Wellington’s Capital & Coast District Health Board plans to migrate 550 of its 3500 Novell directory users to Microsoft Active Directory by the end of March to achieve better integration and cost of ownership.
The ultimate goal is to be running Active Directory as the sole directory over thin-client technology Citrix Metaframe, says systems manager Martin Stephenson.
No date for the full migration has been set, but the project is sufficiently large that the board is advertising for a directory integration specialist to work on it for six months.
When the migration is complete, the directory will be tied in with Taranaki DHB’s infrastructure, Stephenson says.
Taranaki is Capital & Coast’s partner in HealthIntelligence, an IT resource sharing arrangement. It was a comparison of the total cost of ownership of the two boards’ desktop PCs which sparked Capital & Coast’s decision to unifiy its directories.
When it was revealed that Taranaki’s TCO was 62% of Capital & Coast’s, “we realised there was something wrong with the environment here”, Stephenson says. “The way Taranaki had done it was a model for us.”
Taranaki runs a single Active Directory on the Citrix model, whereas Capital & Coast uses Novell’s NDS and GroupWise/Outlook, on the full PC client model. Capital & Coast is moving away from has GroupWise server and toward Microsoft Exchange server, “which relies on Active Directory — it’s pushing us in that direction”, says Stephenson.
“Thin client delivers the lowest TCO and to get us there we had to look at what we’ve got and how to migrate.”
For a time, Active Directory and NDS will run side by side, “but we’re moving towards Active Directory as a single directory throughout HealthIntelligence”.
Active Directory’s utility won’t end at being the boards’ single directory, Stephenson says. “We’ll be turning it into a kiosk technology and users will be able to update their details with it.”
Users will also be able to utilise it for authentication purposes through a portal the two boards are planning.