Lion Server and Windows Server 2003

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Server, Xserve, and Networking' started by rabidengineer, Jan 12, 2012.

  1. rabidengineer macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2012
    #1
    Hi all

    I have a client who has an existing Windows Server 2003, quite a few Windows machines and four Mac machines.

    The problem is the Mac's are now running 10.6 and Office 2011, but the Win server is running Exchange 2003 as well. As this doesn't run Exchange Web Services, Outlook 2011 gives a lot of headaches. I have used the DavMail application but even that has stopped providing iCal information from Exchange.

    I am thinking of recommending a Mac Mini with Lion Server. The question I have is basically this... will the following combinations of technology/applications work nicely or be a real pain the butt to get working?

    Open Directory <-> Active Directory connector
    Address Book server <-> Exchange 2003
    iCal server <-> Exchange 2003
    Mail server <-> Exchange 2003

    It certainly will make the Mac users lives happier but if it ain't going to talk to the Windows server, thats dumped on that one for me!

    Any comments or advice given is greatly appreciated.
     
  2. mainstay macrumors 6502

    mainstay

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2011
    Location:
    BC
    #2
    at this stage Lion Server still is not ready for a real-world application...

    for instance, SSL for OD for ALL lion clients is still not working in most of our sites.

    so I can't comment on what you want to do other than say that all of my experience with Lion server has been disappointing. Not to say some things don't work... just that they don't work as expected or they are still developing a proper solution.

    all of my customers have been migrated to hosted exchange. they are happy... I am happy... and our old windows servers are re-purposed.
     
  3. velocityg4 macrumors 68040

    velocityg4

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2004
    Location:
    Georgia
    #3
    Not knowing your clients specific needs have you considered switching them to Google Apps. They can use Thunderbird with the Lightning, Provider for Google Calendar and Google Contacts plug-ins. This would keep their mail folders, calendar entries and address books in sync. Plus a uniform interface across any computer.

    Then set up each employees computer with standard user accounts to prevent them from installing other software in lieu of Active Directory. Unless there are more stringent requirements.

    They would save money on a new server. Plus the cost of electricity for keeping it running 24/7.

    One thing I found out is you do not use Apple's built in address book to sync across multiple computers. After two or three computers have synced the next one will repopulate deleted contacts. It also ends up duplicating contacts until the limit is reached. Thunderbird with Google Contacts does not.

    I used to use GContactSync instead of Google Contacts but found the sync eventually breaks. It will download updates but not upload them. Google Contacts works much better.

    I'd say many offices running servers or using exchange hosts no longer need them because of Google Apps.

    The only downside is there is no tasks sync support yet. But Google has opened up the Google tasks API so that will come eventually.

    There are some workarounds like adding a Google Calendar tab to thunderbird and links to Google Tasks on smartphones but I don't know of any integrated programs thus far. It's been a few months so there may be some better solutions. I think it was in July Google opened their API and I was looking for a tasks solution in August.

    Edit: If there is less than ten user accounts you can use the free version of Google Apps. When setting up there is also a testing option before full deployment. So you can hold off on transferring the MX Entries to Google before you are sure it is a viable option.
     
  4. Les Kern macrumors 68040

    Les Kern

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2002
    Location:
    Alabama
    #4
    You are a genius.
    Exactly the reason I am eliminating at least 10 servers this year, becoming a Google School and leaving the headaches to others. SO tired of it all. If you can farm it out you automatically save money. I eliminated our SIS server and OD a few years ago and merely use a 10.6 box for LDAP and general user and departmental shares, but most of that will go out next round. Have to keep a few XServes as internal DNS servers, but still. I was up to 45 servers, down to 28 before the next 10 get canned.
    Does this make me a genius too???
    Okay, no. But I sleep better.
    :)
     

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