NFS vs Samba newbie question - NFS

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  1. NFS vs Samba newbie question

    I am looking for insights into what the best low cost or license free
    way to have basic file and print services in a small (3-15 pc) office
    setting.

    The idea is to set up a central server with some apps and the data that
    needs regular backing up. Rather than have this be a Microsoft server,
    I thought I could use either FreeBSD, or a Linux distro to host Samba or
    NFS.

    The clients will be mostly winxp desktops for now, and may be Linux
    desktops in the future.

    The desktops will need access to the server volumes, and perhaps (but
    not required)access to each other's hard drives.

    Phase one of this project is just to have shared volumes for a central
    backup

    Phase two will be to have a stable platform so that office applications
    like Peachtree Accounting and UPS shipping software can be installed on
    the server and then used from multiple PC's.

    I am confused about whether I need NFS, Samba, or both? Or am I setting
    myself up for a long nightmare and should I cough up the Microsoft
    licensing fees, since I know that platform much better???

    I am technical from a hardware , networking and Microsoft standpoint,
    but a newbie to FreeBSD/Linux/Samba/NFS.

    Any insights you folks have would be wonderful.

    Jon in Milwaukee




  2. Re: NFS vs Samba newbie question

    On Sun, 28 Aug 2005 20:52:00 -0500, Jon Wallace
    wrote:

    >I am looking for insights into what the best low cost or license free
    >way to have basic file and print services in a small (3-15 pc) office
    >setting.
    >
    >The idea is to set up a central server with some apps and the data that
    >needs regular backing up. Rather than have this be a Microsoft server,
    >I thought I could use either FreeBSD, or a Linux distro to host Samba or
    >NFS.
    >
    >The clients will be mostly winxp desktops for now, and may be Linux
    >desktops in the future.
    >
    >The desktops will need access to the server volumes, and perhaps (but
    >not required)access to each other's hard drives.
    >
    >Phase one of this project is just to have shared volumes for a central
    >backup
    >
    >Phase two will be to have a stable platform so that office applications
    >like Peachtree Accounting and UPS shipping software can be installed on
    >the server and then used from multiple PC's.
    >
    >I am confused about whether I need NFS, Samba, or both? Or am I setting
    >myself up for a long nightmare and should I cough up the Microsoft
    >licensing fees, since I know that platform much better???
    >
    >I am technical from a hardware , networking and Microsoft standpoint,
    >but a newbie to FreeBSD/Linux/Samba/NFS.
    >
    >Any insights you folks have would be wonderful.
    >
    >Jon in Milwaukee
    >
    >

    I apparently don't know much about MS and licensing since I can't
    figure out from your post what you need to license from them.

    But the idea of trying to force a Linux or BSD solution into what
    appears to be an all MS shop is probably not a good idea.

    I would suggest just go with MS, but again, I don't understanding the
    licensing issues.

    ~F

  3. Re: NFS vs Samba newbie question

    Faeandar wrote:
    > On Sun, 28 Aug 2005 20:52:00 -0500, Jon Wallace
    > wrote:
    >
    >
    >>I am looking for insights into what the best low cost or license free
    >>way to have basic file and print services in a small (3-15 pc) office
    >>setting.
    >>
    >>The idea is to set up a central server with some apps and the data that
    >>needs regular backing up. Rather than have this be a Microsoft server,
    >>I thought I could use either FreeBSD, or a Linux distro to host Samba or
    >>NFS.
    >>
    >>The clients will be mostly winxp desktops for now, and may be Linux
    >>desktops in the future.
    >>
    >>The desktops will need access to the server volumes, and perhaps (but
    >>not required)access to each other's hard drives.
    >>
    >>Phase one of this project is just to have shared volumes for a central
    >>backup
    >>
    >>Phase two will be to have a stable platform so that office applications
    >>like Peachtree Accounting and UPS shipping software can be installed on
    >>the server and then used from multiple PC's.
    >>
    >>I am confused about whether I need NFS, Samba, or both? Or am I setting
    >>myself up for a long nightmare and should I cough up the Microsoft
    >>licensing fees, since I know that platform much better???
    >>
    >>I am technical from a hardware , networking and Microsoft standpoint,
    >>but a newbie to FreeBSD/Linux/Samba/NFS.
    >>
    >>Any insights you folks have would be wonderful.
    >>
    >>Jon in Milwaukee
    >>
    >>

