Mail Servers and Webbed Servers
The next challenge was the Exchange Server. Of course, it was slow as a slug, loved to crash, and was sitting on a PDC. Unfortunately, it was not the same domain all of the users logged into. I would have preferred for the Exchange Server to at least be in the same domain as where the users were originally authenticated. Now, I was having visions of breaking out Microsoft's Move Server Wizard to push the Exchange Server to a new site.
Next on the list was their Windows IIS Server, also installed on a primary domain controller. When you opened this Web address, it could take a minute to load the home pageor just time out. And, no, there's nothing fancy on the page. It's a simple, clean design that's little more than an interactive brochure. As it was discovered, the IIS Server was actually sitting in some guy's office. Anyone from anywhere visiting their Web site passed through the router, the firewall, across the LAN (somehow), to this server.
A few discoveries along the way:
All clients have a static IP address.
Every client registers with a WINS Server, but not necessarily the same WINS Server because each server was running WINS.
The servers are using FAT, and each volume is shared with Everyone=Full Control.
There are 13 accounts in the Domain Admins groups in every domain. Seem fishy to you?
Backups are run only on the server in the domain users are logging into.
There is no support for roaming profiles, but each user has a home folder. The home folder is in a different domain.
The company does not like or use logon scripts.
The Exchange Server happily forwards spam for a few porno sites. (Naughty server!)
This company has good coffee and free bagels on Thursday.
My final inspection, a few days later, was over. Without a doubt, this was one of the worst networks I had ever seen in my life. I felt like a dentist at Halloween: Dreading the upcoming work, but appreciating the invoice.
My proposal to the client was multitiered to reduce the initial expense, and to disrupt as little production work as possible. Too often, technical leaders rush into upgrades, conversions, and remedies without a solid logical plan in place. I like to approach technical implementations as a project manager rather than as a soldier of fortune. This ensures quality, vision, and success in the long run.