[Samba] Need some honest feedback for my project

Jason Williams jwilliams at courtesymortgage.com
Tue Jun 29 18:10:27 GMT 2004

Hey everyone. I need some feedback and suggestions on where to take a 
project I am working on.
Reason I am asking here is that the ultimate decision will be mine when we 
decide, and I need to make sure I make the right decision.

We are trying to decide on a solution for our company. We are currently a 
company of 40 employees running as a workgroup. We are going to grow to 
over 100 employees over the next 2 years. We would like to make the 
transition to a Domain setup, with the option of using a Domain controller 
of some sort. I know that samba can easily be setup to be a PDC with 
different options to hold user accounts.  However, our solution will 
require a few more needs that we would like to be filled.

First, I should say that I have worked with samba for some time now and 
really like it. It is my first choice anytime I need to roll out a file and 
print server or a PDC. It is very reliable and stable, which is why it has 
always been a preferred solution when I can implement it.

For our current situation, we are currently considering using a Samba PDC 
with LDAP on the backend for or corporate network. We are also looking to 
open up multiple branch offices in the next 5 years (total of 20). With 
that in mind, it is very important that we keep data syncd between the 
servers at the corporate office as well as servers needed at the Branch 

Other items that we would like to implement:

-roaming profiles
-high security level (for example, log on hours)
-remote management ability (of servers, etc.)
-ability to setup 'policies' of some sort to push out to office(s) (group 
this can do this, but not this for example)
-option to roll out software to computers remotely, patch updates (push 
software out fo a branch office from the corporate office)
-desktop management (not really samba thing...)
-user management (obviously), management of users at branch offices, access 
to resources, group usage, etc.

As you can see, we are trying to setup a solid infrastructure for our 
company and then continue to work with it as we open up branch offices in 
the future. I know some of the things listed above are not samba specific, 
but they are options we would like to implement.

We are looking at two solutions right now:

-samba as a PDC with LDAP
-Novell, using Netware with eDirectory

No Windows solution at all as we run a mix of Windows desktops and servers 
and UNIX/Linux servers with a few workstations. Im not much of a Windows 
fan and do not want to work with nor pay for Active Directory.

I realize that there is quite a difference in choosing between Samba and 
Novell, the biggest one being cost. I realize that. That is why I am trying 
to gather all the information that I can before I make this decision.

With what I have listed above, anyone feel like giving me their feedback on 
this? What they think? What they suggest? You can email the list, or me 
personally as I don't mind.

I appreciate everyone's time and feedback on this. It is a big decision 
that I will need to make here soon.



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