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Using Windows Storage Server 2003 R2 in a Linux/UNIX environment

Posted on 2007-10-17
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We are about a 95% Linux/UNIX based operation.  We just bought a WSS Netstore NAS (Windows Storage Server 2003 R2) along with 100TB of storage. The vendor prior to purchasing said this NAS would work in our Linux/UNIX environment without any problems. (MS playing well with others??)
I told them that I was going to move all of my NIS and FTP home accounts over to the NAS to be hosted from there using NFS.
Has anyone else done this out there?
Mapping SID to UID/GIDs is a pain and so far I have noticed that this file system does not act like a normal linux/unix NFS mounted filesystem. Some examples are root has to be shared out on NIS and mapped on this server in order for root to have any access to this file system. If you do a "chmod 1024:3120 test" on this file system and that UID/GID pare do not exist in mapping it assigns UID=0, GID=0 (root,root) to the file making it unaccessable to anyone. If you do the same command on a Unix based system you get the numbers 1024:3120 for UID/GID info.
I would really like this NAS to perform exactly as any other NFS mounted filesystem.
Is there any other pitfalls using this O/S or is there any way to get it to behave like my other NFS mounted filesystems?
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Question by:Ryan Rowley
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elliottgroup earned 300 total points
ID: 20094437
Hi, don't know if this will help but it's notes for configuring NFS on Windows. Yeah I know it's from CISCO but they use anonymous NFS connections and it might help you with your problem.

http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/ps6241/products_installation_and_configuration_guide_chapter09186a00804c4db4.html#wp1182700
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by:kkrans
kkrans earned 1200 total points
ID: 20104728
In my opinion the Windows Storage Server platform is not a very good choice for NFS, it does the Windows CIFS wery well but the Linux functionality is just fair.

Configure NFS on the Windows box and check what you get.

Good luck!

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Author Comment

by:Ryan Rowley
ID: 20185574
So far the only solution to this problem has been to replace the WSS Operating System.
I built and installed a modded version of the 64 Bit Centos 5 (linux kernel 2.6) O/S and then applied the Openfiler NAS management software on top.  This works very well, however it completely bypasses the WSS problem and is an O/S not supported by the vendor. I had two possible solutions for the vendor to concider, but they would not. My two suggestions were "NIS server for Windows" and iSCSI.
Vendor would not implement either.  Do we have any other suggestions out there?
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by:kkrans
kkrans earned 1200 total points
ID: 20187875
Just a spontaneus thought...

You have NIS that makes it very probable that you run some Solaris. How about installing open Solaris?
It has iSCSI target built into it. It does NFS well and and you can probably do CIFS with it too (not checked that detail)

That is if your vendor want to support anything else than winblows.
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by:kkrans
kkrans earned 1200 total points
ID: 20187893
Adding:

Zettabyte File System (ZFS) is really a nice filesystem supporting very large volumes of data. That makes it one of the coolest filesystems available for a NAS filer.

Cheers!
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Author Comment

by:Ryan Rowley
ID: 20187961
Solaris and IRIX are legacy systems here that are becoming fewer by the day. Most systems here are now dual to quad core Xeon/AMD processors running 64 bit Centos 5 which is a RedHat flavor of Linux. I do like Solaris. I run Solaris 10 on all of my Sun Blades at home. I have not tried Open Solaris as of yet.  Our NIS is legacy as well, I have often thought of replacing it with LDAP. I haven't found a transfer method that I liked as of yet. Ideally it should be one with little or no down time and be automated enough to be effortless. :)  (LDAP does not buy me anything in my environment to mandate a change.)
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Author Comment

by:Ryan Rowley
ID: 20187980
Vendor at this time does not want to support anything except what they sell! :(

I am working a deal to return the WSS software in exchange for parts.
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by:kkrans
kkrans earned 1200 total points
ID: 20188041
Thinking about Solaris due to the reason that the OS itself if of a minor consern in a NAS box. It just have to work and I think open Solaris with the ZFS (NetApp sued Sun for that filesystem) could do the job for ya.
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Author Comment

by:Ryan Rowley
ID: 22797221
We solved the problem by removing the Windows 2003 O/S and installing Centos linux.
MS doesn't play well with others.
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Author Closing Comment

by:Ryan Rowley
ID: 31408205
Since I gave up on the Windows O/S. I Can't say any solution here is complete. The goal was to make it work using the vendor supplied O/S.
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Expert Comment

by:gdekhayser
ID: 23309704
Can you specify what vendor (of the storage) this was, so that we can avoid your problem in the future?

Thanks!
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