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Windows Server Migration Details

Microsoft will end support of Windows 2000 Server on July 13 2010; this affects seven of SLAC's main public facing Web servers. All of the central Windows 2000 Web Servers will be decommissioned by the July deadline. Finalization of the Web site migration to newer and more powerful hardware as well as upgrading the operating system to Windows Server 2008 R2 64 bit and IIS 7.5 is currently in process. IIS 7.5 adds many new features such as improved application isolation (which means a crashed Web application will only bring down itself, leaving the other Web applications running), improved performance, improved security, improved .Net support, increased IIS stability and added support for hosted Silverlight streaming applications.

 FrontPage, FrontPage Extensions and Expression Web

Microsoft has added many new features, but they have also removed a feature. FrontPage Extensions or FPE has always been problematic, both for security and stability. Microsoft has realized this and has dropped support for FPE. This affects those users who have been either authoring their Web sites using Microsoft FrontPage or have been using the FrontPage Extension in third-party authoring tools to edit their pages. We suggest everyone upgrade their Web authoring tool to the new Microsoft Expressions Web, which is far superior to FrontPage in authoring standards-based Web pages as well as dynamic pages using .Net and classic ASP. As a replacement to FPE we have installed WebDAV. WebDAV provides "seamless" functionality very similar to that FPE users are used to when editing their Web sites. To upgrade to Expression Web, please contact your department administrator or download it from the XWeb.

Note: While the two products are very similar in function, there are some key differences in features and function. The Windows group will schedule training for Web authors specific to the differences between FrontPage and Expression Web within the next few weeks.

 Migration Status

The Web sites hosted on the Windows 2000 servers have been copied to the new Windows 2008 server. We have closely matched the configuration from the old server to the new. While the tested applications have been migrated successfully, we will require application owners to validate the functionality of their applications before cutting over to the new server. The staged websites have "z" pre-pended to their name. If you want to view the migrated page for http://www-group.slac.stanford.edu/ppa, add "z" before the name like this: http://zwww-group.slac.stanford.edu/ppa.

Note: You should check the URL in the address bar after clicking on a link from a staged web page. Web pages which use hard links and not relative links will be redirected to the production site from the stage server. If you have been redirected to the production site, just edit the address bar by adding a "z" at the beginning of the URL.

 Web Site Migration

Migration Strategy

We will begin the cutover of the migrated Web sites every Thursday starting June 17, 2010 until July 8, 2010. We will restrict changes to those specific scheduled Web sites 24 hours before the cutover to allow enough time to finish a final synchronization of the web data to the new server. We will shut down the Web sites on the old server, but keep the server online in case it is necessary to back out of the migration for the Web site. After the final data synchronization, an email we be sent out to the site authors asking them to test. We strongly urge site authors to be available during the migration to validate their websites after synchronization has completed. Upon successful testing, we will shutdown the old site and close the outage.

Phased Migration Schedule:

June 17 6:00PM Phase I Migration
June 23 6:00PM No changes to affected websites
June 24 6:00PM Phase II Migration
June 30 6:00PM No changes to affected websites
July 1 6:00PM Phase III Migration
July 7 6:00PM No changes to affected websites
July 8 6:00PM Phase IV Migration

Phase I Web Sites - Migration Complete
www-user web002
texasatstanford web003
www-lsst web003
www-sid web003
lcsim web005
iDoc web006

Phase II Web Sites - MIgration Complete (June 24)
sc2000 (www-group) web002
sc2001 (www-group) web002
www-group web002
emergency (www-group) web002
www-conf web003 2 24-Jun radcor2000 (www-conf) web003
linac2000 (www-conf) web003
icalepcs2001 (www-conf) web003

Phase III Web Sites - MIgration Complete (July 1)
www-glast web005
www-project web005
www2 web006
www-lcls web009
www-lcls-internal web009

Phase IV Web Sites - July 8
facet (www-public) web003
glast (www-public) web003
ldrd (www-public) web003
pulse (www-public) web003
simes (www-public) web003
us-geant4 (www-public) web003
www-public web003
lcls (www-public) web003
www-internal web004

Note: Please send an email to windows-admin@slac.stanford.edu if you encounter any problems with a critical business process which you determine to be related to the migration.

 Expression Web

In conjunction with this migration, you will need to install Microsoft Expression Web as the replacement to FrontPage. Please schedule a time with your department administrator to have this installed on your Windows client for you. If you would like to test, explore, or start using Expression Web and you do not have it installed already, please login to the SLAC Citrix Farm. If you do not yet have a Citrix account, please request one online.

 Training

Classroom/Presentation

Training specific to the differences between FrontPage and Expressions Web, once finalized, will be sent in a separate email. Please view the below resources to learn more about Microsoft Expression Web.

Video Tutorials

Create a standard Web site with Expression Web

Work with Hyperlinks in Expression Web

Work with Images in Expression Web

Use CSS Style Sheets in Expression Web

Use CSS Layout in Expression Web

Create a SQL Datasource in Expression Web

Exploring Basic Features of the New Microsoft Expression Web (Level 200)

Virtual Lab

Create a Standards-Based Web Site with Expression Web

Note: If there is critical business process that has not yet been discussed or for which a workaround has not been identified and that may be significantly impacted by this migration please send an e-mail immediately to windows-admin@slac.stanford.edu with information about this critical process or system. We will do our best to accommodate your critical business timing issue by rescheduling your migration to a better time, by the required July 13 deadline.

 Help

The Windows team will be paying special attention to the windows-admin RT ticketing queue during and after the migration. Please send any critical issues to windows-admin@slac.stanford.edu, along with a complete description of the problem and the URL. We have also made arrangements for Microsoft personnel to be immediately available to us in response to migration issues.

Thank you very much for your support as we improve your computing environment in an effort to deliver increased performance and higher reliability. For further details, see the migration Web site.

Jean-Raymond Pierre, Windows Group Manager
  SLAC Today, June 29, 2010