[SASAG] OS X and Open Directory versus Windows and Active Directory

Berry Sizemore berry.sizemore at gmail.com
Sun May 13 13:03:32 PDT 2007

Allow me to clarify:  we are operating AD for a pool of Windows based
developers, and we are operating OD for a pool of OS X based developers.
Our executive's desire is to migrate all the OD clients to AD, an idea I
oppose.  Everything is working just fine the way it is.  In view of his
stated agenda I am gathering evidence that a) we don't need to change and b)
if we do change we should use OD.

He's asked the goofy question, "If you could build from the ground up, which
would you choose?" as if we could ignore the current reality.  The fact that
he posed such a worthless question and answered it with "because it's
mainstream", I am at a loss on how to agrue for preserving the current state
of our shop, especially since I am not an expert at this and there is an
obvious agenda to change to Windows.  He hasn't justified it to me.

To answer his question:  I would choose Redhat.  Both Apple and Microsoft
have a pile of features beyond what LDAP provides.  I like the idea of OD on
Apple's hardware, but I don't like that I cannot create a virtual guest of
OS X.  I'm not convinced that the extra features of AD get us anything in
the marketplace, which surely is my executive's unspoken argument.  He can't
possibly justify spending money to our CEO with "it's mainstream".

I can't find performance data on AD, OD or anything else.  Does this whole
thing really boil down to such reduced opinions like "ease of use" versus
"more mainstream"?


On 5/11/07, Berry Sizemore <berry.sizemore at gmail.com> wrote:
> Greetings,
> I recently accepted a position with a application development company
> fifty people large.  It's a very stimulating environment thusfar.  We have
> Sun/Solaris, OS X on Apple, virtualized Linux and Windows Server 2000/2003.
> The projects are varied, and includes web and non-web applications.  Our IT
> executive has decided to convert the company from OS X's implementation of
> Open Directory (OD) to Windows Active Directory (AD) because in his words
> "It's more mainstream."  He asked the question, "If you could build from the
> ground up, what would you choose?"  He has given us a week to provide "a
> compelling reason" not to.  It's his goal to "develop a consensus among the
> IT department".
> I do not have great depth in my AD knowledge, so am unable to provide a
> very good competitive analysis.  I'm pretty light on my OD knowledge too.
> Since OD is working very well at this time, I instinctively do not wish to
> change it.  We also have an AD implementation that works just fine as well.
> This is the result of a recent merger.  One main goal is to implement
> Sharepoint.  I feel integrating the two is the best way to go.  We've
> already discussed our feelings, and now it's time to show an analysis which
> favors OD or OD/AD integration, which compels my manager to not go retool
> everything to AD.
> I'm very interested in looking at TCO, pro/coc and benefits comparison
> analyses, or any other documentation that clarifies why I would stay with OD
> or chose to integrate AD.
> If you find the time to respond, it would be most appreciated.
> Thank you,
> Berry Sizemore
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