[svlug] Migration questions and suggestions

Daniel Curry dcurry at cariocas.com
Fri Aug 29 14:03:33 PDT 2003

Hello everyone,

I am looking at a large project for a friend of mine.  They want an
actionable plan on migrating their office from MS to Linux.  Think Ernie
Ball and his guitar string factory.  That article is what spawned this
whole thing with them, following another Linux advocacy discussion with
their CEO and CFO over drinks.

Existing services include MS Active Directory, MS Exchange, Veritas
Backup Exec, Oracle on MS, and several other small things 'they can live
without'. Print and file services are already on Linux, using winbindd
for authentication.

The client systems are running Win98, Win2kPro, and XP Pro.  Office 97
and 2000 Pro, heavy emphasis on Outlook, Word and PowerPoint.  Also
include Arcobat in the mix.  Only two people use Access, at all.  Their
finance guy (part-time) uses QuickBooks 200x.  

One of the 'goals' is that users with laptops can run 'locally' while
out of the office, but as soon as they connect to the local LAN, (not
the VPN) their local home directory gets dumped to the server. 
Something like a roaming profile in Win2k, done right.  This is for data
protection purposes.

Management wants to be able to restrict what users can do, such as
surfing the web, so I am looking at some users being configured for
'thin client' mode using X sessions.

For users I am looking at a solution of Ximian Evolution for e-mail and
OpenOffice.org for other 'front office' software needs.

Due to virus and security issues, their IT person is not looking at
having a long career with them.  He is a mega-strict MS is great, and
Bill Gates is God type of person.  So this is all to be done with little
or no assistance from him (all the better, in my view).

The largest part for me to get straightened out is where to start, and
what programs to use to replace Exchange.  Input and sample plans or
just lists of tasks in an order would be greatly appreciated. 
Definitely seeking experienced suggestions with this from anyone willing
to share.  

When finished I intend to write the whole thing up and post on the
net/web/and as many Linux rags as will print it, as a guideline for
others to use to help build their own migration paths.

Thanks for all the great support over the years.

Daniel Curry

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