Update: most of this information is still correct but an update for combining service definitions into one file and setting an icon is available here: bonjour-avahi-addendum
In my last post I outlined how I followed others’ directions to enable netatalk on Linux and Time Machine backups to a shared AFP folder. Originally, I also described how to put all your shares on netatalk. I suppose if only have Mac clients or you REALLY want to use AFP, you can do so. As I worked with files over AFP shares, I started noticing that the performance seemed to be quite bad. No, I didn’t benchmark, but copying large video files to a shared folder over my gigabit network was substantially slower over AFP (netatalk) than over CIFS/SMB (samba). I use my network shares pretty heavily, so this was a concern. Also, netatalk tries very hard to replicate an HFS filesystem complete with resource fork support. This means that your shared directories end up with lots of extra folders named “.AppleDouble”(and a few others) containing Mac specific info. (Note: even on CIFS you’ll get the “.AppleDB” folders unless you disable a setting in Finder. I can deal with .AppleDB better than .AppleDouble AND .AppleDB) So, because of these two issues I decided to try using CIFS and samba again.
Network directory services are core to Internet functionality. The Domain Name System (DNS) provides a global (and/or local) directory of hosts and services. Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) servers can provide some of the same information as DNS (or be used to back DNS), but are more frequently used to create network user databases, store user group information, providing centralized account information and password storage.
I recently completed an upgrade of these two core services on a network I manage. We had been running outdated (but functional) BIND v8 and OpenLDAP v2.0 instances for of DNS and LDAP servers. Also, throw a Windows Server 2003 into the mix, which, as an Active Directory domain controller has to run its own DNS and LDAP (AD is tweaked LDAP) servers.