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Samba DC vs AD Dc

Posted on 2011-09-06
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Last Modified: 2012-05-12
Hello,  I work for a company that is thinking about implementing domain controllres (currently all standalone workstatons).  Due to the licensing and $$$ with MS, that are also considering Samba.  Not knowing much about the Samba portion, what are the pros /cons to Samba?  I understand that Samba functions like NT4 (not sure if that is true) in which there are permissions, accounts etc... but may not have other abilities suck as policies and restrictions.  Can anyone help me out with that?  Which one is stronger?
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Question by:odddball
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robincm earned 300 total points
ID: 36490681
You won't get Group Policy and loads of other stuff if you don't have Active Directory.
That will save you $$$ in management overheads.
How many PCs and servers will you be wanting to join? How many users do you have?
For up to 25 or 75 users you could use Small Business Server http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/server-cloud/Windows-Small-Business-Server/editions.aspx
Nobody (really) uses NT4 domains anymore, that stuff is really dark ages now. Was good when it came out in 1990-something, but Active Directory has been here since Windows 2000, released over ten years ago.
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by:odddball
ID: 36490693
What about Samba though, what are the limitations and how does it compare to AD?
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by:leader716
leader716 earned 200 total points
ID: 36490773
Samba works great when implementing a Linux server into a Windows domain. You can implement Samba as a PDC which would be roughly equivalent to running a NT4 Domain. Like the previous person commented, with that you would be really limiting yourself. Samba has plans to be able to implement a true active directory controller with version 4, but that is still a ways off and no where near stable enough for any form of production use IMO.  
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by:robincm
ID: 36490796
I'm having a tought time trying to get any sensible info about this, as no doubt you were...!
It seems like it's very basic, you can have computer and user accounts, and that's about it.
My advice would be that Windows always talks to Windows best, and works very well. If you try and scrimp on the very core of your environment you are stepping into a world of pain.
Clearly it's your decision, but if you're asking me as an systems engineer with 12+ yrs experience, I'm advising very strongly that it's not a good plan.
By all means use Samba/CIFS for file servers, but AD is what you want for authentication and management.
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by:odddball
ID: 36490807
Thank you
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