2015.09.23 02:03 Windows/Server
I would like to share a few things I felt during my consulting career.
Having my work mostly associated with the Microsoft products with the majority of people around me using them, most of my knowledge on IT is about the Microsoft products and I proudly call myself a Microsoft enthusiast. It allows me to be less hesitant with the new technology and look for the reasons when there’s a doubt. In case I still do not like what I see in the product, I’d usually keep it to myself, although sometimes I complain about it.
There are a few Microsoft products that I personally think deserve better attention.
The first product would be the OneNote, with its high degree of completion, it is convenient to use but lacks of users. There could be a few reasons for this. The first reason could be that many users do not even know its existence which is included with the Microsoft Office suite in their PCs. For those of you who didn’t have an opportunity to try the OneNote yet, I strongly recommend to try the program.
Once you turn the program on, it will walk you through some basic user instructions thoroughly.
The next product would be AD (Active Directory) which I will cover today.
AD is more of a service than a product. In other words, it “saves the information about something on the network and allows easy access to this information for the manager or the user”. There is some more specific information about the AD in the Microsoft TechNet library link below,
However, out of numerous companies in our country, it is quite rare to see the one using the AD as it should be used. Many companies install it for other reasons (e.g.: to use the exchange), but very few takes the real advantage of using the service.
Below are some typical reasons mentioned by the clients.
1. AD is difficult.
Many people think they need a competently skilled engineer specializing in Windows Server in order to manage AD.
In other words, do they mean that they lack of the skilled engineer or that current engineers do not see the full necessity of the work? It is true that a certain level of understanding on Windows Server is required to operate AD effectively, which also implies more experience and knowledge. However, most experienced Windows engineers in our country cannot have the AD job as the main priority when they have other important workload on their hands, which caused the AD to become a secondary technology.
Their prioritized work could be to install the server and LAN line, take care of their boss’s broken PC, do some backups, stay all night and still work in the weekends.
While not everyone knows everything from the scratch, it is also true that the company and the engineer need to co-operate together to realize the necessity of AD. For example, sending the employees to AD education program, engineers voluntarily studying about AD and appeal to others how effective AD can be by applying it adequately on the company. However, we see no one doing this yet.
2. AD is not necessary
I see a lot of people saying that they do not need the AD in their company. In case with companies without many PCs operating and internal infrastructure managed well without PC, I would not recommend AD myself either.
However, with those who say “I don’t need the AD but I want to use the Exchange Server”, or “I want to implement Lync or System Center”, or “I only want to use Lync so why do we need AD?” we can come across some trouble.
Recent cases who wanted to implement the Microsoft product involve similar cases as above. Sometimes, I cannot help myself but say “It is like using a spoon when you eat rice”.
In other words, Exchange, Lunce, System Center, SharePoint and CRM etc all go with the AD. It is not about the necessity, but it’s a mandatory.
There was also one who questioned “Wouldn’t’t we get subordinated by the Microsoft as soon as we implement the AD?” The answer for this is, No.
AD is designed to assist and interwork with other non Microsoft products. Although there might be minor limitations, you can definitely lower your guard as it also interworks with VCenter of VMware for example.
The technology from companies such as Microsoft, Apple, Google and Linux are not those against interworking with others. We can easily find ways to interwork their technologies if some time is spent on planning. The AD technology is also not a necessary evil nor requires exclusiveness.
Therefore, if you’re still thinking that you want to implement something but AD is in the way, you might want to reconsider the factors mentioned in this post.
3. Cost issue
I hear a lot of this from Small-Medium Enterprises.
“I wanted to implement SCE but now I also need AD. I didn’t’t expect to see the need to install another physical server, Windows Server and CAL.”
While it might be difficult for even bigger companies to purchase one physical server, it will be a bigger burden for SMEs, which I feel sorry for. However, as an option for with the minimal costs, AD doesn’t’t necessarily need a server with a large capacity. For example, you can install the AD on your spare PC, as it doesn’t’t require and equipment with higher specification.
In regards to the license, I do apologize for having to say that it’s something out of my hands, so I can only see what I can do but… keep your expectations low.
SMEs have another issue with the engineer management.
They could feel burdened to implement and manage AD with only two or three employees working on minor jobs such as maintenance possibly without the data processing department.
Are you thinking that you don’t need the server or AD because you are only working as the maintenance staff in a small company? Would situation be the same in 5 to 10 years? Or are you staying away from it because your company doesn’t seem interested in purchasing or implementing the technology?
This might be a time to step for a change. It will make you feel better if you could influence others for a change by taking an initiative.
To conclude this post, I would like you to remember that…
AD is not difficult, although it’s not that easy either.
AD could be the initial point to solve the issue with resource expansion in IT environment.
AD could allow you the centralized and flexible management system.
AD provides the internet standard directory, meaning it goes well with other vendors.
AD could really be better than your prejudice.