Samba Usage (University especially)

Peter Samuelson peter at
Sun Jul 16 06:40:24 GMT 2000

[Peter Polkinghorne <Peter.Polkinghorne at>]
> Our usage of Samba is being questioned with regards to being
> "non-standard" as against Windows NT servers.


> b) If not I would be happy to summarise responses from those prepared
> to go public.  I am especially interested in Universities and those
> in the UK above all (to demonstrate that we are not unusual!).

I'm at a university in the US.  My dept teaches CAD, mostly CATIA on
AIX (IBM RS/6000 workstations).  About three years ago we opened an NT
lab.  (At the time, NT boxes were almost an order of magnitude
cheaper.)  We use the same entry-level CAD program on both platforms
(CATIA/CADAM Drafting), so we needed to share model files between the
two, so students could do homework / practice work without being tied
to whichever platform they used in class.

I initially set up Samba 1.9.17, then 1.9.18.  It worked ok but would
occasionally wedge itself due to oplock bugs.  (Oplock support was new
in 1.9.18.)  My boss was unhappy, so we bought a bunch of licenses for
Hummingbird NFS Maestro (NFS client s/w for NT).  It basically didn't
work at all -- we never did track the problem down, but something about
our CAD package really didn't like it.  That little experiment lasted
about a week.

Back to Samba 1.9.18, then 2.0.x.  Those oplock problems went away with
2.0 and we've had very very few problems since.  Naturally, Samba comes
in handy for a lot of other things around here besides the student
workspaces.  For example, we develop all our own manuals and course
materials using WordPerfect on NT, but this sort of thing requires a
lot of image capturing on Unix.  Samba makes it trivial to move such
files around.  Before Samba we were stuck with FTP.

My latest Samba deployment was down the hall where they do things like
engineering stress analysis.  They were using FTP as well, to shuttle
MSC.Nastran models around between NT and HP-UX.  Now they map their
home directories.  Honestly, I don't think they want to go back either.


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