I am working on Microsoft gold partner organization in last 3 months. All of our IT solutions based on Microsoft products. Here are the basic lists of products that we using our maintenance

  • DHCP
  • WSUS (with SQL server)
  • WDS
  • Fileserver
  • DNS
  • 2 Forefront server(1 is for redundancy)
  • Sharepoint
  • DPM2010
  • AD DC etc

All these components installed in 1-3 physical and 24 virtual machines.(using Vmware, Hyper-V)

I'm looking for Linux alternative solutions like above components. Is there any good solutions? If so, are they work like windows products?(AD replication, use straightly AD user information on forefront, fileserver, sharepoint etc) Do you have any experience above condition in linux?

I'm sorry for my bad english.

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    Yes, but if you're only doing it to save money, you're doing it wrong. Valuing money-saving over user experience. You'll piss off your users, and create a lot of pain for yourself. The cost of Windows licensing is far less, IMO, than the cost of the butthurt. – Tom O'Connor Jan 4 '12 at 10:58

Some of these components have excellent alternatives, some exist with limitations and some not at all. Integrating all this stuff to have a similar experience would be an enormous amount of work, and it would still be limited in various ways.

Why would you want to do this?

  • Thanks you for answer! I'm just interested about how linux based organizations operate, manage their workstations and servers like windows based organization – KevinOelen Jan 4 '12 at 11:37
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    One major issue is the question what is running on the clients. If you try to emulate a full MS stack with Linux for Windows clients, things will a lot more difficult than for Linux clients. I use Linux on our backend (for Win/Mac clients), but this is only possible because I don't need the full feature set of e.g. AD and I don't offer anything resembling Sharepoint and we can share the WSUS service run by another group. – Sven Jan 4 '12 at 11:43

I'm going to reply with a list of Linux alternatives for what's listed above..

DHCP on Linux

WSUS is a tricky one to answer, did you want to keep Windows or other Linux machine up to date?

Linux alternative to WDS (http://fogproject.org/)

Linux file server (http://www.openfiler.com/)

DNS server for Linux (http://www.isc.org/software/bind)

Another DNS server for Linux (my favourite) (http://www.powerdns.com/content/home-powerdns.html)

I wont carry on but as you can see there are alternatives to pretty much everything you pointed out. AD is basically LDAP, DNS / DHCP etc can all be served from Linux quite happily.


Hope this was helpful!

  • Thx, your answer almost what I'm searching for. But I'm just looking for windows clients & linux servers combination. – KevinOelen Jan 4 '12 at 11:58

I think you do not have a good project definition here. For every (or almost every) product on Windows platform there will be functionally similar (sometimes better, sometimes worse, sometimes just different). You can replace what you have with new software and then the thing will come crashing down around you.

Deployment of products providing functionalities you want is easy. It may be, depending on a scale of the thing, a huge, time consuming project and take months to complete, but it is not a big challenge.

The much bigger problem will be integration of the whole thing, to make different parts cooperate and understand each other (e.g. single sign on).

Then there will be even bigger issue: you are a Microsoft shop, and suddenly you'll need Linux administrators. If you want to do the infrastructure migration internally, then your ability to do business will perform of the ability of your new Linux administrators to do their work. Apart of that you will need to train your users. If you change anything end-user facing, the users will need to be trained. The fact that your new solution is functionally superior to Sharepoint will not prevent your users complaining, that the thing does not work. Faced with different menus they will have problems.

If you plan to switch to Linux infrastructure as an offering for your clients, then again you need to bring the expertise internally. Otherwise you won't deliver quality products.

Yes, you can replace Windows infrastructure with Linux one. You can support it and have your users use and like it, but it is a huge undertaking.

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