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Illuminate A Murky IT Environment -- Then Standardize Without Fear
Joel Noble

Track: Linux
Date: Thursday, July 29
Time: 11:35am - 12:20pm
Location: Salon A


Learn how Qwest has made sense of too many non-standard systems. Like many big companies, Qwest's IT operations groups were overwhelmed by "take-your-pick" standards, with far too many permutations for anyone to fully understand what was there and who used it. Now their standardization process is nearing completion -- with great success and internal customer applause!

This talk presents the development of a simple Operational Data Store (ODS) to capture and make sense of the data from operational systems including 15 NT domains; two AD forests; four Microsoft, Lotus and Netscape e-mail/calendar systems; Unix and RACF systems; a corporate LDAP directory; nearly 50,000 user workstations; various remote access tools; and homegrown single-signon systems.

A Migration Planning Tool was concurrently developed to automate the work of migrating users onto consolidated e-mail, calendar, AD domain, and remote access systems. Using the ODS to determine each user's unique set of migration needs, the MPT drives tailored nightly migrations of hundreds of users with minimal manual intervention and error. 350 internal customers, representing their departments, control their own scheduling, providing them an unusual and welcome degree of control.

The ODS has proven invaluable beyond systems consolidation, for both strategic and tactical needs, due to its unique combination of cross-system data about users, their access, and their desktop tools.

This talk traces the tools and design from vision through iterative implementation, presenting lessons learned and specific recommendations for your own implementation. Developed on Linux using PostgreSQL, Perl, Apache, PHP, and Ploticus.

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