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My office uses windows based computers setup with a server setup. Can an apple server emulate or find compatibility with an apple server or apple computer linked to the server and allow full file sharing and printer sharing with pc's?

439 Views 3 Replies Latest reply: May 13, 2011 7:35 AM by parexcel RSS
omerfromvancouver Calculating status...
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May 10, 2011 11:18 AM

I have 11 computers all pc's linked to an old windows server and all used primarily for microsoft office and printer sharing as well as for internet browsing. Can an apple joining the setup cause compatability issues?

iMac, Mac OS X (10.6.7)
  • VincensoXFIN Level 1 Level 1 (40 points)



    That depends what do you wan't to achieve with the mac server. What is the purpose/role of the Windows server? File and printer sharing? Do you have network accounts? Active Directory? Or are all the PC supported with local client accounts and software? What OS you use on windows clients?


    If only thing you want to do with the server is the file and printer sharing, I think you won't have many problems. Mac servers are compatible to support Windows clients with many services and even complicated OD + AD combinations, but those require far more understanding than I have, I just know it is possible.


    I am doing file and printer sharing for few windows clients. Setting this up was actually way easier than with Windows server. You can share files just enabling SMB on the server, creating a shared folder, and enabling SMB protocol to that share. Easy.


    But, to the question. No, there won't be many compatible issues as far as I know

  • parexcel Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)



    grey-haired IT guy here, old enough to come from the counter culture. I ran (COO, including IT & compliance) a third billion dollar financial institution all on Macs 15 to 20 years ago.  All the "experts" had a long list of reasons it would be impossible, and it drove the examiners nuts, but it's only gotten better.


    So your benefits are going to be mostly in ease of administration after the learning curve, less aggravating glitches, better overall reliability, and arguably better security.  And reductions in cost and improvement in time to implement changes.


    In my current environment of mostly dozens of PCs, the moment I let the OS X Server be the domain master controller, the Windows network browser settled down and instantly showed network neighborhoods like it should have.  (We may have some forgotten pre-NT machines plugged in somewhere -- this is NOT a financial institution).


    Couple anecdotes might explain the feeling of coming in out of the cold:  Putting a test copy of a web site from the cloud onto the Mac server, XAMPP or MAMP is pretty much already there. The site has a couple WordPress blogs, and they need .htaccess files, and Apache needs an option set to permit remapping URLs. After much searching far and wide to find why it didn't seem to be working, I found the checkbox right there on Apple's management screens.  Much easier than editing .conf from command line.  Linux web admins hate it.


    Tale # 2:  We aren't fully Windows domain controlled -- just using the old network browser.  Need to upgrade that, and I Googled quite a while trying to understand what needed to be done to use Apple's Open Directory instead of setting up an Active Directory on Windows -- both SLDAP3.  Turns out one reason I couldn't find much is there isn't much to say:  it just works.  Just join the domain from a Windows machine.


    One more and I'll be quiet a bit.  We use the Wiki collaboration which is nice enough as far as it goes (no spreadsheets, fatal flaw) and it occupies the server's native web site slot.  So the test copy needed to be another site.  Easy enough -- site setup is all GUI and works fine, but WordPress could not handle a multiuser blog coming to a non-standard port (other than 80) so I needed a second IP multihomed on the server.  How do you do this?  Go to Network in the System Prefs, click on the Ethernet interface and select "duplicate".  Set your IP address.  Done.


    In summary a Mac OS X Server is a better server for a Windows shop than Windows Server 200x.


    My bottom line for choosing Apple:  lower blood pressure.  I SHOULD be money.  After all is said and done, it's about money.  The incredibly more pleasant experience is a free benefit.  You'll pay more for better hardware, but way less in time and trouble.  And you won't be hounded on a daily basis to update the system.  Not that Adobe or Firefox are any better about it on a Mac, but the Apple approach to updates stays in the background.


    Think different.  Simplify.  Focus.  Enjoy your work.


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