    >
    > I apparently don't know much about MS and licensing since I can't
    > figure out from your post what you need to license from them.
    >
    > But the idea of trying to force a Linux or BSD solution into what
    > appears to be an all MS shop is probably not a good idea.
    >
    > I would suggest just go with MS, but again, I don't understanding the
    > licensing issues.
    >
    > ~F


    I was just referring to the cost of the server software, the annual
    maintenance, and the cost of the client access licenses. All told, you
    need to pay microsoft about $1,000 and $300 annually to have a 5 person
    server and network.

  4. Re: NFS vs Samba newbie question


    "Jon Wallace" wrote in message
    news:fbac$43126a41$44a52f49$3364@msgid.meganewsser vers.com...
    >I am looking for insights into what the best low cost or license free way
    >to have basic file and print services in a small (3-15 pc) office setting.
    >
    > The idea is to set up a central server with some apps and the data that
    > needs regular backing up. Rather than have this be a Microsoft server, I
    > thought I could use either FreeBSD, or a Linux distro to host Samba or
    > NFS.
    >
    > The clients will be mostly winxp desktops for now, and may be Linux
    > desktops in the future.
    >
    > The desktops will need access to the server volumes, and perhaps (but not
    > required)access to each other's hard drives.
    >
    > Phase one of this project is just to have shared volumes for a central
    > backup
    >
    > Phase two will be to have a stable platform so that office applications
    > like Peachtree Accounting and UPS shipping software can be installed on
    > the server and then used from multiple PC's.
    >
    > I am confused about whether I need NFS, Samba, or both? Or am I setting
    > myself up for a long nightmare and should I cough up the Microsoft
    > licensing fees, since I know that platform much better???
    >
    > I am technical from a hardware , networking and Microsoft standpoint, but
    > a newbie to FreeBSD/Linux/Samba/NFS.
    >
    > Any insights you folks have would be wonderful.
    >
    > Jon in Milwaukee
    >
    >
    >


    Jon,

    Given your description of the environment.... Sounds like
    all you need is a Samba server. This fits well with Microsoft
    Windows clients and can provide file services as well
    as print services.

    I would recommend that you avoid introducing NFS
    in a Windows shop. This would likely take you down
    the SFU ( Services for Unix ) path. This is not a very easy
    path to take for several reasons. A) It's not supported by
    Microsoft. B) It's very hard to get any answers to any
    questions, should you have any problems. C) You don't
    need NFS as Samab fits better and does what you need.
    D) Mixing NFS and Samba is not wise. The file locking
    and coherency mechanisms are not very pretty.

    I would recommend a Linux solution for your server
    due to licensing costs and flexibility. But, having said that
    you should be aware that I'm a Linux user and have
    Linux servers in my house. The Linux boxes here provide
    file services, print services, DHCP, DNS, automated
    backups, Firewalls, Radius authentication, Web server,
    and VPNs. The majority of the home users (wife, kids, friends)
    all use Windows clients that are on the private LAN, and rely on
    the Linux servers to provide the infrastructure and backbone.
    I use Windows (95,98,Me,NT,XP, 2k), and Linux (Redhat,
    Debian, Suse, Knoppix, Mandrake) and Unix (Solaris, BSD,
    HP-UX) desktops.
    All of the Linux server functions could also be achieved with a
    Microsoft solution, but I have chosen a Linux solution
    and have been happy with it for many years.

    Enjoy,
    Postmaster.



