mac in a windows corporate environment

Discussion in 'macOS' started by Greebazoid, Sep 21, 2006.

  1. Greebazoid macrumors regular

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    #1
    So I work in a wall-to-wall windoze environment. Exchange for mail, calendars, windows shares for public folders, windows network printers - the list goes on.

    However, being as I am, I'm going to replace my aging AMD desktop with a MacBookPro.

    Any of you have any experience in fitting a mac into the world of windows?

    I actually have to keep the old PC as there are some specific apps that require huge amounts of RAM (EMC's ECC, cisco's MDS9000 device and fabric managers) so will kill (I'm sure) Parallels. But apart from those particular apps, my goal is to get everything else running on the mac.

    Any advice?
     
  2. frankblundt macrumors 65816

    frankblundt

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    #2
    I've not had any big problems with it since Panther sorted out a lot of the networking issues - I could see and log onto most of the LAN, apart from the web server which used to be a fat IBM running Domino, which although you could get to it via Samba, all the files came up with chinese names?! Since it went to a Windows IIS box, i've not had any further issues.

    We use Notes for mail, the Mac version of which is a bit of a dog, but works.

    I VPN from home as well, which is mind-crushingly slow but works fine otherwise.

    Are there specific issues you have in mind?
     
  3. timnosenzo macrumors 6502a

    timnosenzo

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    #3
    I use a Mac at work in a total Windows environment. Networking is no problem with Windows servers, and I use Entourage for Exchange email and it works just like Outlook (meeting requests, address book, etc all work).
     
  4. Greebazoid thread starter macrumors regular

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    #4
    Good to hear.

    Specifically I'm concerned about Entourage's ability to fully integrate with Exchange

    Excel, word, powerpoint etc - all of those I have with my Office-for-Mac install. indeed, when I VPN in from home, its from the Mac there but I use the MS terminal session client and work remotely via my AMD box. So that route wont be available
     
  5. Greebazoid thread starter macrumors regular

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    #5
    now thats good news. Btw - do you run any java applications?
     
  6. Sesshi macrumors G3

    Sesshi

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    #6

    It depends on how Exchange is set up. Being extremely paranoid I have lots of features disabled on my Exchange cluster, which means Entourage doesn't work for me. Best to liase with your network admin and use the trial version of Office to make sure it works.

    However for general professional use I've found the Mac is actually more of a pain than an advantage, and this includes the inadequate engineering (in my opinion) of Mac hardware in comparison to many PC's. For work it's ended up not quite fitting in as I like you have PC-specific software which needs Parallels - and the effort to make it so results in some instances in a half-and-half solution that negates the 'just works' nature of the Mac. This balance will depend of course on how much you use the PC-only apps.

    For me, the bigger issue was the hardware and the support around the hardware. The machine is poorly engineered although very nicely designed, and is unsuited for intensive use. Support is at the top level of cheaper 'consumer' support offered by other major manufacturers, and is nowhere near the response level of e.g. Dell and HP's business support.

    As of now I have reassigned my MBP17" from the use I initially bought it for, which was to be my for-work transportable desktop. Now I have it as just a regular home machine (and will probably be superceded by a 24" iMac), and the HP NX9420 has taken over the role as transportable desktop. It's thicker and just a tad heavier, but in terms of product engineering the NX is in my experience far more deserving of a 'Pro' tag than the MBP.

    If I was making a recommend to someone, after my experiences I'd suggest they stick with the same... a lovely to use Mac for non-intensive home use / working via VPN/RDP, Windows/HP/Dell/Lenovo for business, with the addition of Sony if you want to be slightly more design-led.
     
  7. Greebazoid thread starter macrumors regular

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    #7
    wow - thats a damning set of statements there.

    The biggest issue I need to solve tho, is consolidating multiple computers. At present I have a mac at home and a PC at one customer site. My role is changing and I need to go to different customers, and often need to work from home. So I desperately need not to have work on different places - its already hurting mightily when I need something thats on another computer.

    True - there are less expensive ways of ensuring data portability (an ipod for eg) , but in truth, I'm also sick of The Windows Way and tired of one way of working at home and then switching in my brain to a different way at work.

    Perhaps I need to take a day and bring the mac mini in to work and see how compatible it really is..
     
  8. Mr Skills macrumors 6502a

    Mr Skills

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    #8
    What about installing Boot Camp and just using it as a Windows computer when you are at work?
     
  9. Greebazoid thread starter macrumors regular

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    #9
    I think thats a good compromise, but its still a compromise. First prize is to get the corporate stuff working on the mac with the specific app stuff confined to PC.

