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View Poll Results: Which of these do you think is the best solution for mixed enviroment?
Shared network/Basic file sharing 0 0%
Virtualization & Boot Camp 1 20.00%
Remote Acesss 0 0%
Windows server/Active Directory 0 0%
OS X Server/Open Directory 1 20.00%
Windows Server & Mac OS X Server 3 60.00%
Other solutions 0 0%
Voters: 5. You may not vote on this poll

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Old Jun 22, 2013, 03:58 AM   #1
kenny01
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Location: Gold Coast, Australia
Mixed enviroment (Windows & OS X)

Hey, I need some help. I think this might be an interesting discussion to have here and might actually help someone else in same situation. I've identified a number of ways how to integrate windows & mac computers into a network, this means it's mixed environment OS X and Windows only. Let me just pin point that it's for a enterprise network.

Here comes a definition of enterprise network from technopedia.com
Quote:
An enterprise network is an enterprise's communications backbone that helps connect computers and related devices across departments and workgroup networks, facilitating insight and data accessibility. An enterprise network reduces communication protocols, facilitating system and device interoperability, as well as improved internal and external enterprise data management.
Can we have a discussion on which of these identified options in your opinion the best and possibly naming a few pros and cons? Or possibly if you have similar setup running share your experience? Your help would be greatly appreciated.

I've identified following options how to do such setup.

1. Shared network/Basic file sharing
Sharing network resources just using AFP/SMB protocol
2. Virtualization & Boot Camp
Having Windows in Virtual Machine/Natively running on a Mac and accessing the network resources from the Windows which would be tied to an Windows server AD.
3. Remote Acesss
Accessing a remote computer which would be used to access the network. (could be either windows/os x running on remote computer)
4. Windows server/Active Directory
OS X workstation can be added to an Active Directory. This means unified user logins, however almost no security (policies) management over os x systems via windows server tools, unless third party solution like Centrify is used.
5. OS X Server/Open Directory
Windows can be added to an Open Directory. However likewise there would be no control over windows stations as OS X Server tools don't support group policy management tools and I'm unaware of third party solution to this.
6. Windows Server & Mac OS X Server
This solution is referred to as "Magic or Golden Triangle" or "Dual Directory". Having two separate server is the network which would be serving for it's workstations e.g. Windows Server to Windows Workstations, OS X Server to OS X Clients.
7. Other solutions
  • Novell Kanaka
Thank you very much again for your opinions & help!

- John.
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Old Jun 27, 2013, 01:47 AM   #2
WAM2
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I'm in the same boat.

I have a count of 3 PC's and 3 Mac's on a network, along side 4 iPhones, a 5th Gen iPod Touch, and an iPad Mini.

I am leaning twords OS X Server with Open Directory, which can tie into Active Directory on windows clients.
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Old Jun 29, 2013, 12:29 AM   #3
Les Kern
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I manage 1200 macs and maybe 30 PCs, with about 200 running Boot Camp. I used to use Active Directory. Overly complex, wasteful. I still use a little Open Directory, but not much. I use Remote Access but only I use it for maintenance and security. In almost 20 years here I long ago discovered that simple is better. Just because you can doesn't mean you should. These pages are rife with examples of how clever people think they are when all they are doing is adding a level of complexity that is unnecessary at best, destroying any productivity at worst.
A good server setup with shared resources is the way to go. Spend your time productive instead of tinkering/fixing/cursing/killing. You can make IT a bottomless pit of despair or a welcome companion.
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Old Jul 1, 2013, 04:58 PM   #4
Mr Rabbit
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Les Kern View Post
You can make IT a bottomless pit of despair or a welcome companion.
I love this quote.


Quote:
Originally Posted by kenny01 View Post

5. OS X Server/Open Directory
Windows can be added to an Open Directory. However likewise there would be no control over windows stations as OS X Server tools don't support group policy management tools and I'm unaware of third party solution to this.
It's my understanding that Win 7 and above can no longer bind into an open directory, be it from Apple or other offerings. It's been a couple of months since I heavily researched it but they dropped support for open directories with Windows 7, forcing directory management to Active Directory. I was (and still am) in a situation where one of our remote offices has a Mac server running 10.7 but 25 of the 27 clients are either Windows XP or Windows 7. Rather than replace the server with a Windows box I've been trying to find a solution that would allow them to manage users from the existing Mac server but have come up dry aside from some hit or miss plugin type solutions on the clients end. I'd love to hear some someone chime in with a simple solution that I could implement without flying out and spending 48 hours onsite to bind the Windows 7 boxes to the Mac server.

With that said, at our main office I manage about 140 Macs (alongside 350 PCs that I don't directly support) that are all bound to both our 2007 Server through Active Directory and our 10.8 server via Open Directory. The setup works reasonably well with the only consistent headache arising when passwords are updated and keychain doesn't update automatically. That is more of a user training issue though and admittedly it's not that frequent any more.
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