  5. Re: NFS vs Samba newbie question

    Postmaster wrote:
    > "Jon Wallace" wrote in message
    > news:fbac$43126a41$44a52f49$3364@msgid.meganewsser vers.com...
    >
    >>I am looking for insights into what the best low cost or license free way
    >>to have basic file and print services in a small (3-15 pc) office setting.
    >>
    >>The idea is to set up a central server with some apps and the data that
    >>needs regular backing up. Rather than have this be a Microsoft server, I
    >>thought I could use either FreeBSD, or a Linux distro to host Samba or
    >>NFS.
    >>
    >>The clients will be mostly winxp desktops for now, and may be Linux
    >>desktops in the future.
    >>
    >>The desktops will need access to the server volumes, and perhaps (but not
    >>required)access to each other's hard drives.
    >>
    >>Phase one of this project is just to have shared volumes for a central
    >>backup
    >>
    >>Phase two will be to have a stable platform so that office applications
    >>like Peachtree Accounting and UPS shipping software can be installed on
    >>the server and then used from multiple PC's.
    >>
    >>I am confused about whether I need NFS, Samba, or both? Or am I setting
    >>myself up for a long nightmare and should I cough up the Microsoft
    >>licensing fees, since I know that platform much better???
    >>
    >>I am technical from a hardware , networking and Microsoft standpoint, but
    >>a newbie to FreeBSD/Linux/Samba/NFS.
    >>
    >>Any insights you folks have would be wonderful.
    >>
    >>Jon in Milwaukee
    >>
    >>
    >>

    >
    >
    > Jon,
    >
    > Given your description of the environment.... Sounds like
    > all you need is a Samba server. This fits well with Microsoft
    > Windows clients and can provide file services as well
    > as print services.
    >
    > I would recommend that you avoid introducing NFS
    > in a Windows shop. This would likely take you down
    > the SFU ( Services for Unix ) path. This is not a very easy
    > path to take for several reasons. A) It's not supported by
    > Microsoft. B) It's very hard to get any answers to any
    > questions, should you have any problems. C) You don't
    > need NFS as Samab fits better and does what you need.
    > D) Mixing NFS and Samba is not wise. The file locking
    > and coherency mechanisms are not very pretty.
    >
    > I would recommend a Linux solution for your server
    > due to licensing costs and flexibility. But, having said that
    > you should be aware that I'm a Linux user and have
    > Linux servers in my house. The Linux boxes here provide
    > file services, print services, DHCP, DNS, automated
    > backups, Firewalls, Radius authentication, Web server,
    > and VPNs. The majority of the home users (wife, kids, friends)
    > all use Windows clients that are on the private LAN, and rely on
    > the Linux servers to provide the infrastructure and backbone.
    > I use Windows (95,98,Me,NT,XP, 2k), and Linux (Redhat,
    > Debian, Suse, Knoppix, Mandrake) and Unix (Solaris, BSD,
    > HP-UX) desktops.
    > All of the Linux server functions could also be achieved with a
    > Microsoft solution, but I have chosen a Linux solution
    > and have been happy with it for many years.
    >
    > Enjoy,
    > Postmaster.
    >
    >

    Thanks postmaster - this is just the kind of insight I was hoping to
    get. Now I am just back to the same quandary everyone else in the world
    is asking themselves...Which Distro?

    So can I ask a few more things? Actually, these are just my insights,
    and I would be interested in your reaction to them.

    I want the server I chose to perform well as a server - I don't want 5
    users tapping it out as a file & print server. So....

    UBUNTU, Debian, SUSE all seem to have install option that ask if you are
    going to use it as a desktop versus a server. So does that make these
    better choices as servers. Or do all distros do that and I just have
    not researched them enough?

    Then again, just because they ask the question does not necessarily mean
    that its server install will be any more efficient than another distro's
    desktop.

    From what I have read, it seems that there is NOT a major fork in the
    road of Linux distros that focuses strongly on issues like processor
    efficiency or TCP/IP networking loads. So looking at my distro choice
    from the viewpoint of which is going to be a higher performing server is
    probably just not a constructive path.

    IF there is no real distinctions in distros from the standpoint of how
    they work as a server...I might as well pick the one I want to use as a
    desktop...and use that for the server as well -

    Or, IF all distro's are going to make equally good (from a performance
    standpoint) options as a server, then maybe I should go with a distro
    like CentOS because of its longer life cycle and support cycle. Or
    Suse because Novell is backing it - so it gives me reason to believe it
    will continue to have a strong server focus.

    I know at some point soon I just have to jump in and try a few...but if
    anything in my decision process is ringing true of false, I would love
    to hear some validation - or be corrected - before I dive into the deep
    end of the pool.


