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Samba Team Releases Samba 4.0 - 1st Free Software Active Directory Compatible Server ~pj Update
Tuesday, December 11 2012 @ 03:25 PM EST

Samba has just released the first Free Software Active Directory compatible server:
The Samba Team is proud to announce the release of Samba 4.0, a major new release of the award-winning Free Software file, print and authentication server suite for Microsoft Windows® clients.
This represents ten years' work:
As the culmination of ten years' work, the Samba Team has created the first compatible Free Software implementation of Microsoft’s Active Directory protocols. Familiar to all network administrators, the Active Directory protocols are the heart of modern directory service implementations.

Samba 4.0 comprises an LDAP directory server, Heimdal Kerberos authentication server, a secure Dynamic DNS server, and implementations of all necessary remote procedure calls for Active Directory. Samba 4.0 provides everything needed to serve as an Active Directory Compatible Domain Controller for all versions of Microsoft Windows clients currently supported by Microsoft, including the recently released Windows 8.

The Samba 4.0 Active Directory Compatible Server provides support for features such as Group Policy, Roaming Profiles, Windows Administration tools and integrates with Microsoft Exchange and Free Software compatible services such as OpenChange.

The Samba 4.0 Active Directory Compatible Server can also be joined to an existing Microsoft Active Directory domain, and Microsoft Active Directory Domain Controllers can be joined to a Samba 4.0 Active Directory Compatible Server, showing true peer-to-peer interoperability of the Microsoft and Samba implementations of the Active Directory protocols.

Do you remember when the Samba team won against Microsoft before the EU Commission, and they won the right to buy the documentation and use it like this? This result is part of that story, as the work was created using the official protocol documentation published by Microsoft. But times have changed, and Microsoft helped make this happen. That means it's legal. So go ahead and use it. They even got a nice quotation from Microsoft for the press release.

Samba is one of 11 open source projects that leading software integrity vendor Coverity has certified as "secure" and has reached Coverity "Integrity Rung 2" certification. What I like the best about the Samba team is that it's proven to be a no-sellout zone. "If you want to become a member of the team then the first thing you should do is join the samba-technical mailing list and start contributing to the development of Samba," it says on the site.

This is FOSS history, so it belongs right here in our archives. I lived that whole Samba-Microsoft saga, and it feels so right to see it bear such fruit. It's what courts are for, and it's why I am very grateful to the EU Commission, the Samba guys for not wimping out when everyone else did, and to the lawyers, especially Carlo Piana and Eben Moglen, for making it happen.

Update: Simon Phipps has an article now, Samba 4 threatens Microsoft's enterprise lock-in, that gives some context:

These enterprise-strength features pose a significant competitive threat to Microsoft in multiple market segments. Samba is fast and scalable enough for new enterprise deployments, flexible enough to join existing installations, small and low-powered enough for use in embedded applications, and modular enough to offer a source of protocol implementations for new projects needing Microsoft compatibility. As a licensed implementation of Microsoft's protocols, legal risks for users of Samba 4 are likely to be low.

Together, this means a realistic open source exit route from infrastructure lock-in exists for the first time, and OEM integrators needing Microsoft interoperability have an alternative to expensive licensing deals. Could this become the first antitrust settlement in technology to actually result in an effective market remedy?

Here's the complete press release:

********************

Samba Team Releases Samba 4.0

December 11th 2012.

The Samba Team is proud to announce the release of Samba 4.0, a major new release of the award-winning Free Software file, print and authentication server suite for Microsoft Windows clients.

The First Free Software Active Directory Compatible Server

As the culmination of ten years' work, the Samba Team has created the first compatible Free Software implementation of Microsoft’s Active Directory protocols. Familiar to all network administrators, the Active Directory protocols are the heart of modern directory service implementations.

Samba 4.0 comprises an LDAP directory server, Heimdal Kerberos authentication server, a secure Dynamic DNS server, and implementations of all necessary remote procedure calls for Active Directory. Samba 4.0 provides everything needed to serve as an Active Directory Compatible Domain Controller for all versions of Microsoft Windows clients currently supported by Microsoft, including the recently released Windows 8.

The Samba 4.0 Active Directory Compatible Server provides support for features such as Group Policy, Roaming Profiles, Windows Administration tools and integrates with Microsoft Exchange and Free Software compatible services such as OpenChange.

The Samba 4.0 Active Directory Compatible Server can also be joined to an existing Microsoft Active Directory domain, and Microsoft Active Directory Domain Controllers can be joined to a Samba 4.0 Active Directory Compatible Server, showing true peer-to-peer interoperability of the Microsoft and Samba implementations of the Active Directory protocols.

Acknowledging the value of the interoperability of the Samba 4.0 Active Directory Compatible Server, Steve van Maanen, the co-founder of Starsphere LLC, an IT services company in Tokyo, said:

"Thanks to Samba4, I have two fully replicating Active Directory Domain controllers that boot in under 10 seconds ! It is nice to have alternatives, and Samba4 is a great one."

