Uses of Ubuntu Server in Windows Networking Environment

Posted on 2011-04-29
Last Modified: 2013-11-15
Hello, We are running a predominantly Windows Server/Client Environment and also utilise a small number of OS X servers. Our desktop clients though are split 50/50, All mac are dual booting

We are looking at Ubuntu server in particular to possibly take on roles currently being administered via W2k8 servers. It's not proving easy though as at this stage we are hard pressed to see reasons to move away and take on Linux. Cost is of cource a massive insentive but I would appreciate advice on possible deployment areas.

We are a medium sized company, 23 Servers and around 500 clients. Can anyone help point us in the right direction? The one aspect of the Microsoft environment is our absolute need to micromanage client workstations via gpo's which will remain Windows including the Apples which we dual boot. Deploying ubuntu clients is not off the table, Locking them down is a must.

Any advice on which services Ubuntu servers could/should replace would be greatly received.

Kind regards, Aelara.
Question by:Aelara
    LVL 76

    Accepted Solution

    ubuntu can be used as a mail server, proxy server, anti-spam filter, data collection (cacti), openNMS, nagios alerting system, openLDAP+winbindd+smb can be setup as a PDC.

    The issue is what are your systems need?
    Do you have custom applications that require the use of MS windows?

    If you have terminal servers, you can then use the ubuntu systems (thin clients) with tsclient to establish a connection to the terminal server.

    I.e. ubuntu/linux can be setup as a DRBL that will serve to boot workstations as thin clients.

    LVL 40

    Assisted Solution

    >>The one aspect of the Microsoft environment is our absolute need to micromanage client workstations via gpo's

    For this one, Windows Server is going to be your best bet still.

    I do wonder why you've settled on Ubuntu as a server. Don't overlook Redhat Enterprise Server (or Oracle Enterprise Server) as both have great support, and are a bit more traditional.

    Anyway, there are several placeds where Linux can really do well.

    For non-Linux gurus:
      File servers - Samba integrates perfectly
      Database servers (besides SQL Server) - UNIX is, for most DBAs, a superior OS for databases, mainly due to the scripting and sheduling environments and cheap multi-user remote access via SSH. Oracle Express & MySQL on Linux = great, cheap, powerful database servers.
      WWW - Apache works well, and with mod_mono you can run .NET apps (HECK Apache can do anything! There is a module for everything...)

    Other than that, if you are traditionaly a Microsoft shop, I would not suggest wholesale migration to Linux. You need to at least have a Linux guru in house, if you wish to try this, because the time spent tweaking Linux to integrate with M$ will be non-trivial without it, and will often outweigh the cost of just licensing Windows.

    We do both, and though we are Linux advocates, $$ talks and there have been many times when a Linux / open source project ended up costing more than the Microsoft equivalent, when man-hours was calculated.

    What I would NOT recommend is moving any Visual Studio developers to Linux as a desktop. Visual Studio, even for Mono development, really has no competitor for the Linux desktop. Eclipse is close, but not quite, and I'm speaking from hindsight with a lot of projects on both environments.


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