    Thanks

  6. Re: NFS vs Samba newbie question


    "Jon Wallace" wrote in message
    news:e44ee$4313e044$44a52f49$2102@msgid.meganewsse rvers.com...
    > Postmaster wrote:
    >> "Jon Wallace" wrote in message
    >> news:fbac$43126a41$44a52f49$3364@msgid.meganewsser vers.com...
    >>
    >>>I am looking for insights into what the best low cost or license free way
    >>>to have basic file and print services in a small (3-15 pc) office
    >>>setting.
    >>>
    >>>The idea is to set up a central server with some apps and the data that
    >>>needs regular backing up. Rather than have this be a Microsoft server, I
    >>>thought I could use either FreeBSD, or a Linux distro to host Samba or
    >>>NFS.
    >>>
    >>>The clients will be mostly winxp desktops for now, and may be Linux
    >>>desktops in the future.
    >>>
    >>>The desktops will need access to the server volumes, and perhaps (but not
    >>>required)access to each other's hard drives.
    >>>
    >>>Phase one of this project is just to have shared volumes for a central
    >>>backup
    >>>
    >>>Phase two will be to have a stable platform so that office applications
    >>>like Peachtree Accounting and UPS shipping software can be installed on
    >>>the server and then used from multiple PC's.
    >>>
    >>>I am confused about whether I need NFS, Samba, or both? Or am I setting
    >>>myself up for a long nightmare and should I cough up the Microsoft
    >>>licensing fees, since I know that platform much better???
    >>>
    >>>I am technical from a hardware , networking and Microsoft standpoint, but
    >>>a newbie to FreeBSD/Linux/Samba/NFS.
    >>>
    >>>Any insights you folks have would be wonderful.
    >>>
    >>>Jon in Milwaukee
    >>>
    >>>
    >>>

    >>
    >>
    >> Jon,
    >>
    >> Given your description of the environment.... Sounds like
    >> all you need is a Samba server. This fits well with Microsoft
    >> Windows clients and can provide file services as well
    >> as print services.
    >>
    >> I would recommend that you avoid introducing NFS
    >> in a Windows shop. This would likely take you down
    >> the SFU ( Services for Unix ) path. This is not a very easy
    >> path to take for several reasons. A) It's not supported by
    >> Microsoft. B) It's very hard to get any answers to any
    >> questions, should you have any problems. C) You don't
    >> need NFS as Samab fits better and does what you need.
    >> D) Mixing NFS and Samba is not wise. The file locking
    >> and coherency mechanisms are not very pretty.
    >>
    >> I would recommend a Linux solution for your server
    >> due to licensing costs and flexibility. But, having said that
    >> you should be aware that I'm a Linux user and have
    >> Linux servers in my house. The Linux boxes here provide
    >> file services, print services, DHCP, DNS, automated
    >> backups, Firewalls, Radius authentication, Web server,
    >> and VPNs. The majority of the home users (wife, kids, friends)
    >> all use Windows clients that are on the private LAN, and rely on
    >> the Linux servers to provide the infrastructure and backbone.
    >> I use Windows (95,98,Me,NT,XP, 2k), and Linux (Redhat,
    >> Debian, Suse, Knoppix, Mandrake) and Unix (Solaris, BSD,
    >> HP-UX) desktops.
    >> All of the Linux server functions could also be achieved with a
    >> Microsoft solution, but I have chosen a Linux solution
    >> and have been happy with it for many years.
    >>
    >> Enjoy,
    >> Postmaster.

