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Migrating to Novell's SUSE Linux: Lessons learned in a successful project

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Interoperability poses problems for most IT managers during migrations to or from Linux. Obstacles are presented in moving from the old and new environment and old and new versions of existing products. Both of these challenges were met by Metropolitan Bank Group during a migration to Novell SUSE, and this tip describes and offers commentary on that project.

Metropolitan Bank Group had to make Novell's radically different "classic" and "new" product infrastructures play well together. Thomas Johnson, IT director and CIO of Metropolitan Bank Group, was responsible for moving the firm's 15-server infrastructure to Novell SUSE.

A positive relationship with Novell played a key role in WBG's migration. The company wanted to realize the cost and reliability benefits of Linux, but it didn't want to abandon certain Novell products that were working well.

"We had about an equal amount of Microsoft and Novell gear [when we evaluated using Linux in 2004], and since I was brought up in a Novell environment it was familiar," Johnson recalls. "We used Novell 6.0 and 6.5 at the time, with GroupWise already in place, and we added ZenWorks and BorderManager [Novell's firewall / VPN product] at around that time too."

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