Samba 4 as a bridging technology between the Microsoft Windows and the Open Source worlds

With the integration of Samba 4, the infrastructure solution Univention Corporate Server makes it possible for us to fuse the proprietary Windows world efficiently with the free Linux world at the Federal Office for Radiation Protection. In this way, the federal office benefits from both worlds at the same time and its demands on high availability, stability, simple administration and georedundancy are completely satisfied according to its head of IT.
Bremen, 16th July 2013. The Federal Office for Radiation Protection (Bundesamt für Strahlenschutz – BfS) has been using Univention Corporate Server (UCS) for domain, client and user management since 2006. In May 2013, the office upgraded to the latest UCS version 3.1 and now benefits from the Active Directory functions available thanks to the integration of the free software Samba 4 in UCS. This makes it possible to administrate the 950 Microsoft Windows-based computer workplaces for the approx. 750 members of staff at the office using cost-efficient and effective UCS Linux servers. At the same time, the IT administrators at the BfS benefit from the Active Directory functions such as group policies for managing Windows clients at the office’s nine sites located across Germany. The UCS servers at the six largest sites function as Samba/Active Directory domain controllers, guarantee the provision of basic technical services and in addition offer convenient functions for the management of user and computer accounts.

The administrative data are maintained centrally on the UCS master server at the headquarters in Salzgitter, Germany, and provided to the site servers. This not only guarantees uniform load distribution, but also offers maximum system stability thanks to the georedundancy, as each site is still able to function autonomously even if the connection to the master server at the headquarters should fail.

High staff acceptance of use of Linux servers thanks to integration of Samba 4

Due to the comprehensive Active Directory functions of UCS, the users can continue to work with the Windows applications they know on their familiar client systems and without noticing the UCS Linux servers in the background at all. These functions also allow the mounting of existing proprietary storage systems from different manufacturers. This property is a bridging technology at the Federal Office for Radiation Protection’s disposal for combining the Windows world with the Open Source world. Dr. Christian Werner, head of the authority’s IT department, emphasised that this is important “…because it allows the federal office’s IT department to utilise the advantages that a Linux server solution offers and at the same time the solution is highly accepted by the staff, as they can continue to work with their familiar Windows services and clients.”

Professional users want support and maintenance for Samba 4

The integration of Samba 4 in UCS means that IT departments generally no longer need to operate any Samba servers on their own initiative and with the associated considerable efforts. Companies and authorities benefit from a ready-to-use, configured Samba 4 version in UCS, which can be used for the synchronisation of the Samba LDAP directory and the OpenLDAP directory in UCS among other things. In addition, the use of Univention Corporate Server takes care of the Sysvol replication not yet supported by the native Samba 4, which realises the data distribution on all Samba domain controllers in an Active Directory environment.

Another important factor for the federal office when it came to taking the decision to use Samba 4 was that the Bremen-based Open Source software manufacturer Univention offers comprehensive support for the Samba 4 version integrated in UCS. “Thanks to the support offered by Univention, we were able to upgrade the server management smoothly and quickly and the end result is really good”, said Dr. Christian Werner.

Try Samba 4 in UCS free of charge

Interested parties can download and test a version of UCS with Samba 4 as an iso installation image or a virtualized system (VMware or Virtualbox image) free of charge at: .

Further information:
User report – “High availability and stability at the Federal Office for Radiation Protection – thanks to UCS with comfortable management”:

Overview of additional reference reports:

About Univention
Univention is a leading European provider of Open Source products for the cost-efficient operation and effective administration of IT infrastructures. At the heart of our offer is the Linux infrastructure solution Univention Corporate Server (UCS). UCS is a modern enterprise Linux distribution with an integrated Open Source solution for identity and infrastructure management, which makes efficient, centrally controlled administration possible even in challenging environments. The core product UCS is complemented with, among other things, products building on it for the cross-platform administration of thin clients, support of Linux desktops and an integrated virtualization solution. Thanks to the supplied connectors, the products are ideal for use with, for example, Microsoft’s Active Directory, integrate perfectly in existing infrastructures and allow simple migration. A large number of software producers offer optimised packages for operation with UCS, which can be integrated in the UCS management system among other things. UCS is thus the Open Source integration platform for IT infrastructure operation and management.

Press contact:
Univention GmbH
Silvia Frank
Mary-Somerville-Straße 1
28359 Bremen
Telephone: +49 421 22232 – 0
Telefax: +49 421 22232 – 99

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