    I reckon, anyway
     
  10. Lollypop macrumors 6502a

    Lollypop

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    #10
    As much as I would love to say that the mac fits perfectly into a corporate environment it doesn't, we trailed the mac a while back, our environment isn't as industrial as yours so the design wasn't a issue, what was the issue was support for legacy applications (we have a ton of old command line Fortran stuff, vb.net and misc other windows stuff) as well as integration with our infrastructure, we could get all the office apps working, exchange worked, our other 3rd party apps had alternatives for the mac, but the back end support was a nightmare! Running a windows only operation we have a lot of money invested in windows only backends, security refused to support the macs because we didnt install norton antivirus on it (and norton didnt work with our NAV enterprise server) and they could push policies to the mac from our active directory domain controller, the tech support people didnt support it becuase they were jsut stupid and our patch management staff couldnt figure out how to push XP updates via M$ operations manager to the macs... (it cant btw) IF its a apple only environment adding another mac would be easy, but windows only environments have lots of problems, most are related to old windows only apps and the "not a microsoft product" mentality a lot of IT people have.
     
  11. timnosenzo macrumors 6502a

    timnosenzo

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    #11
    FWIW I've never had any issues with using a VPN connection with my office. In a previous job we used a Cisco client for VPN and it worked fine. I've also had to use the VPN dialer in OSX and never had any issues with that either.

    I have to whole-heartedly disagree with Sesshi--I definitely don't consider the Mac a burden in the office, quite the contrary really. Even in my personal life I am forced to use Windows for one specific app--does that mean I should have just gotten a PC because it would have been easier? Not in my book. I use Parrallels, and on my MBP it works fine.

    At my last job I to use MS RDC to access our sales system, which is something I would have had to do even if I used a PC. It's a free download from MS, and you may even want to consider using it for running Windows apps (if you have an extra PC you can stick under your desk). The PC needs to be running XP Pro though.

    The comment about poor engineering of Apple products is ridiculous IMHO as well. The Dell laptop I was given at my current job is JUNK. Its a as heavy as a brick, the screen doesn't stay closed, it feels like a toy--I would have taken a MB over it any day, and it couldn't hold a torch to my MBP...
     
  12. dsnort macrumors 68000

    dsnort

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    #12

    Here's a little article about the quality issue.

    http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,1895,2006499,00.asp

    And a couple of fun quotes from there-in:

    "Once again, Apple is at the top. Its overall score, 9.1, is significantly better than the average for Windows notebooks—and a full seven-tenths of a point better than Lenovo's overall score, 8.4. Its scores for reliability (9.2), tech support (8.5), and likelihood of recommending (9.4) are also significantly better than average. Yes, its score on percentage needing repair is merely average, but at 16 percent, it's the lowest of the survey (alongside Sony's 16 percent).


    Is this a function of that unique passion Apple users have for the company's products? Perhaps. But, again, it's hard to question the number of units needing repair. Among first-year systems, only 7 percent needed repair—2 points better than Sony."

    And:

    "Lenovo's notebook scores nearly match Apple's. Manufacturer of the popular IBM ThinkPad computers as well as a new line under its own brand name, Lenovo garners an overall score of 8.4—significantly better than average, as are its scores for reliability (8.6), tech support (7.8), repair (7.6), and likelihood of recommending (8.3).

    Of course, a higher percentage of Lenovo notebooks needed repair—19 percent, and that's right around the industry average—but among first-year notebooks, 14 percent needed repair. That's the second-worst rating among leading vendors (behind Gateway's 15 percent). Though still within the average range, 14 percent of new systems needing repair is hardly cause for pride."
     
  13. Sesshi macrumors G3

    Sesshi

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    #13
    What's the stat on business use, not personal? With a Windows laptop for personal use, you're going to frequently buy the cheapest machines with the lowest support level. With Apple you don't always get that option, because the cheapest machine Apple sells is a decent midranger elsewhere. Think about it.
     
  14. dsnort macrumors 68000

    dsnort

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    #14
    I did think about it. I also read up on it. You may find the results of the 2005 survey enlightening as they are more specific about the Thinkpads, which a lot of people hold up as a high water mark in laptop reliability:

    "Likewise, Lenovo can be pleased with the quality of its ThinkPad notebooks. Its notebook reliability score, 8.5, is significantly better than average. "The only exceptional thing is that it just works," says Charles McLaughlin. "Day after day. No problems." As a result, Lenovo's overall notebook rating, 8.4, is also significantly better than average. Among Windows notebooks, only Fujitsu scored as high. Interestingly, for a company that markets its notebooks primarily to the business segment, Lenovo's systems scored significantly better than average in the home market as well. It's not surprising, perhaps, that more expensive ThinkPads would outperform the no-frills value lines popular in the home market, but it is noteworthy that home users give their Lenovos even better ratings than business users do."