    > Thanks postmaster - this is just the kind of insight I was hoping to get.
    > Now I am just back to the same quandary everyone else in the world is
    > asking themselves...Which Distro?
    >
    > So can I ask a few more things? Actually, these are just my insights, and
    > I would be interested in your reaction to them.
    >
    > I want the server I chose to perform well as a server - I don't want 5
    > users tapping it out as a file & print server. So....
    >
    > UBUNTU, Debian, SUSE all seem to have install option that ask if you are
    > going to use it as a desktop versus a server. So does that make these
    > better choices as servers. Or do all distros do that and I just have not
    > researched them enough?
    >
    > Then again, just because they ask the question does not necessarily mean
    > that its server install will be any more efficient than another distro's
    > desktop.
    >
    > From what I have read, it seems that there is NOT a major fork in the road
    > of Linux distros that focuses strongly on issues like processor efficiency
    > or TCP/IP networking loads. So looking at my distro choice from the
    > viewpoint of which is going to be a higher performing server is probably
    > just not a constructive path.
    >
    > IF there is no real distinctions in distros from the standpoint of how
    > they work as a server...I might as well pick the one I want to use as a
    > desktop...and use that for the server as well -
    >
    > Or, IF all distro's are going to make equally good (from a performance
    > standpoint) options as a server, then maybe I should go with a distro like
    > CentOS because of its longer life cycle and support cycle. Or Suse
    > because Novell is backing it - so it gives me reason to believe it will
    > continue to have a strong server focus.
    >
    > I know at some point soon I just have to jump in and try a few...but if
    > anything in my decision process is ringing true of false, I would love to
    > hear some validation - or be corrected - before I dive into the deep end
    > of the pool.
    >
    >
    > Thanks


    Jon,

    Choosing a distro is generally based on many factors. Here
    are just a few:

    1. Site requirements.
    2. Support contracts.
    3. Functionality.
    4. Stability
    5. Extensibility.
    6. Interoperability.
    7. Security.
    8. Training, (for sustainability)
    9. Costs ( front load, and fco) 'fco=fixed cost of operation'
    10. Political ramifications and costs. ( if in a mixed vendor env )
    11. Ease of use.
    12. Equipment requirements. (some distros may not work on
    some hardware)

    Each Linux distro has it's pros and cons. The choice of which
    is best for you, is more complex than just a simple "I like this one"
    could satisfy.

    Each Linux distro has a following. To praise any one in
    particular, in a newsgroup, invites a flame war, followed
    shortly by trolls.

    My advice to you... write down your list of requirements, then
    pick a set of distros and give each a whirl. Which ever one
    meets all of your requirements, and makes your users happy, is the
    correct choice.

    Enjoy,
    Postmaster




  7. Re: NFS vs Samba newbie question

    Jon Wallace wrote:
    > I am looking for insights into what the best low cost or license free
    > way to have basic file and print services in a small (3-15 pc) office
    > setting.
    >
    > The idea is to set up a central server with some apps and the data that
    > needs regular backing up. Rather than have this be a Microsoft server,
    > I thought I could use either FreeBSD, or a Linux distro to host Samba or
    > NFS.
    >
    > The clients will be mostly winxp desktops for now, and may be Linux
    > desktops in the future.


    Generally speaking, it is best to go with the protocol that the
    clients speak natively. It is harder to wedge in non-native
    client support than non-native server support. So in your case,
    with Windows used SMB/CIFS. If Linux becomes a significant desktop
    usage, consider NFS.

    > I am confused about whether I need NFS, Samba, or both? Or am I setting
    > myself up for a long nightmare and should I cough up the Microsoft
    > licensing fees, since I know that platform much better???


    I don't know anything about Microsoft licensing. If you go with the
    native client protocol you probably already have the client
    side licenses. Choice of server will dictate your server license
    costs, from free to lots of money.

    > I am technical from a hardware , networking and Microsoft standpoint,
    > but a newbie to FreeBSD/Linux/Samba/NFS.


    Based on what you describe, you should go with a CIFS server, from
    which you have the following obvious choices:
    1) Buy a server version of Microsoft software and run it on
    some x86 hardware. Unknown licensing costs but everything
    should work very well.
    2) Acquire a version of Linux/FreeBSD/Solaris and run Samba on
    some x86 hardware. Software costs will range from zero if you
    build it all from source yourself, to some sizeable amount
    if you buy a prebuilt supported distribution. You will not
    get 100% compatability and some things like Active Directory
    may not work well.
    3) Acquire a NAS appliance from one of the many vendors and
    get a turnkey solution. The cost will include the hardware
    which may matter if you already have that. Overall it will
    cost more, be more compatable than #2, and have the least
    human costs.

    -David

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