In 2005, Southwest Missouri State University was renamed to Missouri State University. University administration had been advocating for this for over 20 years, so it was a huge cause for celebration, but it created a lot of challenges for Computer Services. Most notably, the university wanted to change our domain name to modify email addresses and logins, and this meant we needed to move all campus computers to the new domain.
Removing a computer from one domain and adding it to another isn’t too hard, but we didn’t have any remote management tooling so it had to be done in-person one computer at a time. What’s more, people’s logins would change, which meant that when logging into their computers, a new profile would be created. Their desktop background, shortcuts, and documents would be in their old profile. We needed to cause as little disruption as possible.
The original plan took a few hours and didn’t provide a great user experience. I came up with a method that took about 1/3 the time and gave the user their backgrounds and shortcuts exactly as they had been, so from their perspective, nothing changed other than the username they used to log on. I then led the team of full-time and part-time people to move the approximately 900 computers considered part of the Centralized team’s responsibility to the new domain.