    Compared to Apples:

    "Apple's overall score for notebooks, 9.2, is just as high, ( as their desktop score ), and the rest are even further behind: IBM and Fujitsu are the closest, at 8.4."
     
  15. Sesshi macrumors G3

    Sesshi

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    #15
    As a poll of primarily domestic users, the survey is of doubtful trustworthiness. Indeed the survey itself points out that it is not a business survey. Fine, you love quoting figures without comparing the engineering of current Apples first-hand and getting a first-hand view of Apple's idea of business support vs others. In which case as I said, where are the general business user polls?

    As for my own experiences, I don't appreciate having to nursemaid primary machines for business and with exceptionally poor turnaround time in the case of repairs. I also don't appreciate that under heavy use the Macs have required repair in the first place. The only faultless Mac I've owned this year (3 iMacs + 2 Macbooks, all returned after several months of mounting frustration mainly on the Macbook side, MBP, Mini ) is a Mini, which happens to be the least-used machine since it's my living room 'HTPC'.

    The priorities are different: I don't care if the laptop is a little noisier if it works properly, in that I can use all it's power without odd burning smells emanating from it or the chassis changing shape. As much as I appreciate Mac styling, prettiness is far, far behind reliability, support and practicality for business use. And for that reason despite the inferiority of the OS my HP nx9420 has already proven more useful to me than the 17" MBP, and the Sony SZ2VP is more useful to me than a Macbook or a 15" Macbook Pro.

    For lighter home use I have absolutely no reservations whatsoever about recommending Macs. Perfect machines for this environment. And as I said, this is how I intend to partition their use for now.

    Far too many people who upgraded from basic Windoze machines get all shiny-eyed over the Mac experience without reconciling the fact that they have effectively paid for a premium PC (especially with Applecare), and judging it by the yardstick of their previous crappy machine is irrelevant. The experience of someone like me who always goes for near the top of the tree as far as Windows machines are concerned and is a 'tick all the boxes' kind of guy - i.e. probably a more typical equivalent buying pattern for an Apple buyer - has been somewhat different.
     
  16. dsnort macrumors 68000

    dsnort

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    #16
    Offer of proof? Do you have some evidence that the survey is untrustwothy? Something other than the fact that it doesn't support your premise?

    Or is it your contention that a laptop that has a lower reliability rating with "domestic users" will somehow become more reliable under the "strain" of use in a business setting?

    Actually, I do place more weight in third party research than the opinion of one person based, so far as I can tell, on anecdotal evidence of personal experience. Sorry, I'm just funny like that.

    Good question, where are they? I don't know, do you? If you can find them, then trot'em out. Until we see them, we're just quessing at that data.
     
  17. Greebazoid thread starter macrumors regular

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    #17
    sheeesh - handbags at ten paces ladies

    :)

    My own experiences with apple quality vs general PC'ness is that the apple is better built, as well supported (even here in deepest darkest africa) and thats before I get onto OS X vs 'doze.

    After extensive discussions yesterday (over fine wine at a vinyard in the sun, you really should visit Cape Town in spring) with an HP guy, I've decided I will get a MBP - will hold off for a week or two to see if the rumoured merom upgrade is gonna happen.

    thanks for the contribution to the debate tho.
     
  18. Sesshi macrumors G3

    Sesshi

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    #18
    *clutches handbag*
    Meow!


    Good luck. Hope you have better luck than I did. In fact, since I'll be buying another iMac or Mac Pro at least (once again for home use) I hope I do as well.
     
  19. dsnort macrumors 68000

    dsnort

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    #19
    Nuts, I knew I was going to regret getting a smaller purse.......:D

    Good luck with your purchase!

    And Sesshi, your signature, classic!
     
  20. tjwett macrumors 68000

    tjwett

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    #20
    Well, if you want to link up with and use the Exchange server than you can just use Entourage and you're good to go. The setup is very simple. As for getting on the network, you can just enable and authenticate to Active Directory from the Directory Access app.
     
  21. beatsme macrumors 65816

    beatsme

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    #21
    it depends on what you're doing. I worked in a semi-integrated Mac/PC environment. Email worked well enough through Entourage/Exchange Server, though we discovered that MSOffice for Mac and MSOffice for PC don't always play nicely together q.v. once a PC saved an Excel file that had been created on the Mac, Mac users were no longer able to open it. It was not an "access denied" issue, but rather a "when we try to open the file, the application crashes" issue. It got to be rather inconvenient.

    Active Directory is another story. This link would probably be helpful, though I think it only applies to Server 2003, so if your network is running at a lower functional domain level I dunno what the deal would be.
     

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