|Migrating file and print sharing services from
a Windows machine to a Linux box is time consuming and often
prone to error. To perform such an endeavor manually, an Administrator
must set up hundreds (if not thousands) of user accounts, then
create file and print shares, and then copy files from the Windows
environment to Linux. This manual work can take hours, if not
days, to complete properly. DAS Technology LSP is a utility
that automates the entire conversion process. The software automatically
converts users and groups, and copies files from the Windows
to Linux Server, but it also goes a step further. It can migrate
any Web pages being served by an existing Windows machine to
Apache Web server on a Linux machine, and can copy any FTP files
and configuration parameters from the Windows environment to
Linux. As an added bonus, it can also migrate the NT server
DNS and DHCP configurations.
For our tests we used a Red Hat 6.2 server running on a Dell
PowerEdge 1300 and a Windows NT 4.0 server running on a Dell
PowerEdge 2300. On the Red Hat system, we downloaded a TAR
file from the company FTP server and decompressed it into
a work directory. Likewise, we downloaded a ZIP file containing
a SETUP.EXE installation program to install on the NT Server.
(As part of the installation on the NT Server we made sure
to install Service Pack 3 and the Option Pack.)
LSP NT to Linux migration process happens in four stages,
alternating between the NT and Linux servers. The first stage
involves running a data collection program on the NT server--this
process obtains the server information--such as share names,
directory and file structures, Internet Information Server
configuration data, and so on--that LSP will migrate.
The second stage is executed on the Linux side. In this step,
you enter the necessary information for configuring the Linux
server--such as IP address, gateway, and so on--and a connection
to the NT server is established. Stage 3 involves transferring
configuration data and user files from the Windows server
to the Linux server. In the last stage, the NT server is shut
down and the new configuration is activated on the Linux server
so that it can provide file and print services. Using LSP
Linux-based administrative GUI we inspected the migrated file
shares and changed their access permissions accordingly.
How well does it scale, can it do thousands of users? Can
you find data on LSP max limits? To be integrated into the
opening description grafs.] The demo version is limited to
migrating 10mb of data, while the full version has no restrictions.
Naturally, scalability is restricted only by the amount of
time and processing power? Thousands of users and millions
of files will take a great deal of time to move.
On our test conversion, LSP performed
almost flawlessly--our user accounts, file shares, and files
had all migrated smoothly from Windows to Linux. We
experienced only two difficulties: first, we had problems
migrating one user (mdeignan) from Windows to Linux--but this
was likely due to the fact that this user had an existing
account on the Linux server. The second problem was that DHCP
options (default gateway addresses, DNS servers, and so on)
did not migrate correctly. However, these minor glitches were
easily corrected with LSP administration GUI. It should be
mentioned, though, that the administrative GUI is not as stable
as it ought to be; we experienced program crashes while accessing
various sections of the tool.
LSP has a few other downsides. Developed in Taiwan, the product
documentation and interface are plagued by poorly translated
text. Also, the current version of LSP cannot correctly migrate
security groups that have names that contain spaces (such
as nternet Users"). Finally, the software supports a
limited number of distributions (only Red Hat 6.0 and TurboLinux)
and, on the Windows side, supports only Windows NT 4.0 with
IIS 4.0, and not Windows 2000 Server with IIS 5.0. However,
the online FAQ states that the product will support Windows
2000 in its next release.
LSP is a good product for performing
an NT-to Linux migration, as long as your environment
is still running NT 4.0 with IIS 4.0. The product is suited
for enterprises with users numbering in the hundreds or thousands
(any less than that would be just as easy to migrate by hand).
LSP sports a few problems--some documented, some not--that
should be fixed (or at least formally documented) in order
for administrators to migrate an NT environment to properly.
But LSP automated migration process can be a huge time-saver,
especially for larger environments with thousands of users;
and at a list price of $500, the convenience of LSP is more
than worth the price.