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Book Review - Samba-3 By Example

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2005 3:28 pm    Post subject: Book Review - Samba-3 By Example Reply with quote

Samba-3 By Example: Practical Exercises to Successful Deployment

Author(s): John H. Terpstra
Publisher: Prentice-Hall http://www.phptr.com
Date Published: August 2005
Book Specifications: Softcover, 457 pages
Category: UNIX/Linux
Publisher's Suggested User Level: Not Rated
Reviewer's Recommended User Level: Intermediate-Advanced Linux Users / Beginner-Advanced SAMBA Users
Suggested Publisher Price: $44.99 US / $62.99 CDN
ISBN: 0-13-188221-X
Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/013188221X
Amazon.co.uk: http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/013188221X

Blurb from back cover:
The definitive Samba-3 guidebook has been completely updated to reflect the latest Samba releases and migration techniques. This book's complete configuration files, step-by-step implementation instructions, network diagrams, and automated scripts make deployment a breeze – even if you've never worked with Samba before. From small office networks to enterprise environments, here are proven configurations, backed by guidance from one of the world's most respected Samba experts, Samba Team contributor John H. Terpstra.

This edition has added comprehensive diagnostic techniques and validation steps, as well as solutions to common implementation mistakes; everything you need to assure reliability and performance regardless of your network environment.

Samba is becoming increasingly important in the unification of Windows and UNIX/Linux networks. Samba-3 By Example provides practical solutions to integrating Samba into your network, with included scripts, configuration files, and advice.

This book is a must for anyone planning on working with Samba, whether it is on a purely Linux network or one where Windows servers are being replaced by Linux.

Chapter Synopsis & Review Comments
Chapter 1 looks at some simple Samba servers, including three examples of configurations for small office environments. In each case, sample commands, configurations and scripts are included, along with the reasoning behind using each one.

Chapter 2 looks in more detail at small office networking. The technical issues of an example case study are covered before the book moves on to implementation issues. Diagrams illustrate the concepts involved.

Chapter 3 covers secure networking. The running example of an accountancy fir m continues in this chapter. Once again, this chapter illustrates the concepts discussed and explains each step in the configuration. Scripts used are included at the end of this chapter.

Scalability is introduced in chapter 4, looking at the 500-user office. DHCP, DNS and Samba are covered in unison, here, as are domain member servers, and windows client configuration.

“Making happy users” is the title of chapter 5. Whilst often considered to be less of a technical issue, this chapter advises on server to user ratios and other such matters of a less immediately technical, but still important nature.

Chapter 6 looks at a 2000 user network, advising on how to expand Samba to cope with a larger network. Sample scripts are again included at the end of the chapter, and two diagrams end the chapter with a look at distributed network sites using VPN tunnels across the Internet.

Chapter 7 covers domain member servers and clients. It gives advice on merging Samba and NT domains, and looks at the configuration differences between the two. Joining an Active Directory domain is also covered.

Chapter 8 takes a look at updating Samba. The chapter covers migrating from older (pre version 3) Samba servers, and also updating Samba 3 servers to the latest minor releases. It also covers moving Samba 3 to a new server.

Chapter 9 looks in detail at migration from NT4 to Samba. Scripts provided at the end of the chapter help to illustrate the points, and can be useful for people performing such migrations.

Chapter 10 looks at migrating Netware to Samba. Novell has embraced Linux to the full, and so migration from Netware to Samba is reasonably painless, and this chapter is a brief summary of the steps involved.

Chapter 11 marks the beginning of the reference section of the book, looking at Active Directory, Kerberos, and Security. Chapter 12 looks at additional services, and chapter 13 covers the all-important topics of performance, reliability, and availability.

Samba support is touched on in chapter 14, with sections on both free support and commercial support. Chapter 15 rounds off the book with a collection of useful information.

There is a chapter 16, a networking primer, which would perhaps be better as an appendix, but being at the end of the book already, this layout decision is of little importance.

Style and Detail
The book is consistent throughout, and uses the same example, taking the reader from a small office environment to a large corporate network with heterogeneous systems.

Illustrations, diagrams, scripts and configuration files are always presented clearly, inline with the text in the earlier chapters, and at the end of the chapter later on, where the scripts become larger and more complex. This helps to give the reader the information they need without breaking the flow of the book.

This book reads smoothly from beginning to end, and presents a logical path of Samba evolution. The author makes important points and spares no detail in the configuration of essential systems.

One thing I would have liked to see in this book was a discussion of Samba for home networking. Increasingly, people are using a Linux system to share printers and files in a home network, and while the small office examples are similar enough to a configuration for the home to be used, a brief aside on changes to make the configurations more suitable for such an environment would have been useful.

Overall, this book is polished and comprehensive. It is a complete look at the evolution of a Samba network from humble beginnings to being the driving force behind a large corporations information technology.

This book receives an honoured SFDC Rating of 9/10.

Keywords: Samba, domain, controller, active directory

This review is copyright 2005 by the author, Andrew J. Bennieston, and Security-Forums Dot Com, and may not be reproduced in any form in any media without the express permission of the author, or Security-Forums Dot Com.
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