[Samba] samba and windows

Jason Balicki kodak at frontierhomemortgage.com
Fri Apr 2 15:56:37 GMT 2004

>MS is easier to administrate

I take issue with this point.  While I agree that someone
without a *nix background would find Samba difficult, it's
no more difficult than learning to properly administer a
Windows server.  Even though Windows Server 2003 is built
around a GUI paradigm, it's quite difficult to troubleshoot
and fix problems without a good, solid, working understanding
of the underlying OS -- and you don't get that by osmosis.
By that I mean, just because someone may have been using Windows
for a long time, the ability to administer it doesn't follow.

It's hard work to properly administer any server, and I would
even go so far as to say it's easier to wrongly administer
a Windows server, due to the apparent "ease of use" factor.

Samba's simple INI-like directive structure is easy to understand:
parameter=value.  Granted there are lots and lots of parameters
and values and combinations thereof, but it's reasonably well

Back to answering the original posters question:  there ARE
a few disadvantages to a Samba infrastructure, though I have
to say many of them are not the fault of Samba.

One minus:  .Net.  I run a network for a small Mortgage company,
and the software we use to run that company is converting to a
.Net infrastructure.  Currently, I don't have any Windows servers,
so if we decide to run that software we'll have to purchase a
lot of Microsoft servers (AD controller, SQL server, etc....)
Granted, I could shoehorn in a Samba server as a file and print
server, but, really, what's another $600 or so for another server
license when we're purchasing that much?  
Is it worth the headache of getting winbind et. al. up and running?
To each his own, of course, but keep in mind that many, many software
development houses have bought into the .Net mindset and will be
spewing out software that requires this infrastructure.

Two minus:  Samba as it exists does not emulate any existing version
of Windows server -- it implements the CIFS protocol.  This is
a small but important distinction.  You may have some small
bits of weirdness in some applications.  For example:
We have a document imaging program that scans into a database.
The developer recently added the ability to import PDF files
into the database as well (we receive house appraisals in PDF
format, previously we had to print the appraisals and then
scan them in....)  The problem was that the developer didn't
bother to sort the list of files in the import dialog, so a user
had to search from a list of thousands of PDFs for one particular
PDF.  The issue was that when filenames are returned across a
network from an NTFS based Windows server they are in alphabetical
order.  Not so with Samba (or Windows 9x for that matter.)  The
developer didn't realize this, so didn't sort the files.  This
was a huge issue with us (especially when the developer --
at first -- refused to sort the files.)

Three minus:  the Samba developers are stark-raving mad.  Complete
nutcases.  Network sniffing (much like glue sniffing) will do
this to you over time.  I don't expect them to be able to continue
to do their thing as the years go on.  Why, I hear some of them
mumble about the "army of advancing aardvarks" while they
chew on their keyboards.  I want April Fools to last all month.


More information about the samba mailing list