Shane was sick last week with the flu so I took it upon myself to do some much needed clean up and reconfiguration on our home network. Over the past few months we have added a few extra client systems (Macs in fact – more on that later), we changed ISPs, set up a new media center and made some other minor changes that when all added up equaled a bit of a mess. So I decided it was time to repave everything and build from scratch.
I started by rebuilding our domain controller as the last one had been in service for a few years and the DNS configuration I had going on was a bit messed up and thus causing some pain and confusion on the internal network. I also used this as an excuse to introduce Windows Server 2008 as the dc since it made sense to go with the latest and greatest.
Overall I have to say it was a super simplistic setup and things are a million times better. I completely ditched my ISP’s DNS and have an OpenDNS forwarding rule setup on the server which is much better for the external links. Plus I removed the double DNS references on the internal network so everything is much faster now.
Probably the thing that pleases me most is how well the Macs are responding to the new setup. I was amazed at how easy it was to join them to the domain. Things have significantly improved from a networking / integration perspective over the past 3-4 years since I had last been using a Mac on a regular basis. The one thing that I did wrong that I forgot to do when first binding my laptop to the domain was select the option to create a mobile account. Once I figured that out, it made my profile available even when the domain was not. This is a necessity of course when one spends a large amount of time on the road or away from the house.
Since setting up the new DC, I have also repaved each of the client systems and upgraded to Vista SP1 which has resulted in a much better experience overall. I even went as far as rebuilding our SharePoint server and a created a bunch of new base VMs. The only system outstanding is my Media Center which I have been procrastinating on. Hopefully I will get that one done tomorrow.
Productivity feels good!!