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Mac Thread, A better way of integrating Macs with our Windows domain? in Technical; Our Macs are currently integrated with our domain using the "Magic Triangle" configuration with a Mac Mini server for OD. ...
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    Question A better way of integrating Macs with our Windows domain?

    Our Macs are currently integrated with our domain using the "Magic Triangle" configuration with a Mac Mini server for OD.

    The students here all authenticate with their AD logins and their home drives are mapped using SMB so by default they will save to the network. (No Local Homes)

    This system does work. However over the year or so that we've had it set up like this, it has been pretty unstable on a few different fronts..

    Here's our network;

    Windows Server 2003 D/C running AD on a ".local" domain **GASP**

    Mac Mini Server (10.6.8) running OD

    Cisco Switches + VLANs and gigabit networking throughout.

    80 or so Mac Clients (10.6.8) over 5 mac suites.

    Here's our problems;

    - Login time. Always been slow, anything up to 3 minutes to log in. After 10.6.8 regularly 3-5 minutes to log in. (Heard this was to do with IPv6??). Been living with this for a while.

    - Programs crashing out when saving to the network - recently happening a lot! Got a new quirky problem with power point taking 10 mins to save a files unless you "save as" and change the name - after which it will save instantly. Students saving iWeb files are waiting up to 30 minutes for their site to save.

    - Large files such as indesign documents, fireworks projects, photoshop documents are slow when accessing/editing + crashy when saving.

    - Losing space on our windows server - Media students are creating large websites on the network + import lots of videos/images taking up a sizeable amount of space on our windows server.

    What I want to know is if there is a better way of setting this up? Something that I've overlooked? I've been considering setting them back up with local home directories again.. But this then brings up the issue of data not being backed up.. I think students working from the same workstation each time isn't an issue it's just the backing up of the data thats the problem.

    Over the christmas break our domain is changing from .local to .somethingelse so i'm hoping this will help but I know that the space issue isn't going to change and I'm pretty sure it's still going to be unstable when accessing large files straight off of the network.

    Does anyone have any light they can shed on the subject?

    Much appreciated.

    Regards,

    Martin
    Last edited by martin_hannah; 15th December 2011 at 02:54 PM.

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    Ever so slightly off topic here but, HOW did you manage to get their default save location to their windows network drives? I'm able to turn off local directories but cannot figure out how to set a smb:// share as the default save location. On topic, we use IPv4 and have no problems with login times - 5-10 seconds at most usually. Do you set disk quotas for students network drives? May be something to look at in regards to files saving slowly. I do know though, that the native mac apps (imovie, garageband, iphoto etc) will perform 10x better when saved locally rather than saved onto a network drive. I was told why this was but can't for the life of me remember why! We allow students to save to their local directory which means that no data is backed up (GASP) and have made it clear to them that whatever gets saved locally WILL be wiped every school holiday. Would love to hear how you've made their network home folder the default save location, though!

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    Quote Originally Posted by SC92 View Post
    Ever so slightly off topic here but, HOW did you manage to get their default save location to their windows network drives? I'm able to turn off local directories but cannot figure out how to set a smb:// share as the default save location. On topic, we use IPv4 and have no problems with login times - 5-10 seconds at most usually. Do you set disk quotas for students network drives? May be something to look at in regards to files saving slowly. I do know though, that the native mac apps (imovie, garageband, iphoto etc) will perform 10x better when saved locally rather than saved onto a network drive. I was told why this was but can't for the life of me remember why! We allow students to save to their local directory which means that no data is backed up (GASP) and have made it clear to them that whatever gets saved locally WILL be wiped every school holiday. Would love to hear how you've made their network home folder the default save location, though!
    When you join it to the domain using the directory utility - there is a tickbox in regards to the home area

    157198-active_directory_screen_586_original.jpg

    Assuming that is what you meant

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    We took the easier route...
    They all boot and run Windows7, even got them being imaged using WDS...

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    Quote Originally Posted by m25man View Post
    We took the easier route...
    They all boot and run Windows7, even got them being imaged using WDS...
    i know its off topic but i would be interested to know how you got it to image via WDS

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    Hi Martin,

    I can post on my experience changing over from a full mac server setup to the windows side. I had some of the same issues as you and most of them were permissions based. First of all I didn't choose the dual directory "magic triangle" setup, it seemed like to many points of failure. I edited the active directory schema to all the apple WGM XML files so our domain controller issues the managed preferences. If your interested in this I can go further into it and also post the LDF file for changing the schema.

