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Alternative to MS Server OS for file sharing?

Last response: in Windows 7
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September 3, 2010 11:06:22 PM

We have a mixed Mac/PC environment with OSX 10.6, Vista 32bit, and Win7 64bit machines. Currently we have an old Win2k server OS on our server and all we use it for is backups and folder sharing which we use password protection on some (using AD)

My question- is there a cheaper way to get password protected folders without using MS server OS? it increases the cost of a new server by almost $1000 and it really seems there must be a cheaper way.

Thanks-

Om
a b $ Windows 7
September 3, 2010 11:24:57 PM

Any properly configured Linux distro can do exactly what you ask. However, do realize this takes quite a lot of work to set up correctly depending on the # of users,etc esp. with out prior Linux knowledge.
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September 4, 2010 12:40:02 AM

Thanks- but not interested in that route.
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a b $ Windows 7
September 4, 2010 6:35:18 AM

Well, I had a few suggestions but I'm guessing that your answer to any non-proprietary solution will be the same.

You could go the OS/X server route, but that would cost you even more - slightly cheaper software but overpriced hardware. If you want the (apparent) security of a proprietary solution then you have to pay for it.

If all you want if file serving then you could look at one of the NAS devices from someone like Dell, but the ones running Windows Server versions are still going to cost far more than an Open Source solution.
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October 6, 2010 7:00:13 AM

I think we are simply going to get a Win7 Pro workstation. We can share a folder and password protect another folder with multiple users and avoid AD and all the rest of the expense.
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a b $ Windows 7
October 6, 2010 7:38:49 AM

Be aware that the Windows 7 Pro licence only allows 20 devices to connect to a file share on a workstation.
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October 6, 2010 10:34:37 PM

Thanks very much for the great tip. I ran into this issue with an XP machine used as a server because it was counting connections to shared printers as well. (not sure if it was Pro or Home) We have less than 10 users and no printers shared off the server. Do you know if this is an issue with Win7 Pro? Thanks again- there is simply no substitute for user experience!
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a b $ Windows 7
October 7, 2010 6:40:07 AM

With less than 10 users I don't think you should experience any problems. (Not that I have actually tried this with Windows 7 Pro.)
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a b $ Windows 7
October 7, 2010 3:03:56 PM

Just set up NFS share/server. Its free and you can set it up in windows, linux and OSX

Also dont be so quick to count out linux as a file server. Free open source software is a great alternative to more costly solutions. Give an ubuntu (or one of its derivitives) a test. It will likely work out of the box on your hardware without any configuration. Linux also has windows "native" shares (SAMBA/SMB) so no need for nfs if you want that. You can even try it out without installing anything, by running it directly from the CD or a flash drive.
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October 14, 2010 8:15:43 AM

I know Linux is great- tried Ubuntu- but I have no exp setting up Linux, no exp as to whether file shares can be given multiple permissions/logins, etc. if it were my own setup i would be willing to give it a whirl but for a business I prefer to be more conservative and safe with more support and info online when and if issues arise. Cheers-
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