Samba serves as an open source alternative to the traditional domain controller offered by Microsoft.
Alternatives to Samba
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Overall Opinion: The notion of a domain controller may not mean much to the average layman, but it's a critical component of any IT professional's tool kit. When businesses want to run multiple machines on a network, they need to make sure that these networks are protected from external intrusion and that information is properly compartmentalized as an internal safeguard. This is where domain controllers come in. Windows NT makes use of domains, which provide passwords and usernames to members of the network and allow administrators to control what controls, machines, and systems they have access to in a network. For the most part, Windows has a lock on the domain controllers of Windows NT servers, but Samba has offered a UNIX-based alternative for over two decades. While it still doesn't have the same level of polish or functionality that Windows DCs do, it does offer an open source alternative to the more rigid Microsoft solution and allows smoother integration with machines that don't run off of Windows. This may make it a preferable choice for administrators working in a UNIX based environment that contains Mac OS or Windows OS computers. Samba gives administrators control over authentication, printing, and file management functions throughout their network. As an emulator, Samba manages to successfully emulate most of the features you'd find in a Windows domain controller. An antitrust settlement against Microsoft in 2007 further opened up the potential in the Samba system, allowing it to work as an active directory domain controller. While some features aren't fully functioning, it's stable enough to work in a development environment. This was a big win, allowing Samba to work with more complex systems and integrated directly with Microsoft's Active Domain databases. As a result, administrators can have more complex control of how they remotely store directories and files. Samba also integrates smoothly with Kerberos working environments. Moving, updating, and syncing files is a relatively painless affair, drawing from CLI commands that Linux or UNIX users will be familiar with. Print functions are equally versatile. When you link up Samba to your network, you can make use of your printers regardless of the operating systems being used, and you can hook up multiple printers to give you control of your entire office space. Administration settings allow you to determine what sort of privileges your members have access to, and the ability to create distinct and versatile work groups makes management much simpler. Samba can't quite compete with Windows for the quality of its domain controllers, but as far as available emulators, it's quite possible the best around. You're unlikely to find a more reliable solution for mixed use systems, and its open source structure and continuing development means it's only going to become more effective over time.
Pros: Long legacy of controller domain emulation Works across a wide range of operating systems Open source structure allows anyone to update or configure it
Cons: Still doesn't work as effectively as a Windows domain controller Small freelance development team means updates are slow
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This page was composed by Alternative.me and published by Alternative.me. It was created at 2018-04-29 07:28:51 and last edited by Alternative.me at 2020-03-06 07:51:09. This page has been viewed 2658 times.