A client with a London office of about forty users, has eight more users in an office in Paris. They didn't have good links between the two offices, and the Paris server was old and slow.
- "See this tape drive here, with a tape cartridge in it -- does anyone ever change this tape?" -- "Oh, I think I changed it over a couple of times last year..."
So on January 25th, Adam from the London office and I went over to Paris to sort things out. We put in a clever little box to maintain a VPN connection to London, and I installed a couple of new servers for them. Active Directory has good techniques to manage traffic between sites, to replicate files across multiple servers, and to persuade workstations to connect to local resources in preferences to those at the far end of a slow link. So all these measures have now been put in place.
Now all the Paris users have access to the server resources they need and it all runs at a sensible speed, and it degrades gracefully and is still usable if the VPN goes down and London disappears.
Oh, there was other stuff with Domino servers and mailboxes and complicated database applications too. It's all very clever.
And all the users are very happy, and on Monday 30th the director of the Paris office took us out for a huge lunch with lots of wine before pouring us back onto the Eurostar. And sometime in the next couple of days I'll send the head office a big bill. Hurrah!