Integrating Unix and Windows NT
Though uneven in presentation, this video series still is a help for those linking the disparate operating systems.
- By Charles Aulds
With Linux becoming increasingly popular, even the staunchest
Windows NT supporters seem willing to accept a Unix-like
server on their networks. The target audience for this
videotape series, then, is any organization that has chosen
to work with both Unix and NT systems on its network,
leveraging the strengths of both while seeking ways to
smooth integration of the two platforms.
As I watched the first two tapes of this six-part series,
I was a bit disappointed. The tapes primarily covered
the history of the NT and Unix systems and how they differ
— material I didn’t find particularly interesting or useful.
I was anxious to get to the meat of the course: a discussion
of how the two disparate systems can be integrated. Fortunately,
the remaining four videotapes in the series didn’t disappoint.
The course author and presenter, Ross Brunson, undoubtedly
understands Unix and NT and has real-world experience
with both platforms. The most valuable part of the series,
for example, is the demonstration he gives using a Caldera
OpenLinux system to demonstrate the Unix server and an
NT 4.0 Server to demonstrate the NT side.
Throughout the series, Brunson remains refreshingly platform-neutral.
He doesn’t hesitate to incorporate Unix utilities as he
manages NT servers and, in the series, uses utilities
that I’ve found essential to managing NT and Unix servers
in the same environment. It isn’t made clear until late
in the series, however, that many of the utilities demonstrated
are components of several NT utility packages — the NT
Resource Kit (and its supplements) and the Microsoft Services
for Unix add-on pack. Much of the magic Brunson performs
in his demonstrations would be impossible on unmodified
NT Servers. I believe any company that’s interested in
integrating Unix and NT (interested enough to purchase
this videotape series for its employees) should help these
employees by purchasing the two utility packages. The
NT Resource Kit, for instance, contains the best documentation
available anywhere on NT and Windows Networking (in both
printed and Windows .hlp formats).
The workbook accompanying the tapes, while useful, still
falls short in several areas. A resource links appendix
appears to be missing, and the questions at the end of
each module seem to miss the most important topics presented
in a module. In the end, I think that an NT workstation
(loaded with the NT Resource Kit) probably is more useful
for getting the most out of the tapes.
About the Author
Charles Aulds, MCSE, MCP+I, a programmer/analyst with Epic Data, Connectware Products Group, develops bar code data collection middleware.