SYNACK (9th November 2010)
We run a mix between the two - and it works well - we use Ubuntu and qemu/KVM for the virtualization. Which out performs the likes of ESX and Hyperv as it runs inside the kernel. Squid and Dansguardian for Proxy
We have Windows Dc's and Sql Server (sims) - some file servers are Windows and I am slowly moving them to Samba when we replace servers. Also have an ISA server as our gateway but will be changing that at somepoint i presume. Also a Couple of windows app servers for Mcaffee and other windows apps.
Nobody could tell from the front end of things that half the backend is linux.
I think it has to be looked at in a big picture of the job role covering it... finding someone who can manage a linux focused network is going to be harder than finding someone capable of managing a windows network, and considering school IT wages that makes it even more unlikely. So in the long run when the linux man leaves and they need another they will find it difficult to get someone with the required skill set who will work for the pay offered.
Personally the only linux boxes we run here are a couple of VMs running as proxy servers, 2 MX servers and a gateway server. Everything else is kept as windows.
linuxgirlie on here maintains a Linux Distro called Karoshi that is designed for schools. Not sure on it's specs but may be worth a look.
Also does anyone know how network based accounts will affect security on a linux machine? My understanding is you have a normal user and a super-user (root). And unless you have access to the root user through the su command you can't access anyone else's files on the machine or mess up settings. So LDAP server to authenticate logins and let the client do the rest?
Security through limitation is only feasibly avalible through ultra limited features like a landline phone, stuff with very few features that can be fully understood by a person. No advanced system is imune, just ask all those admins of compromised zombie comand and control linux server, your average ipad/iphone user who happens to look at the wrong pdf or a windows user owned by malware.
Total security on systems that scale into the hundreds of millions of transisters is probably somehing that is beond the scope of human ability an I think that we will be waiting for a kind benovolent AI to get to that level or some other simmilar expantion of human ability.
Anyhow I think that we have established that the main reasons to go with a Windows Server are pretty much what I put in my initial email to the people involved:
More cheaper support avalible
Better integration and standardisation with Windows Clients.
Features like Group Policy and GPP which give you managment abilities you can't achive with a linux server without massive hacking and huge time spent.
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