Tool Migrates Users Settings

Time saved in move to active directory.

Miramar Systems Inc. will bring a new twist to Microsoft Corp.s Active Directory server migrations with the ability to migrate end-user desktop settings.

The Santa Barbara, Calif., companys Desktop DNA Enterprise Edition Version 4.6 automates the process of transferring user profiles from Windows NT Server 4.0 domains to Windows Server 2003 Active Directory.

The tool, which migrates individual users settings, data and preferences during a Windows operating system update or hardware refresh, complements server migration tools that dont address end-user desktop settings, according to a company spokesman.

"It usually takes a technician 20 minutes to visit a remote machine, look for security settings, and take that, collect permissions and the user profile and do comprehensive data collection to do a complete move to Active Directory," the spokesman said.

Even without a move to Active Directory, enterprise users can shave time off the process of moving users from one Windows NT Server 4.0 domain to another, said Greg Goodman, vice president of product management for Miramar.

"As soon as you change domains, user profiles are messed up so that they dont sync with the main server. That could lock users out of some files. People had been throwing out user profiles and starting over when they consolidated domains," Goodman said.

Desktop DNA Enterprise Edition 4.6 remedies that with a new User Redirection function that renames users during a migration. It can rename, copy, create and move any user profile to different domains or to Active Directory.

The release promises to be a real timesaver, according to user Ken Oakeson, IT manager at Eternal Systems Inc., also in Santa Barbara. "When you go from NT 4.0 to Active Directory, the user profile totally changes. We had to re-create profiles [for 65,000 users in an earlier migration without the latest release]. We ended up losing a lot of our settings, like file menus, colors. It was all gone," Oakeson said.

Miramar also added the new DNA Options Editor to the enterprise editions migration management tool kit. The DNA Options Editor provides a Wizard interface to manipulate default configuration files within Desktop DNA, rather than having to know how to work with XML. "This cleans it up a lot and just gives you fields to change instead of text to edit," said Goodman.

The DNA Options Editor obviates the need to work with a scripting language, which Oakeson sees as another bonus. "Now anybody that knows Windows can type in what they want, and it re-creates the script for you. It will allow a junior administrator to re-create the scripts," Oakeson said.

Also new in Version 4.6 is the ability to work within other software distribution or change management tools, such as Microsofts Systems Management Server.