School lab with a Linux server and MS Windows clients
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School lab with a Linux server and MS Windows clients
I am going to set up a network for a small business school with 60 computers in 3 labs for students and around 20 staff computers. All these computers will run MS Windows. (Since we are a Business School, the kind of students that we get require MS Windows machines.)
But the server room will be only having Linux and open source tools.
We have two network printers. Both have Linux drivers. Therefore I can install both printers on Linux using CUPS. Since most of the client machines will have MS Windows, I am going to run Samba and LDAP. There will not be a Windows server. (I think this is fairly a typical scenario in certain outstation low cost operations)
These are my requirements (at the moment).
(1) All users who use MS Windows client machines should be able to login using their respective user names and passwords. But it should be like them login into a domain created using a Windows Server. (But we do not have a Windows server and the server is running Linux – CentOS). When I say that students and staff should login, I do not mean them login into the machine. (If the issue is login into the machine I will not post this in a Linux forum). What I mean is login into the domain. But the server is Linux. Can it be done using LDAP and/or Samba? Is LDAP enough? Or do I need to have Samba whenever MS Windows clients are involved?
(2) Staff and students should be able to print from the MS Windows client machines using the two printers installed on the Linux server (using CUPS). But I want CUPS or Samba or LDAP to log it. (I do not know who can / will / should do it) All I want is this: whenever somebody is sending a job to a printer (from an MS Windows client computer) I want an entry going in to the log file of this format. [user name, date, time, name of the printer, number of pages printed]
(3) I want to allocate Internet bandwidth to each user. I will run Squid proxy (anyway server will have Samba, LDAP, etc. additionally) and each user’s usage must be monitored as we are going to operate in a low cost environment. I will allocate certain amount of data volume per user at the beginning of each month / week and if a user exhausts his or her allocation he or she will not be able to go online till the end of that month / week. Can this be done? Users will access the Internet from their MS Windows clients. But they have to go through the Linux (CentOS) server to go online. It is ideal if the user can see how much bandwidth they have consumed and how much is remaining.
(4) Even though I said there are no MS Windows servers there is going to be one MS Windows 2008 R2 Enterprise Edition server. We are getting it as a grant solely for educational purposes. We get MS Dynamics ERP System from Microsoft Academic Alliance and that MS Windows Server will host MS SQL 2005 Standard Edition and MS Dynamics AX to teach Business Software to students. The students should be able to access (and use) the MS Dynamics System from the MS Windows client machines even though they get authenticated by the LDAP or Samba running on the CentOS server. Is it possible? (Here I am not talking about any single sign on system that includes MS Dynamics also. That is not necessary. What we need is student should be able to login from their MS Windows client machines using LADP or Samba and thereafter they should be able access MS Dynamics Software System.) (I do not want this MS Windows server to play any role as far as the server room activities are concerned other than acting as the OS for MS Dynamics Business Software System.)
I don't know what you are teaching at this school. But here goes...
If you are getting a grant for the M$ 2008 enterprise server, put it to use as the domain controller. Setup everything that the M$ server can do that you need to use. Build your back in with the Linux server and use it as a "BDC". Then you can slowly move things to your Linux server.
Samba and LDAP are great tools and is been a couple of years since I worked with them, but "masking" as a M$ domain login still had a few bugs in it. The latest version of samba may have fixed this, I don't know.
If the printers are "network printers", Then you shouldn't have a problem as most will have web sources for the logs.
Your Linux proxy is a good idea. Again not knowing what you are teaching at this school, why do they need internet? If you were teaching a class of webpages, set up apache2.
Again not knowing what you teach, can't give more....
What we teach is Business / Management subjects. We are a Business School.
Internet is there for students to use it and learn on their own. Sometimes lecturers want to go online during their lectures to show various references. At our school Internet is a general source of knowledge.
I need to have user authentication because we want to monitor how our resources are used. How printing service is utilized, how Internet bandwidth is utilized, etc. by each student / staff has to be monitored. Since we are a low cost operation, resources are scarce and we need to ensure nobody is abusing the resources. If we authenticate users we know who is using Internet too much, who is taking printouts too much, etc.
I do not want to use MS Windows as my server because then I will have to buy other software also. If I use CentOS, then I do not have to pay for email server, etc. SendMail, Postfix all come free. But if I use MS Windows as my server I have to pay for MS Exchange, etc. also. So in the long run keeping an MS Windows server is not an option for a low budget operation like us.
I have no real requirement to authenticate the users who access the MS Dynamics Business Server, but since the authentication is anyway there I like to maintain the same policy of monitoring users (i.e. as a policy - so that if we add a new resource in the future then this culture would help us to apply the same policy of monitoring resource usage), I want to ensure that it (i.e. linux based authentication) is not going to disturb people using MS Windows client machines to access the MS Dynamics running on MS Windows server.
From your post it seemed to suggest to run it as a BDC. I just didn't want to flame you for that on the unlikely chance there is a bdc in 2008. Anyone who has been around a bdc env may have considered trying that. I wanted to point that out.
They may wish to take advantage of any offers or not. Like I have said there are many programs for software and hardware.
Linux on a preexisting server would work fine too for most of what they need. Not all can be done exactly. That is why I suggested the 2X.com site. 2X has some of the better ways to integrate linux and windows more than simple openldap and samba.