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Network Admin Seriously Thinking of Switching

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Okay, long story short, I am interested in a new MacBook Pro. After all the heat issues are resolved of course. I was also hoping the price may come down around July-August also. I work for a University here in Baltimore so I can get the education discount, but... that is part of the issue. I work with Windows all day, especially our 100+ 2000/2003 servers. I am a systems administror for for the entire network. Don't get me wrong, I do like Windows just looking at the MAC also.


I work with Active Directory all day, group policies, AD DNS, VMWare Virtual Center for our Blade Center, and encrypted VNC to name a few. If I do switch, I know I can do all of this in Boot Camp or Parrallels but what would be the point of switching if I still have to work in a VM all day? I know I can use remote desktop to some servers but not the encrypted VNC flavor that we use here.


I basically was wondering if anyone else is in the same boat, or has accomplised this. Can you do normal Active Directory or Group Policy management inside OSX? How about connecting to normal Windows Servers c$ share for admin purposes and such? Let me know if you have any comment, feedback, or some practical solutions that may help. I also use a dual-monitor setup so I could possibly use one monitor full screen with parrallels and the other OSX for entourage, Word, Excel, and such. Maybe I just answered my own question - but there it is.


Please help, I would love to switch... of course then I would be a newbie again! :)

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Thanks for the helpful info.


If anyone else has any experience using OSX in an Admin role like my position, please let me know how you manage things. I will have a lot o learn as this will be my very first Mac. I have used one or two every so slightly for web browsing and such but that it about the extent of it. I have been interested since the Intel Macs have come out and have been reading and listening to a few different podcasts to catch up.


Long term I would like to switch my wife to an MacBook also so she can have her own itunes library and such. Then it would also be easier for her to bring some work home if needed. My father has had a Powerbook for a while now and just switched my mom to a new intel iMac.


I am just trying to do more research and have my plan down. Any comments and help are very appreciated. Thanks! 8)

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My admin experience is pretty limited, but I administered a small network with 5 pc's, 2003 Server, and my eMac. I was basically the go-to person at the non-profit where I worked so we wouldn't have to shell out the $$ to a pro. I did have that resource if I needed it, though. Since it was a small network and didn't require a lot of handholding, I'd use Remote Desktop to access the server. There is a Mac client available. I know mine came with Office 2004, but I'd guess you can get it from the MS website.


I would also strongly recommend ADmitMac from Thursby. I was never able to get OS X (10.3) to access the server as well as advertised, but ADmitMac did the trick. Entourage (the MS equivalent to Outlook) wasn't a problem once I had it configured, but (and remember, I'm a total amateur at the admin thing) I really didn't find the configuration process as *easy* as it was implied. It may be a bit easier if you know some *nix simply because that's what the Mac uses, and I'm sure you know the whole admin stuff way better than I did, too. I did get it all configured and running, just not as easily as I had hoped it would be. Again, I'm an amateur, so if I can do it... :wink:


I'd also add that in a client-client network (no "server"), Mac OS X is by far the easiest networking OS I've used. I spend more time setting up XP and Linux in order to network than I'd ever spend on OS X. It really is outstanding in that network setup.

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