IT recruitment services group Harvey Nash has dumped its Windows NT infrastructure and replaced it with Novell NetWare, at a cost of #70,000.
The company is expanding its network across nine offices throughout Europe and decided Windows NT 4 was not up to the job.
Harvey Nash's IT director, Geoff Dunn, joined the company in February when it was attempting to solve its network problems using Windows NT 4, Windows 95, Outlook and MS Mail.
"The company was attempting to link its remote sites into the headquarters in London, but without a coherent infrastructure in place," he explained.
To address this, Dunn set up a virtual private network (VPN) between London and the European offices using Novell BorderManager, GroupWise for internal and external Email and WebAccess for employees working off site.
Dunn said: "Within our environment, NT 4 was not scalable or manageable enough. Instead of a unified permission structure, NT 4 has a collection of third-party management tools and a flat domain system rather than a hierarchical structure. Using NDS within NetWare, I can assign rights to users from a single point above all my servers and this filters down.
Using NT, I would have to program each server individually to allocate which users can access which information."
The company did not have the technical resources to do this at all its European offices, he said.
NT's multiple domain system, where a single domain model in NT is equivalent to a single database in NDS, makes the cost of administration for NT higher, Dunn added.
Underpinning Harvey Nash's new network are NDS and ManageWise, enabling the company to manage all its European sites from London.
The company got rid of three NT servers but kept one at the backend to serve its Internet site. "As a standalone service, it's better than Novell or Unix as it is better supported from a development viewpoint," said Dunn. "However, it falls down in a distributed network environment."
- More network news, p23.
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