The Igaware Linux Small Business Server can control how computers logon to your network. It can be enabled as a Workgroup Server, a Domain Server, or an Active Directory Server.
To logon as a member of a workgroup, computers must have a user account configured on them. If more than one person uses a computer, additional user accounts must be configured on that computer.
Users are configured on the Igaware Server and access rights to data and email are controlled centrally.
Rather than logon to a Workgroup, computers can be configured to join a domain. When joining a domain the computer can use any user name and password that is configured on the Igaware Server, removing the need to configure user accounts locally on each computer.
As well as being able to centrally control access to data and email on the Igaware Linux Small Business Server, local rights on each computer can be controlled, e.g a user can be set as an administrator giving them rights to install programs or as a user with restricted rights.
Another option that becomes available with using a domain is being able to use roaming profiles. This enables users desktops to be saved and opened on different computers. This can be useful but it needs to be understood that large user profiles all being opened when staff arrive to work can slow your network to crawl as gigabytes of desktop wallpapers including kittens and children are loaded from the server.
Active Directory Server logon is the same experience for users logging onto a domain, but server side there is far greater control over connected computers. Rather than having to go round computers invidually to change settings, they can be centrally administration via the Igaware Adctive Directory Server using Windows Remote Server Administration Tools (RSAT).
You must have a good working knowledge of RSAT to use ADS. If the Igaware Server is enabled as an ADS then managing users is nolonger possible through the Igaware web administration interface, it is only possible via RSAT. For this reason it is only viable for larger organisations who have these skills in house, or on hand via an IT support company.
In some instances you may need to have an ADS installed on your network for third party application servers to integrate with your computer network. By enabling the Igaware Small Business Server as an ADS you can other servers without the high cost and complexity of separate Microsoft Active Directory Server. For ALL intents and purposes the Igaware ADS replaces the need for a Microsoft ADS and will be seen by joining computers and servers as a full blown Microsoft ADS.