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Mac OSX Snow Leopard Server vs. Microsoft Server

Hi,

i'm not really sure if it's a philosophical question or a question which could be answered by hard facts, but it's best that i'll touch what the network i'm currently planning should perform.

Branch: Finance/Consulting

Computers: approx. 60-100 (50% mobile/50% stationary)

Needs:
- Email services for all users
- Shared address book
- Group calendaring
- File shares for users/user groups
- Centralized software management & updating
- VPN access for mobile workers/homeoffices
- Maybe: Citrix & SAP clients for some users
- Shared printers (for workgroups)
- Centralized backups
- High security for internal and external attacks
- Maybe: Blackberry Integration

I know that all of that is possible on OSX server and Microsoft, too. Microsoft is more expensive in software licensing, but OSX maybe has compatibility problems with Citrix or SAP(?).

What's your advice? Would you choose Mac or Microsoft? And why?

Hopefully looking for some qualitative answes :-)

TIA,
Rene
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glembotzkycom
Asked:
glembotzkycom
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3 Solutions
 
gmbaxterCommented:
We have a mainly mac network for 2000 users - about 950 desktops and 300 laptops. Are you looking for a single or multiple server solution here?

Now, we have many mac servers, but the windows ones perform the following functions:

Email services -  1 x windows based mail filter, 1 x mac mail server This is soon to move to an MS exchange and Apple Mail setup.

Address book and calendering, mac mail server - will be replaced by exchange however.

DNS, DHCP - windows becuase it does this better than a mac

Printserver - windows 2003 because the mac print server could not handle the workload

Fileshares - 9 OSX servers for 2000 users data (not concurrent)

Software management - Various software builds. Can distribute software by apple remote desktop and unix commands but it isn't reliable. Windows with AD and group policy is far better at this.

Updating - local apple Software Update Server - easy to setup.

Backups - running on a mac server but will also run on windows. Linked to a scsi LTO3 tape drive.

Security: External - provided by a PIX firewall, dmz etc

Security: Internal - osx being unix based is far less vulnerable to viruses and trojans than windows, only due to them being less of them around for the platform.

Blackberry integration: we dont have this but you require MS exchange for Blackberry Enterprise Server anyway to get bi-direction synchronisation between inbox and blackberry.

Hope that helps
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nappy_dCommented:
Let's put it from my perspective, what type of computers do you have Macs or Windows clients?  If it is primarily Macs with the odd Windows machine, go with a Mac server.

Now if it is primarily Windows clients with a few Macs go with a Windows server. Then, to centrally manage the Mac like the Windows machines, get Centrify for managing the via policies thru AD.

For file sharing the Windows and Macs can use both Mac servers or Windows servers via smb for connectivity.

If budget is an issue, the Mac OS may be your better option as the licensing costs for client to server connectivity is far lower compared to Windows.

DNS works well on both platforms, when configured properly.
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nappy_dCommented:
Oh to your Needs:
- Email services for all users

- Shared address book
  • Exchange will work best for cross paltform suppot with Outlook and Entourage
- Group calendaring
  • Exchange as iCal does not support Windows at this point in time
- File shares for users/user groups
  • Windows or Mac but the Mac is lower cost for CALs
- Centralized software management & updating
  • You will need Windows for WSUS and Mac OS X Server for Apple updates
- VPN access for mobile workers/homeoffices
  • Get a 3rd party device as you will get better support
- Maybe: Citrix & SAP clients for some users
  • Citrix for ALL users as it runs on both Macs and Windows computers(trust me I do it)
- Shared printers (for workgroups)
- Centralized backups
- High security for internal and external attacks
  • Get a third party firewall such as Cisco
- Maybe: Blackberry Integration
  • This will definitely require a Windows Server B.E.S
The bottom line:
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nappy_dCommented:
Ping :)  Any further updates on this?
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Glen KnightCommented:
This question has been classified as abandoned and is closed as part of the Cleanup Program. See the recommendation for more details.
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