    Ok back to some of your issues,

    Can you create a file/folder in one of the folders apple loads into the home directory automatically rename it to something different? Just create a folder inside the library folder then rename does it give you a permissions error or ask for a admin login? Do this on a standard account. This will just be a simple test of the permissions from unix to windows permissions.

    Slow logins- What folders do you have redirected to the machine? Not sure with the "magic triangle" setup but make sure you at least have the cache folder redirected. I have a lot of the application support folders redirected to the machine also.

    The powerpoint issue taking 10mins then asking to save as is due to the users not having the correct permissions in the root folder of your share. In the root of the share there will be a hidden folder named TemporaryItems make sure everyone has read and write access to this folder.

    losing space on your server-
    Get TreeSize Pro its a program that will scan directories/home folders to see what is taking up lots of space. I run it about once every two weeks to look for huge home folders but it mostly comes down to me deleting iTunes libraries because students have sync'ed their iPods. Again if you do not have folders redirected the cache files/folders gets pretty large.

    .local-
    I never used a .local because I pre-read the issues, but if I remember right if you add the .local domain in the "search domains" in network preferences on the local machine it will search there before it goes into the bonjour .local search. There is also people adding the .local domain in the hosts file. Either way I guess fixes any issues with this.

  8. 3 Thanks to Serving:

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    Quote Originally Posted by apeman View Post
    i know its off topic but i would be interested to know how you got it to image via WDS
    Well if you really want to know here's how we did it.... All blogged in detail by our SCCM and all round in house MAC freak.

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    Thanks for the replies, i'm in the middle of the domain change this week and can't work on anything until tomorrow but i'll get back to you all on how I get on + what resolves the aforementioned issues.

    Cheers,

    Martin

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    Quote Originally Posted by SC92 View Post
    Ever so slightly off topic here but, HOW did you manage to get their default save location to their windows network drives?
    Not sure if this question was answered already but I also would really like to know how to manage default save locations

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    Do you mean a home directory or the save location when you file save in office?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Serving View Post
    Do you mean a home directory or the save location when you file save in office?
    Well I'm currently managing a suite of around 10-15 macs and a mac server. Magic triangle configuration is working great so far with our windows servers and delivers each user their home share in the finder or sidebar but I keep hearing complaints that when students are saving work they keep do so locally.

    Is it possible to manage default save locations to point to their network shares instead of a local folder on the macs? Ideally we just need to be able to control where students are saving because students are losing work by saving office/garage band files etc locally.

    Hope that makes some kind of sense lol!

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    sure does, in directory utility open your active directory settings... click the down arrow for more options and untick force local homes.

    Now you have to delete all the saved profiles on the machine so go to the hard drive and the users folder and delete all the users profiles. This will force osx to use the network as the profile save point.

    edit- make sure you dont delete the local users homes only your network ones!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Serving View Post
    sure does, in directory utility open your active directory settings... click the down arrow for more options and untick force local homes.

    Now you have to delete all the saved profiles on the machine so go to the hard drive and the users folder and delete all the users profiles. This will force osx to use the network as the profile save point.

    edit- make sure you dont delete the local users homes only your network ones!
    You don't understand how long i've been waiting for a reply like this - thank you! Now i'm just hoping it works.. no pressure.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Serving View Post
    sure does, in directory utility open your active directory settings... click the down arrow for more options and untick force local homes.

    Now you have to delete all the saved profiles on the machine so go to the hard drive and the users folder and delete all the users profiles. This will force osx to use the network as the profile save point.

    edit- make sure you dont delete the local users homes only your network ones!

    Thanks for the reply

    I've currently got 'force local home directory' unticked which helps but I still need to try and limit Student access to local areas as much as possible, frustrating to say the least.

    I was hoping I could set the default save location to their network drive within software packages such as Office though?

    Picture 1 below is how it's currently set in Office:
    save-location1.png

    Picture 2 below is how I'd like it to be set:
    save-location2.png

    Once again, sorry if that also makes very little sense but i've only been working with Macs for about 4-6 weeks haha

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