From: matt sheehan (
Date: Thu Apr 01 1999 - 03:22:53 CST


My thanks to the following:

Vjay Lescoe
mike ghicas
gary franczyk
Matthew Lee Stier
Matt Reynolds
Dan Anderson
Michael J. Connolly
Sam Nelson
John Sullivan
Kelvin White
Matthew Atkinson

My question was:

> Dear Sun-managers,
> We have been using samba at our facility. I'm trying to find out the
> advantages/disadvantages of TAS over samba, wondered whether
> anybody could
> help.

Samba is faster for access and authentication, free, has been around longer
(thus much available info/help)

TAS easy to configure and administer, it is supported , it serves macintosh
clients and supports Novell.

Novell and mac support seem the key reasons for spending the money on TAS.
If you have dont support these dont spend the money.
I am unsure how the new versions of each compare when used -if they can be
used?-as a PDC.

Vjay Lescoe

The samba 2.0 is by far faster. I have done testing of very large files and
small files with both. Samba won hands down.

mike ghicas

use samba - it's free, it works, and sun is supposed to be dropping TAS in the
near future.

gary franczyk

The main reason I see Samba having the advantage is overwhelming support
from the user community, since it is Open-source and free. You can usually
find answers for your problems on the internet in a few minutes.
Bugs in it are fixed quickly and with no charge...

Tas has the advantage of serving macintosh clients as well... (I cant
remember if it does netware as well, but it may). But both of these may not
be an issue with you. It is also has a company behind it so that you can
call for support if you cant figure something out yourself. But, I have at
times gotten answers from support like "that is a bug and wont be fixed
until the next release..." (which requires maintenance money from you) or
"we dont know what the problem is..." (which is rare, and unacceptable, but
it does happen).

Samba is my recommendation.

Matthew Lee Stier

My evaluation of the product came down to ....

If you needed the non-SMB features of the product, it was worth the cost. If
you didn't, there is no Return On Invest, and as long as you are comfortable
configuring Samba, it make better sense to use it.

Non -SMB features include running Netware? Need to service Macintoshs?
IPX? Appletalk? Localtalk?

If all you need are NBT (NetBeui over TCP/IP) Samba is all you really need

Matt Reynolds

1. It's supported!
2. It's far easier to configure and control.
3. It does cost - where samba is free.
4. We resolved several sticky file locking problems with Microsoft Project
which we couldn't with samba.
I've found samba pretty good, but really obtuse in its configuration.

Dan Anderson

TAS is easier to setup (unless you like command lines...TAS has a web
-TAS also does neat Novell server support
-TAS has a number you can call for support (if you are the kind of person who
actually uses this)

On the other hand.

-TAS can be a bit slow.
-TAS loads a webserver for you too
-TAS is more expensive
-You will find more people who know Samba then TAS
-Bug fixes come out faster for Samba
-You may not need Novell support

Basically they both have roles. I wouldn't use TAS unless I needed Novell
support (Which I do)

Michael J. Connolly

If there is one thing that stands out about TAS it is ease of administration
and configuration. I have been using it for about a year now and the product
is stable, fast, easy to configure and administer and well supported. This
past week-end I upgraded from TAS 5.2 to TAS 5.4 and it took about 5 minutes.
I couldn't believe it. Did I say the support people were great?

Sam Nelson

We use both: Samba for smaller, `niche-market' boxes (and those TAS won't run
on) and TAS for the mail fileserver. At smaller numbers there isn't that much
to choose between them, although TAS definitely offers better filesystem
performance. I have heard, from several respected sources, that Samba doesn't
scale: that is, when you get to `several hundred users' (depending on the size
of the box, to some extent) you get unpleasant things like lock-table
contention that causes it to degrade pretty badly.

I have evidence direct from Syntax's performance-testing lab that this is not
the case with TAS, and that it scales in a straight line into four digits'
worth of users.

Depends, then, on how many simultaneous connections you need and how much
money you have. If it's affordable (and by a convoluted set of circumstances
it cost us nothing!) get TAS.

John Sullivan

We've used both, and decided to stay with Samba. TAS previously
had much better NT Domain integration, but Samba has almost caught
up there (though you still don't want to use Samba as a PDC or BDC
if you have NT boxes as well). TAS is very useful if you have
Novell or Mac requirements, of course; Samba has none. All of our
clients are NT workstations, and we've never had any Novell servers
here, so that part of TAS was of no use to us. We do have two Mac
users, but they seem to prefer NFS anyway.

We found Samba, especially 2.0x, to be a LOT faster for access and
authentication. Actual data transfer times (once the connection has
been made and any authentication has been performed) are just about
the same.

TAS is also a supported product; that obviously could mean a lot
depending on how paranoid you are or how critical your data is. We
decided, though, that if something breaks, we'd be here anyway, and
probably would have it fixed before we would get a call back from a
software support person anyway. And since most of our users are
software developers, they wouldn't mind falling back to FTP for a
short period of time until we got it fixed. (Well, they'd mind, but
they could do it. Asking a non-technical person to use FTP, and
trying to talk them through it, could be frustrating - something to
keep in mind.)

We did try several versions of NFS clients on our NT machines, but
were not happy with the integration or the performance. WRQ was
the best, Hummingbird was a close second; but none was as clean or
as fast as Samba. Putting SMB on a UNIX machine, we found, is MUCH
more reliable than putting NFS (or any non-MS protocol, for that
matter) on a Microsoft O.S.

Our Solaris boxes are mixed SPARC and x86 (our main file server is
actually a dual Pentium Pro with Solaris x86), as well as a few
SGIs. We use Samba on all of the file servers, and are able to use
relatively low-powered boxes for our NT PDC and backup DCs.

Your mileage may vary, of course.

Kelvin White

TAS is commercial product and is therefore commercially supported by Syntax.
They also support ipx/spx and appletalk and other protocols...other than
that (and you can argue that commercially supported product isn't an issue)
there isn't much difference at all...we run personal preference is
TAS/LMServer because I find it easier to configure...but that ain't a reason
it's just a personal preference

Matthew Atkinson

You have to pay for TAS. Samba is free.

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