At LANified!, Samba serves us very well for two core purposes:
- Network Share Access (for Humans, Virtual Machines, containers, & other)
- Running Active Directory Domain Controllers (2012R2 level) (for user, systems, and other forms of authentication)
For us at LANified!, the majority of authentication functionality we foresee ever needing is completely fulfilled by Samba AD DC's (Active Directory Domain Controllers), and we can even extend these capabilities with open source tools for functions such as SAML SSO (Single-Sign-On), VPN access, and more, all the while following industry best practices for security. In our case the majority of our ecosystem does not involve Windows at all (>95% Linux/Ubuntu). However this leaves us functional options that are Windowsy in the future! Such as GPOs (Group Policy Objects); Working with and using them in the same way you generally would on Windows, such as using RSAT (tool suite for GPOs and more). However, we have not yet observed a reason to switch away from Samba AD DCs and the development of Samba continues regularly.
When it comes to the Network Share Access component, this is primarily about SMB File Share services both client and server. We enjoy this in many forms, such as serving SMB Network Shares as part of TrueNAS. What more really is there to say? It provides network shares generally the same as Windows would, but without the licensing costs. Oh and that goes the same for Samba AD DCs. As in, there are no licensing costs for Samba.
So if it's free, why or how would you benefit from having our help instead of doing it yourself? Do you want to spend the time to do it yourself, or not? As direct as it is, that's the first thing to think about. In our experience, these two core purposes provide a compelling reason to implement Samba, in favour of Windows alternatives. Can Samba completely replace Windows Server capabilities? No, there are capabilities that Samba does not yet have, that Windows Server does have. However that may not actually be a deal breaker for your scenario.
To leverage our Samba consulting services, click below and fill out the form. We would be glad to have a conversation and hear about your goals + other.