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Laptops In The Enterprise

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
This isn't really a server question...well it is...sort of. How does the enterprise deal with laptops?

In a Linux server environment, where home directories are exported via NFS, how are laptops running Linux integrated into the infrastructure?

Can the laptop user access their home directory identically to how they would from a fixed workstation, or is it a case of having to manually mount the export once they attach the laptop to the corporate LAN?

What happens when the laptop is NOT on the corporate network?
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post #2 of 16
Tough call with linux, that is usually a mess compared to a windows AD network. That is why enterprises don't usually go linux (manageability just isn't the same).

We have Group policy mount our users network drives, so say "Z" is their network drive, and their "my documents" is redirected to this folder.

When off the domain they have no access to their network drives.

To allow access to a network drive would require a VPN, or utilize a remote access program such as Citrix.

There are a ton of topics here that you are covering, so let me know if you need anything discussed more in depth.
    
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post #3 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by trueg50 View Post
Tough call with linux, that is usually a mess compared to a windows AD network. That is why enterprises don't usually go linux (manageability just isn't the same).

We have Group policy mount our users network drives, so say "Z" is their network drive, and their "my documents" is redirected to this folder.

When off the domain they have no access to their network drives.

To allow access to a network drive would require a VPN, or utilize a remote access program such as Citrix.

There are a ton of topics here that you are covering, so let me know if you need anything discussed more in depth.
For us, it depends on the size of the laptop HDDs. We usually implement roaming profiles along with offline files to provide offline access to network drives - or at least to the user's home directory - but with the prevalence of large HDDs, we can afford to make available offline user network drives.

And with Server 2008 Remote Desktop Gateway, as well as Desktop Virtualization options, it's also a lot easier to provide access to a "computer" on the network - without necessarily implementing Citrix...
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post #4 of 16
Thread Starter 
Is there a way with a Linux laptop to tell it (via some kind of DHCP/BOOTP/DNS/LDAP policy or script) that it is now on the corporate network and should behave this way or that way?

Or would it simply be easier to have a shortcut on its desktop which mounts the NFS share, as long as the laptop is on the corporate network? Or perhaps a way to sync the local home directory with the one on the corporate server?
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post #5 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by ComGuards View Post
For us, it depends on the size of the laptop HDDs. We usually implement roaming profiles along with offline files to provide offline access to network drives - or at least to the user's home directory - but with the prevalence of large HDDs, we can afford to make available offline user network drives.

And with Server 2008 Remote Desktop Gateway, as well as Desktop Virtualization options, it's also a lot easier to provide access to a "computer" on the network - without necessarily implementing Citrix...
Thanks for the info! We are currently an XP/Server 2003 shop, and unfortunately things are very slow to change or get moving in differing directions.

I just picked Citrix as an example, heck I support it, but wouldn't necessarily recommend it. I'd rather use VMware's virtual desktop option rather than Citrix's desktop virtualization software. We use it for remote access, and just plain to keep users from keeping important files on their local machines.

Quote:
Originally Posted by parityboy View Post
Is there a way with a Linux laptop to tell it (via some kind of DHCP/BOOTP/DNS/LDAP policy or script) that it is now on the corporate network and should behave this way or that way?

Or would it simply be easier to have a shortcut on its desktop which mounts the NFS share, as long as the laptop is on the corporate network? Or perhaps a way to sync the local home directory with the one on the corporate server?
I suppose you might be able to have the laptop mount a network folder via a script, but I'm not 100% sure on how.

Also, boy, thinking about all this really makes me appreciate Microsoft and AD!
    
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post #6 of 16
Thread Starter 
Yeah I have to say this is one area where Microsoft have really put the effort in. I personally don't like Microsoft, having dealt with their products for 15 years or more, but they certainly have the management side of things locked down, compared to UNIX and Linux.

Ridiculous really, when you consider how long UNIX has been in the enterprise.
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post #7 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by parityboy View Post
Yeah I have to say this is one area where Microsoft have really put the effort in. I personally don't like Microsoft, having dealt with their products for 15 years or more, but they certainly have the management side of things locked down, compared to UNIX and Linux.

Ridiculous really, when you consider how long UNIX has been in the enterprise.
Definately.

Folks say that if Linux had gamers they would take over, or if it was unified into one distro they would take over. Honestly none of that matters, it is the enterprise management that really matters. Microsoft took in all these differing systems and unified it. Folder permissions, user account management, Exchange e-mail, how computers behave with settings (modified via Group Policy), all of that into one product; pretty impressive when you think about it.
    
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post #8 of 16
Laptop can run Windows too, ya know

I don't remember exactly what the software is called, but there are a few different ones out there that allow for "single sign on" like a Windows system and allow for scripts to be run providing a similar experience.

As far as control goes, it wouldn't be that hard to make a "group" of linux computers then make a shell script that sshs into each machine, makes the changes and continues on. Of course, this method is a bit more work but it's up to you.
    
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post #9 of 16
I use sshfs to mount network folders in my laptops. Yes, is easy to do that in a script once you have the ssh-keygen pairs made and files setup in the $HOME/.ssh folders. I have an ssh port routed to a server which I use almost daily to transfer files from home to work.

Actually ... I just used it to reset the F1 smp folding client on a box at work... fired up remote desktop and told it to use the ssh box as a tunnel.
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post #10 of 16
oops, wrong tab...
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