[Samba] UNIX with samba .vs. native Windows Server , how to compare thei r performance for Windows-biased management

Simo Sorce simo.sorce at xsec.it
Fri Dec 13 22:28:00 GMT 2002

Go with a GNU/Linux system and get the best of the two worlds:
Unix power
cheap hardware

btw, I cannot believe they say managing a windows box is more
comfortable, have you ever showed your boss how much time his NT admins
need to spend to "easily" click trough endless number of windows?

I always found Unix machine much faster to administer,
and it can be done easily also remotely (and _securely_) through SSH.

Let's not talk of automation through scripts, Windows simply does not
exist in that field.


On Fri, 2002-12-13 at 21:23, Wieprecht, Karen M. wrote:
> I had samba working on an old Sun Enterprise server using a JBOD that was
> managed with veritas volume manager (legacy stuff that had long outlived
> it's usefulness).  Management  arbitrarily decided to replace the aging
> Solaris server with a native Windows server without talking to me. I instead
> tried to persuade them to use an SGI cluster I had been putting together and
> use newer features of samba (winbind, domain authentication) for hosting
> this data,  but they weren't interested.  
> When that old Solaris system started having problems,  and the new windows
> server wasn't online yet,  I had to temporarily host the data on my SGI
> cluster,  a duo of servers that was running  samba with winbind and domain
> authentication.  It was a very nice setup, either server in the pair could
> serve the files,  and we made user login scripts mount the shares from
> whichever server reponded first.  When we had to take the primary server
> down for maintenance,  we switched the login script to point them to the
> secondary server's shares,  had them log out and back in. While they worked
> happily off of the secondary server,  we did a half day's worth of
> maintenance on the primary server without affecting the users.  When we were
> done,  we put the login script back the way it was before,  and the next
> time they logged out  and back in,  they were again pointed to the primary
> server with the secondary as a backup.
> Even after demonstrating how nice my configuration was and how seemlessly we
> were able to do maintenance without affecting users,  management  and the
> two NT guys I work with were still sold on using the Windows native server.
> They claimed that it was cheaper to buy the hardware and easier to manage
> permissions and file access rights with the native equipment (of course,
> they are PC guys).  My argument was that we could probably achieve the same
> file access flexibility with UNIX ACLs (which previous staff had not enabled
> on the UNIX side),  and that the UNIX machines use RISC-based processors,  a
> completely different animal than the GHZ pentium processors,  so they would
> really have to come up with some benchmarks to compare the two systems.
> They also weren't originally going to accommodate any easy file
> interoperability with the UNIX users,  they were going to make them use FTP
> to move files between the UNIX machine and the windows server, and I argued
> that this was removing capability that users were accustomed to having,  not
> a real crowd pleasing decision.  
> Now they are experimenting with Microsoft SFU to make the Windows box allow
> the UNIX machine to NFS mount its shares,  and I have to say it does seem to
> work pretty well.  It tied right into NIS nicely, automatically mapped
> matching usernames on either side, allows me to define mappings with
> usernames that do not match, etc.  But it still digs in my crawl though that
> I never even got a chance to show what my cluster could do for them until
> after management had already decided to buy the windows server, and even
> after a nice demonstration of the UNIX cluster's capabilities,  they are
> still sold (arbitrarily) on using the native Windows box.     
> How can I compare the performance of the two servers?  Many of you started
> out with Windows servers and migrated to samba to get better performance,
> but  my collegues have done the opposite.  Am I blindly biased that UNIX is
> better or is there a way I can get some real numbers to prove that te
> windows server  is a slower file server?
> The guys are always weighing the cost and ease of management against the
> difference in performance (if there isn't much difference in performance,
> go with what is cheaper and simpler to manage),  and for them that is the
> PC-native stuff.  I feel like my UNIX skills are slowly getting pushed aside
> and I'm not sure how to get real performance metrics.
> Help, feedback,  condolences are all welcome.  
> 	karen
Simo Sorce - simo.sorce at xsec.it
Xsec s.r.l.
via Durando 10 Ed. G - 20158 - Milano
tel. +39 02 2399 7130 - fax: +39 02 700 442 399
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