[Opinion] Infrastructure and Authentication Services - SME Networks

Hello friends!

General index of the series: Computer Networks for SMEs: Introduction

Much of the twenty-odd articles published to date in the series SME networks, were conceived in such a way as to reach this point with a clear understanding of the crucial importance of DNS and DHCP services - without forgetting NTP - for a Business Network.

As we explained in previous articles, these are vital services - especially DNS - for any network. It is true that we do not touch some programs such as the NSD or authoritative name server widely used in the Root DNS servers and that it can serve in the case of Delegated Zones to our responsibility.

If we had not dedicated a great effort and time to the previous topics, now we would have to explain each one of them in a mandatory way. That's why essential For newcomers to SME Networks, read and study the background articles. Without reading them you will have many gaps and questions that we will not answer in the future. 😉

In my country -Cuba- it is very normal that, when a Network Administrator or a Computer Scientist who has been given the responsibility of deploying a new network for any SME, without thinking twice installs the Infrastructure and Authentication services based on the Microsoft® Active Directory®. It is not relevant that the SME has 15 or 1500 teams. They install their Microsoft Active Directory 2008, 2012, or "the latest version" without even thinking about it.

  • You do not have the common sense - the least common of the senses - to explore or to know other alternatives.

I am not exaggerating when I affirm the above, although lately and under administrative pressure, they are demanding that Zentyal® be installed, which is private software that offers a Community Version that sometimes leaves much to be desired. I am sure that the paid versions are much superior, and in this blog dedicated to Free Software we must be as transparent as possible and express our point of view based on practice which we consider to be the best criterion of truth.

I know cases of partial or total failure when they have migrated from Microsoft to Zentyal. And it is that to take that leap you must be well prepared and have knowledge about Free Software. I highly value the opinions of my colleague and friend dhunter who left a brave comment about Zentyal in the article BIND and Active Directory® - SME Networks, which you can read.

I wrote several articles on the ClearOS 5.2 Service Pack 1, an excellent solution that in its time won many awards for Best Free Software, which I followed until I read the article ClearOS 6.3 is Godawful, Keep Using 5.x. Unfortunate policy Clear Center, a small company dedicated to making ClearOS -as well as other programs- to close both versions Community of their products. However, I have not stopped taking a look at ClearOS until its version 7.2. In fact, I have been producing a ClearOS 5.2 for more than 4 years, with Windows clients of all kinds and with more than 60 computers.

  • For a private company, the bottom line is profits. Logical! Right? What happens is that, at times, they do not fully realize the further scope of decisions based onas in that single criterion. If you intend to harvest, sowing. See Red Hat for an example of what to do.Incidentally, ClearOS is based on the CentOS / Red Hat operating system

    , but evidently not in the example of the Red Hat Company as such. He goes and Red Hat buys it one day if it is in his line of interest to deal with Microsoft, a question that does not seem -for the moment- due to his marked interest in his 389 Directory Server that can be synchronized with a Microsoft Active Directory of bidirectional way.

Perhaps so far I have mentioned three -of the four- programs that I dare to say are the most used for the Infrastructure and Authentication service in many SME Networks:

  • Microsoft Active Directory
  • Samba
  • ClearOS - Samba Based PDC
  • Zentyal - Active Directory based on Samba

And if we look closely, ALL are oriented to Microsoft Networks! The Standard of facto -which does not mean it is the best on its own merit- is the Microsoft Network. Whether we like it or not, whether we fight against it or not, it is a reality that we cannot and should not ignore.

  • Those in charge of implementing and serving SME Networks cannot afford to ignore this reality.

I think that currently the Gigantic Lack of Privacy suffered by Microsoft's operating systems is a secret to no one, easily verifiable by reading the DNS queries made by their operating systems -explained in previous articles on the topic DNS and DHCP- when we establish queries are logged.

It seems that most end users using some Microsoft operating system have not yet seen the films Americans «Terms and Conditions May Apply-2013"; "Snowden-2016»From the excellent director Oliver Stone; etc., as well as reading a lot of articles on the subject published on the Internet.

Dear and Dear, this is a blog dedicated to Free Software. Nothing else. And if they don't have a very bad memory they will remember when Microsoft called Stallman a ... However, now Microsoft Loves Linux. 😉 He even released a version of your Microsft SQL Server that can be installed on Red Hat. It is just one example of the possible mental manipulations that truly powerful corporations can subject us to based on their economic interests. Today I hate you and tomorrow I love you. It all depends on the earning of money.

Although many may not believe it, the road to Infrastructure and Authentication services goes through all the previous nooks and crannies, and I think it is healthy to shake a little the skeleton of those who are determined to accompany me in this adventure. If you want to know a living example of the techniques of the powerful Microsoft Corporation, continue on the site Very linux Eduardo Molina's article, FSFE: "The last word has not yet been said in Munich", and all the previous writings related to the subject, published in that blog of very good quality.

As told Morpheus a Neo in the inevitable movie «Matrix«: Open your mind!.

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  1.   Zodiac Carburus said

    Clear, important, and compelling article. Thank you once again for your time and effort dedicated to us.

  2.   Iwo said

    Article also extremely interesting because it describes the experience of how sysadmins approach the administration of networks.
    It is very valuable to know the opinion not at all favorable that is expressed about the implementation of Zentyal as PDC + AD.

  3.   federico said

    Hello IWO! I clarify that the opinion expressed is about the Zentyal Community version, it does not pay for it, since the last one I have not seen. 😉 I know through communication with you that you are considering the migration to Free Software. I suggest you and wait a bit for us to get into how to implement an Active Directory - Domain Controler "AD-DC Samba 4.51".