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Fun “Long Weekend” – Part 1

Last weekend (Oct 25,26) I’ve decided to fix our network setup that was done by some outside contractors. I don’t know why people would do something improperly and then overload it with patches, workarounds etc. But wait a second, there is a company that does exactly that – MS.

Anyway, the setup we had was: 2 servers – one file server, one FileMaker Pro server which is also web server that serves registration pages. We have Cisco switch which routes all traffic and internal and external DNS set up (NS server for domains we own) on our servers.

First item on the plan was to remove DNS hosting for domains to company that does just that – eNom. Than I would rebuild internal DNS with separate local zone (what’s the point of having internal .ca zone?). In addition to that, I would upgrade server to 10.5 from 10.4. Helping me with all that was my old time friend Igor.

First thing first, I moved DNS away to eNom and, after backing up previous directory, started Leopard Server install. That’s when fun started…

Couple of challenges on server upgrade:

First, since I am changing DNS zone and name of our server, I couldn’t archive and restore Directory. I had to export users and groups from old server and import to new, which means that passwords would not be saved. It is not a big deal, as I can setup temporarily passwords and then force password change on user’s first login, but rather inconvinience.index_hero20071009

Second, due to technical issues at eNom, which is usually rock solid, I’ve lost DNS records for domain and had to wait hours to get resolved. In the meantime I had to hope that cached DNS will route users to proper sites. Unfortunately, it took more than 4 hours to resolve this issue. And ultimately was resolved by myself.

Third, and challenge that cost me half a day, was the fact that, as I’ve discovered later, Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard, does not support .local domains when creating OD.

First we just thought, well, we will have our domain zone as prime.local, our server will be named in that DNS zone. Apple suggests to name server when it initialized right after install, and do not rename it. The best way to rename server, in my own experience, is to reinstall it. Yep, to all you MS fans out there, it is unfortunate, and maybe many Mac specialists will not agree with me, but it is wa-a-y easier to reinstall it. After all, it takes 1.5 – 2 hours to install and setup server. And I’ve done it 30+ times. Coming back to DNS: we’ve named our server, set up DNS zone (prime.local) only to find out that .local will not work as 10.3 and later treats that hostname as Bonjour.

Apple KB Article

Oh, and couple of other things: Friday – it was my dad’s 50th birthday, Saturday I missed my kid’s soccer team photo shoot, and Monday, after the weekend, as I just could not afford to not come to the office, my wife and I missed Pumpkin Patch. I planned this weekend according to schedule of running programs in the office, but completely overlooked personal life’s events.

Continued in Part 2

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