ENT Survey: 2001 the Year of W2K Migrations

Maybe itshould have been called Windows 2001.

A survey ofENT subscribers found that 2001 will be a huge year for Windows 2000deployments.

A largemajority, 72 percent, plan to finish their migrations by the end of thiscalendar year. Only 13 percent say they completed or were completing theirmigrations in 2000. The survey was conducted in mid-December.

When itcomes to the raw number of servers that will be migrated, ENT readersindicate that 2001 will be a banner year. The bulk of client seat rollouts willcome slightly later. For Windows 2000 Professional desktops, readers said thebiggest migration period will be the 12 months covering the second half of 2001and the first half of 2002.

Readersalso indicate they will be simplifying their networks through the use of theActive Directory. On average, the respondents planned to whittle down thenumber of domains in their Windows NT environments to less than half as manyWindows 2000/Active Directory domains.

In all, the721 readers who replied to the survey were from a wide range of organizationalsizes. Seventy-three percent of respondents came from organizations with morethan 100 employees, and 22 percent worked in enterprises with more than 5,000employees. From the revenue standpoint, 52 percent of respondents came fromcompanies with more than $50 million in revenue, with 18 percent of them atcorporations with more than $1 billion in revenue.

When donewith their Windows 2000 migrations, the 721 survey respondents expect to haveinstalled over 100,000 servers to Windows 2000 and converted more than 1.4million desktops to Windows 2000 Professional. Most respondents -- 55 percent-- expected to spend between $50,000 and $1 million on the Windows 2000migration. On average, this group of IT managers expects to sink about 25percent of their IT budgets into their Windows 2000 migration, includinghardware, software licenses, consulting assistance, and staff time.

Mostorganizations are making the move to overcome deficiencies in Windows NT. Manycite improved reliability, manageability, and reduced reboots. A minority ofusers seem to be looking for new IT management features such as clusteringsupport and backup management.

Also, itseems Windows 2000 is not replacing other platforms in significant numbers.It’s more or less a Microsoft shop upgrade. A survey write-in question shows alarge portion of IT shops also plan to run Linux and Solaris. The onecompetitive operating system in most danger from Windows 2000 appears to beNovell’s NetWare, which was already under sustained attack from Windows NT.

Users planto plug Windows 2000 servers into many of the same roles they used Windows NTservers for, with file and print servers, domain controllers, and e-mailservers in the lead. A large number of users, though, plan to incorporateWindows 2000 into their infrastructure as Web servers, database servers, andapplication servers.

Amongdesktops, the survey indicates Windows 2000 Professional may be gainingmomentum compared with Windows NT 4.0 Workstation. While Microsoft doesn’tdiscuss specific shipments of different versions of Windows NT, the company hassaid that about one copy of Windows NT Server ships for every 10 copies ofWindows NT Workstation.

WithWindows 2000 Professional, however, the company is aiming for the sameenterprise customers who bought Windows 95 and Windows 98 in volume. Thisstrategy was displayed through Redmond’s recent decision to end volumediscounts for consumer versions of its Windows operating systems.

Accordingto ENT’s numbers, the 10:1 ratio of client-to-server looks like it willgo up to about 14:1 over the lifetime of reader migrations. And the ENTsurvey represents a sizable chunk of Windows 2000 licensees. The more than 1.5million copies of Windows 2000 totaled in the survey amount to about threeweeks worth of shipments from Microsoft, according to some industry estimates.

Responsesshow readers are replacing their consumer Windows clients across the board.While an unsurprising 89 percent of migrating respondents are replacing WindowsNT 4.0 Workstation with Windows 2000, 68 percent are replacing Windows 98 withthe Windows 2000 Professional and 62 percent are replacing Windows 95 with thenew desktop operating system.

Any groupof respondents to an ENT reader survey would be inclined to be moving toWindows 2000, and soon. Only 2 percent expect to never migrate to apost-Windows NT operating system from Microsoft; 6 percent were waiting forWhistler, the next version of Windows 2000; while another 2 percent indicate theyare waiting for Blackcomb, the version after Whistler.

Still,Microsoft’s customer base is undeniably shifting toward Windows 2000.Respondents expect to have nearly six times as many copies of Windows 2000servers installed by the end of 2001 as they did at the end of 2000. They alsoexpect to have about 15 times as many copies of Windows 2000 Professionalinstalled at the end of 2001 as they did at the end of 2000.

In themidst of moving all those clients, a lot of housecleaning is going on in domainstructures. Nearly 400 readers answered questions about the number of domainsthey have and the number they expect to have at the end of the migration. Ofthose, about 41 percent expect to consolidate their Windows NT domains intofewer Windows 2000 domains. The domain consolidators become a large majorityafter excluding the nearly 30 percent of respondents who were migrating fromone Windows NT domain to one Windows 2000 domain. Overall, respondents plan togo from about 14 domains in Windows NT to six in Windows 2000.

Mostmigrators reported using the assistance of consultants, systems integrators,and third-party migration tools to navigate the complexities of ActiveDirectory.

Even thoseusing consulting help still report difficulty in the migration process.

“Findingassistance in the conversion effort has been painful. Even certified Microsoftpartners lack sufficient skill sets to provide comprehensive assistance,” saysone respondent working on reorganizing three Windows NT 4.0 domains into twoWindows 2000 domains.

Still therespondent sees light at the end of the 300-seat migration, which he expects tocomplete in early 2002.

“Once wefinally get everything working, which has been painful, we expect to have amuch easier time administering our clients and network in general.”

Windows2000 Migration Schedule by Year

The largestgroup of organizations represented in ENT’s Windows 2000 deployment surveyintends to complete migration in 2001.

Year     Organizations completing W2K migration

2000                80

2001                373

2002                158

2003+              21

Count: 632


2001Migration Schedule by Quarter

Oforganizations expecting to complete migrations in 2001, the bulk expect tofinish in the second half.

Quarter            Organizations completing W2Kmigration

Q4 2001          123

Q3 2001          103

Q2 2001          74

Q1 2001          73

Count: 373


Organizationsvs. Desktops

A comparisonof the number of organizations planning to complete Windows 2000 migration in ayear to the number of desktops those migrations will involve shows that many ofthe largest migrations will wrap up in 2002. Note that more desktops areinvolved in migrations that wrap up in 2002 than in 2001.

Year     Organizations    Desktops

2000    80                                42,731

2001    373                              650,185

2002    158                              692,185

2003    21                                38,206


ReasonsListed for Migrating to W2K

Reason                                                 Percent

ImprovedReliability                                          75

BetterManageability                                         62

ReducedReboot Scenarios                               58

ActiveDirectory                                               49

BetterSecurity Features                                    49

Better DLLConflict Management                     33

BetterDriver Management                                32

MicrosoftManagement Console                       22

Intellimirror& Client Management                     22

ImprovedClustering Support                            19

Other                                                               18

More RobustBackup Management                   15

TotalResponses                                               636


MicrosoftCorp., Redmond, Wash., www.microsoft.com.

Must Read Articles