Microsoft's recent acknowledgement that its directory migration tools in Windows 2000 are still very basic will at least benefit some of its development partners.
Microsoft has said it intends to help other software companies develop domain restructuring and migration tools for Active Directory as a result of the delay to its own fully functional tools.
One such company is Entevo, which launched its Managed Migrations for Windows in the US during October. The company is now expanding into the European marketplace. It is setting up shop in Reading, Berkshire and planning further expansion into Germany and The Netherlands.
Entevo was established in 1993 in Virginia, raising over $25 million in venture capital to date. The last round of VC, raising $15 million in total, included $2.5 million from SAP, with additional funds from Boulder Ventures, Mellon Ventures and Van Wagoner Capital Management.
Its business is Directory Management, something analyst firm IDC has positioned as a growth area, with the market size growing from $161.4 million in 1998 to $4.6 billion by 2004. This is principally because the implementation of complex operating systems such as Windows 2000 are making central control of large networks more critical.
Amir Hudda, Entevo's chief executive officer, was in London this week, banging the drum for directory management in preparation for the long-awaited launch of Windows 2000.
Entevo's Managed Migrations to Windows 2000 suite is being sold at the equivalent of $10 per seat for a year in an attempt to persuade companies migrating to Windows that a managed directories approach - with extensive planning, modelling trialling and management - is faster and cheaper than other methods.
That said, Hudda admits that migrating to Windows 2000 will be expensive for most organisations. He expects many companies will just try to deal with NT 4's administrative shortcomings initially. Most complete migrations to Windows 2000 will take three years or more, depending on the complexity of the task.
Despite the long implementation period and a delayed return on investment, particularly as Windows 2000 skills are virtually non-existent and enterprise-wide implementations require huge changes to the IT infrastructure, Hudda warns against skipping Windows 2000.
"No way," he said. "Windows 2000 is a major release and service packs will ship over the next five years. 'Windows 2005' is not even on the horizon yet."
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