[Samba] What project should I use ?

Intrepid One trep at linuxmail.org
Wed Dec 11 20:45:00 GMT 2002

I am going to list my current plans for rebuilding a Law Firm’s network.  I hope that someone will be able to tell me which project (samba or samba-tng) would be a better choice, or if staying with MS is the only choice.  If my plan could be changed for the better, input would be greatly appreciated:

A lot of this information is useless for my questions, but I am throwing it in anyway.

CURRENT SETUP (to be replaced/updated)
1 Server (Proliant 1600: P2-450 (single), RAID5 SCSI storage)
  *MS Win2000 Server
  *File and Print Services (file size ranges from 1kb to several 100mb).  Currently around 10gb in shared files.
  *MS Exchange 5.5 Server (Public Store 2.5GB; Private Store 3.0GB).
50 Desktop Users (Compaq Deskpro's w/ P2-300 up to Compaq Evo P4's.  DeskPro P2-450 is the most common)
  *MS Win98-WinXP
  *WordPerfect 8
  *MS Office 97-2000
  *MS Outlook (running with Exchange in Corporate Mode)
  *Several Database Applications
10 Laptop Users
  *WordPerfect 8
  *MS Office97-2000
  *MS Outlook (running with Exchange in Corporate Mode & Offline Folders)
  *Offline Files or Briefcase to keep files on laptop and backed up on server
  *Several Database Applications
Network Hardware:
  *HUBS (evil slow junky hubs, to be replaced of course).
  *ISDN (I know... what the heck were they thinking? ISDN? 60 users and an overloaded Exchange Server). (Also soon to be replaced with sDSL or T1).
PLANNED REPLACEMENT (I will focus more on things relating to SAMBA, and some holes will be left as I don't know exactly how to do some things with SAMBA yet, or at least I don't know the best route.)

*ALL Clients will be moved to MS Win2000 (wanted to go with OpenSource Software all around but that is not a viable solution for a law office at this time)

Main File/Authentication Server (Microsoft would call it a PDC)
  *Linux or *BSD for OS (probably RedHat Linux as they offer the most corporate support).
  *Nice powerful system with RAID5 storage, redundant parts, blah blah. Still won't need to be as expensive as a new Win2000 Server.
  *Will handle authentication either through UN*X password system w/ SAMBA duplicating that(passwords could be pushed to the other servers) or thru' a pam or ldap design.

Backup File/Authentication Server
  *Automated (through scripting) backup of main file server.
  *Backup Tape System (probably an Ultrium drive).
  *Backup as many services as possible for Main Server.

Test Server
  *Name says it all. Used to test experimental projects/code.

Mail Server
  *Here is where things get more complicated.  I am not asking the SAMBA team for total help here as mail services are not in SAMBA's view.  I will be keeping the Exchange 5.5 Server or replacing it with Bynari InsightServer (unless someone knows a better product).  I MUST have a single login.
  *After connecting to the Main Server they should not have to put in another password (for email or backup files).
  *Exchange uses a directory system (not very compliant but it exist) and most alternatives use LDAP.  Therefore I will have to use OpenLDAP at some point in the authentication scheme.

That long (hope I don't get made into a troll) email leads up to a few questions.
Samba or Samba-TNG or stay with Micro*leech*soft?
What is the best route for a single authentication across multiple UN*X servers?
Any other experiences with moving an office with my structure to all OSS (Open-Source Software) in the server room.

Major Concerns:
Single Authentication
Seamless Change from users point of view.

Thank You
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