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I want to store the redirected folders of 40-50 roaming users on a Linux server, is it possible and safe ? I really need to get those folders out of my Domain Controller, and I got only linux servers. Thanks !

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As an aside: 1) You should really have more than one domain controller with 40-50 users and 2) Virtualize! – Brent Pabst Dec 13 '12 at 15:31
Actually it's more 20-25 users connected at the same time, but 40-50 users during the whole year (freelance 3D designers). And yeah, I would really appreciate a second domain controller, but our DC is a SBS, and money isn't really flowing for IT stuff right now. – Polymorphist Dec 13 '12 at 15:35
SBS is designed and intended to provide the roles and services required by small businesses. This includes AD, DNS, DHCP, Email, Print and File services. So why is it that you want to move File services to another server? – joeqwerty Dec 13 '12 at 15:39
You mention that you are new to the SA game, that's cool. But one of the best skills you can develop as an admin or in IT in general is to put together proposals for the decision makers that outline what you need and why it is important to the business. If you explain that in the event that server goes offline it will cost the business $10k per day until a new one is purchased, versus a $4k investment in another box. This sounds like a good time to develop that skill as you don't have the resources you need to assist the business. SMB or not you need more than one box. – Brent Pabst Dec 13 '12 at 15:56
You want more than the data on the partitions of your DC. You also want he system state, otherwise you can't restore AD. – MDMarra Dec 14 '12 at 11:06
up vote 4 down vote accepted

Assuming you're using SAMBA, then sure. It will work. It's probably not an ideal situation, though. If you ever run into any issues with it, you won't be able to turn to Microsoft for support, which is a deal-breaker for many people.

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Microsoft's support aside, there's no other problem with this kind of setup ? Is it really a rare configuration for a network ? I'm a rookie sysadmin, setting up a Samba and redirecting folders in it doesn't scare me, it's more the fact that I don't see a lot of people talking about that on the web. I guess that if nobody's using this setup, there's must be a good reason, but I don't see it. – Polymorphist Dec 13 '12 at 15:41
A lot of people aren't talking about it on the web, because it's rare. It's rare because it's unsupported. As a rookie sysadmin, you might not have had any situations where something critical has crapped out and you need support. When that time comes, the last thing you want to hear is "Remove the Linux server from the equation before we can begin" which essentially means "go away". I strongly recommend that you get an additional Windows server to act as a file server, but the technical answer to your question is that it will work if properly configured. – MDMarra Dec 13 '12 at 15:47
Okay, I get your point. I'm gonna trust you with that, since I really don't have the experience to take this decision alone. Thanks a lot. – Polymorphist Dec 13 '12 at 15:51

Can you tell us more about the Linux servers you have? Aside from the best-practices reasons of not running file storage on your domain controller(s), why do you need to get your data off of them? Is this a space issue? A stability issue?

You have options on the Linux side. Samba can work as a file store and can be mostly-integrated with your domain.

If this is simply a space issue, some level of virtualization may work, or you could even go with an esoteric solution like exporting iSCSI from the Linux systems.

All in all, we don't know what you have available to you. If the file storage is important, is there any reason you could not dedicate hardware to the purpose?

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I've got 2 Debian servers for file hosting and sharing. I need to get the data off my DC because he is heavily loaded with files (space issue), roles and services (hardware performances issues), and his bandwith is starting to get full (all of my users are roaming users). The storage issue isn't really the biggest, since there's been no quota on user storage and no cleaning for a lot of time. THe bandwith and performances, on the other hand... Edit : I have hardware (not a ton, but some), but no Windows licences and no money (for now). I need to find a short-term solution. – Polymorphist Dec 13 '12 at 15:56

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