Tales of UNIX/Linux Admins managing Windows Servers


You know how strange to look at the other side of the world. I have encountered my remote site UNIX admin guys made some blunder mistakes on Windows Servers. It happens on other way around also. The following stories are not meant to blame the UNIX guys in anyway, but wondering how do they see Windows from their shoes.

1. Only IT Admin and being UNIX admin for a small branch office had to manage our Active Directory Domain controller. The AD Domain Controller is also a DNS/DHCP/WINS server for the Windows machines for the local office. Our "Average UNIX Joe" pointed DNS servers for the AD domain controller to his UNIX DNS server. But he would be real careful to point the DNS server to local on a UNIX DNS server.

That caused major issues and we were clueless. Who would have guessed, he changed the DNS entries for a Domain Controller.

2. On another site, another UNIX guy enabled Windows Firewall on a domain controller. We couldn’t connect to that server and local clients were authenticating to some remote domain controller. It took some time to realize what was happening. We, the Windows Admins, never put any firewall on a domain controller, instead we believe protect local servers using Firewall between Internet and Local network. 

3. Another day, an Remote site UNIX guy installed BlackBerry Enterprise Server on an Exchange Server itself. Boy, that was fun. BES admins knows BES uses client side (Outlook) DLLs to access the email on the Exchange server. We don’t want to mix Client side CDO.DLL with Server side CDO.DLL on a Exchange Server.

4. Other UNIX admin break the mirror in a RAID-1 array and retain a hard disk for backup purposes for an DOMAIN CONTROLLER. One fine day, that domain controller failed with hard disk issues. Our bright Administrator replaced the old hard disk from the broken mirror copy which is 6 months old. He only informed us that he restored from backup and domain controller was not syncing. Boy O! Boy, it took several days of troubleshooting and we were about to rebuild the server from scratch. Finally he broke the information about how he takes backup. We, Windows Administrators, never take broken mirror copies for backups. I came to know it’s common in UNIX world.

5. I have seen mailboxes for a fairly large site has multiple SMTP email addresses like userid@servername.company.com, userid@compay.com, userid@IPADDress, userid@their_local_DNS_Doamin.company.com. And the list is growing as years passed by. It’s crazy and I still don’t know what was he thinking.

I am sure by given chances, I could do wrong things on UNIX/Linux servers. But I will do some research and think twice before I do anything.

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