Can Linux, Windows, and Apple network easily?
Posted on 2006-11-14
Answering only the three major questions (marked with *** in front of them) will award you the points any other questions will earn you a world of gratitude with me forever! in the event that the question or questions can not be answered i.e. i am a idiot and don't know what i am talking about or the right people just don't check this juicy post. the person answering the most questions will be awarded the 500 points.
Ok Here is the situation (Back Story):
I run the network at a small marketing firm, with about 10 Windows XP Pro clients, 8 Mac OSX (10.4.8) Clients.
Servers - One SBS 2003, one Windows 2003, and two Fedora boxes.
SBS 2003 - of course this is currently our domain controller, DNS Server, DHCP Server, and Exchange Server. (and for now the ExtremeZ IP Server afp emulator for windows - this will be part of the question later).
Windows 2003 - will be the Veritas DTDTT Server, Anti virus Server, WSUS Server, Image Server for pc and mac clients (image storage and network boot restore if needed), and the central admin server to connect to the pc's via remote desktop and the mac's via a Linux VNC - tweeked by me of course, to work.
Fedora 6 #1 - this machine was built for speed from the board to the cpu and down to the screaming sata II raid card and the six gigs of ram. it will be the file / archive server, and that is all.
Fedora 6 #2 - SElinux enabled and configured to strict security measures. It will host the companies web site, ftp site, client site, and intranet / company portal (Outside, both the company portal and the intranet will serve the same information. I know what you are thinking then it is just a portal but right now it uses seperate security protocols i.e. timeout, authentication standards, bandwidth allocation etc. depending on which side you are on.) This is also running webDEV and iwebcal to host a group calendar that Outlook 2003 (through a plug in) and iCal subscrib to centrally. Beautiful how it works, intigrates perfectly. but on with the show.
Now the SBS will still run the domain, dns, active directory, and dhcp. along with Exchange Server. i am routing the OWA requests through to this server via the Firewall.
FIRST QUESTION: is there a way to host the OWA portal on the linux box with Exchange on the SBS 2003 box (now i think i know that owa's back bone is asp.net but i have seen stranger things)
Problem #1 - the designers are all on Power Mac Dual G5's with 10.4.8 installed. they are all equip ed with CS2(creative suit 2), Quark 6.5, Acrobat 7 pro, Extensis suitcase (newest version, it is a font thingy software, a high priced organizer), two of the 8 have Studio 8, one has Final Cut Pro the big boy. along with a host of minor small programs. the problem is that a lot of the files the designers are working on are between 2 - 6 gig Ultra High res illustrator, quark or inDesign files. the group is located on the third floor and i am deaf in the server room on the first floor. well more and more frequently i am having complaints of slow saves lock ups or crashes on open or close. i have upgraded the switches, cabling (to cat6 twisted and ind. shielded cable) patch panels (cat6) essentially cat6 from machine to machine and gigabyte on everything, i found that disk cache time was through the roof that is why i built the first fedora box (NOT YET IN PRODUCTION).
***Money Question #1 - if i install the fedora core on the screamer can i join that box to the windows domain so that i do not have to maintain two user / password databases. and if so do you (the genius answering this question) think in your opinion that the transfer speed is faster with a windows box running ExtremeZ-IP (remember a afp emulation software for windows) or with a Fedora box running AFP share directories via tcp (I have been told this can be done also as AFP Over Appletalk but have yet to discover this marvel of modern technology) the other thing to remember is that when using smb to the windows box the mac files saved crappy but from the research i did when i purchased Z-IP it is common with OSX. last part if you do not agree with any of these setups what do you think. remember the overall theme here for this server (file server) is speed and reliability while serving files.
this is a "or" question this next question if done right can win the show.
***Money Question #2 - with all that i have listed here the services and systems i need to run and run reliable. how would you set this network up? or rather how would you split the services up to optimize the speed and dependability of the system in it's entirety? few more facts for this question - the win 2003 and SBS 2003 box is newer (by one year) and are mid range servers (high end of mid-range), the screamer is on the very high end of the mid-range and a custom built (but i am not entirely stupid all parts are top of the line server parts, down to the $1200 10 port sata raid card and corsair ecc memory with tyan top of the line server mb and wd 15,000 rpm sata drives in a raid 10 configuration - 10 of them. I chose to not go with the scsi drives for the simple fact that through testing the raid controller and wd sata drives read and write came out on top of the scsi 15000rpm ultra 320 weird right?)
the winner will also get a full run through when the job is complete (i am a old school tech and i love to see the completed project, esp if i consulted on it. as i am sure the winner will also be glad to go on a behind the scenes tour.) and if it is permissible through this site to an outstanding candidate i will award a consulting fee of $150.00 (mailed to the winner; not a lot i know but did you sleep through the hardware explanation i did above it was all purchased in the last year and that takes a bite out of the ol budget), but all information must me posted here so some other nerd can find it later no need to get behind the scenes emails.
ending notes: thanks for playing and again the major theme here is being able to access large amounts of data from a single server from windows and mac clients without crashing a system on open or save. then to split up the rest of the network services to the rest of the systems in a way to maximize performance and reliability. one last thing - i don't care if this site frowns upon it or not if you can show me a proven way to do all of this with little difficulty or change to the end user in a total Fedora environment the reward will be $300.00 (my boss authorized 150 i am fronting the other 150 out of my pocket). and yes ever since the Fedora core 4 came out and i installed it i have been gaga for it, i just love it so much, but as a admin i know that some jobs ultimately are done better or easier on a windows machine, or maybe not you tell me.