Upgrade scripts are also provided for organizations using the previous Microsoft Windows NT Domain Controller functionality in Samba 3.x, to allow them to migrate smoothly to Samba 4.0.

Suitable for low-power and embedded applications, yet scaling to large clusters, Samba 4.0 is efficient and flexible. Its Python programming interface and administration toolkit help in enterprise deployments.

Created Using Microsoft Documentation

The Samba 4.0 Active Directory Compatible Server was created with help from the official protocol documentation published by Microsoft Corporation and the Samba Team would like acknowledge the documentation help and interoperability testing by Microsoft engineers that made our implementation interoperable.

"Active Directory is a mainstay of enterprise IT environments, and Microsoft is committed to support for interoperability across platforms," said Thomas Pfenning, director of development, Windows Server. "We are pleased that the documentation and interoperability labs that Microsoft has provided have been key in the development of the Samba 4.0 Active Directory functionality."

Introducing SMB2.1 File Serving Support

Samba 4.0 includes the first Free Software implementation of Microsoft's SMB2.1 file serving protocol. Building on the success of the SMB2.0 server in Samba 3.6, the Samba 4.0 file server component is an evolution of the trusted Samba file serving code that is used worldwide by vendors of file servers, such as IBM's clustered Scale Out Network Attached Storage (SONAS), and many other commercial products.

In addition, the Samba 4.0 file server contains an initial implementation of SMB3, which will be further developed in later Samba 4 releases into a fully-featured SMB3 clustered file server implementation.

Future developments of our SMB3 server and client suite, in combination with our expanding number of SMB3 tests, will keep driving the performance improvements and improved compatibility with Microsoft Windows that Samba users have come to expect from our software.

Integrated Clustered File Server Support

Building on our success as the first commercial implementation of a clustered SMB/CIFS server, Samba 4.0 provides industry-leading scalability and performance as a clustered SMB2/SMB/CIFS file server, using our "clustered tdb" (ctdb) technology - also available as Free Software.

Clustered Samba provides a "Single Server" view of clustered file storage, allowing clients to connect to the least loaded server and still providing a completely coherent view of the underlying clustered file system.

Written and tested to be compatible with most clustered file systems, both Free Software and proprietary, Samba 4.0 with ctdb provides a scalable clustered file server solution with full Windows file sharing semantics.

Samba and ctdb have been shipping in production file serving products for many years, to some of the most demanding customers in the world.

Easy Integration into Existing Directory Services

Samba 4.0 ships with an improved winbind, which allows Samba 4.0 file servers to easily integrate into existing Active Directory services as member servers. Both Microsoft Active Directory and Samba 4.0 Active Directory Compatible servers are supported.

Stability, Security and Performance

Samba 4.0 has been tested using our widely accepted smbtorture test suite, created by the Samba Team to test Samba itself and now used by most of the companies writing SMB3/SMB2/SMB/CIFS file server software to test their own products. We also regularly test interoperability with other major vendors at plug-fest events to make sure Samba 4.0 deployments work correctly with existing customer equipment.

In addition, Samba is one of eleven open source projects that leading software integrity vendor Coverity has certified as "secure" and has reached Coverity "Integrity Rung 2" certification.

The Samba Team provides immediate responses to any security vulnerabilities, and provides fixes to all vendors using the Samba code in coordination with industry standard security reporting agencies.

A Modular Toolbox for OEM Vendor Needs

As Free Software, Samba 4.0 is the ideal choice for Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) to use for their file, print and authentication products. It is easily integrated into a whole host of different tasks, and can be customized at will by the vendor to satisfy their needs.

In addition, Samba 4.0 includes a modular "Virtual File System" (VFS) interface that vendors can use to quickly and efficiently customize Samba to take advantage of any specific features of their underlying technology without having to modify any of the core Samba code. From advanced file systems to network traffic analysis, the Samba VFS layer allows external code to be easily integrated with Samba. Example modules are provided as source code for vendors to customize as they wish.

Samba is the leading choice for Microsoft Windows connectivity

Samba is the leading technology choice for Windows file serving on Linux and UNIX platforms and in embedded Network Attached Storage (NAS) solutions. Samba is used by vendors selling NAS solutions ranging from high end clustered business-critical systems, to low end consumer devices, and everything in between. Samba is fully IPv6 enabled and meets all mandates for modern network interoperability.

Commercial support is available for Samba from many different vendors.

Getting Samba 4.0

Samba 4.0 source code is available now from the Samba Web site.

About Active Directory

Microsoft Windows and Active Directory are trademarks of Microsoft Corporation.

About the Samba Team

The Samba Team is a worldwide group of computer professionals working together via the Internet to produce the highest quality Free Software Windows (SMB3/SMB2/SMB/CIFS) server and client software. We are the undisputed experts in providing interoperability with computers running Microsoft Windows. Members of the Samba Team work for many of the largest companies in the software Industry and even helped Microsoft produce the protocol documentation that fully specifies the SMB/CIFS protocol.


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