in the future? Drop me an email at [email protected]

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