Dang, you guys are awesome.
@mfillpot - Thanks for the crucial breakdown. I'm actually kinda stoked to understand the Unix philosophy. However, while I like the basic concept that you outlined - it just seems like, in practice, it leads to very confusing systems.
@elwarreno - Thanks for the link to Resara, it looks like a pretty cool product. I really want to get my hands on it now.
Guys, this is like a whole new world for me. As much as I don't like Microsoft as a company right now, I am still pretty well married to their products (I LOVE my management console). But! I have a whole bunch of links open in my browser now that I have to go research :) I can't wait to build a little lab with all of this in it!
Actually, I mentioned my management console - which gets me thinking... Does an equivalent exist in the Linux world for Microsoft's (forgive me) AMAZING Management Console product lineup?? (ie: Microsoft System Center Operations Manager, or any other plugin to the MMC framework)
I feel like, from the basic Unix philosophy that mfillpot gave, GNU/Linux and Unix systems are too disseparate with no governing entity to make something like an MMC equivalent possible.
If you guys have been managing *nix for a really long time, you may not know what I'm talking about. Let me give a quick example. Right now, I have a dead simple management console that I made called the "Ultimate Management Console". It's just a bunch of plugins that integrate into a uniform interface that I have open like any other application on my desktop. From this one console (this is a GUI, not a command line console like you may be thinking), I can remote into 24 of my servers, manage AD Domains and Trusts, AD Sites and Services, AD Users and Computers, manage all of my Group Policies, configure my Certification Authority and Online Responders, manage all of my Distributed File System shares (this is just a fancy name for a directory symlink - which I think exists on *nix as well), configure all of my DNS and DHCP servers and scopes, manage all print functions from all my print servers, configure the quotas and reports for all my file servers, and manage the entire local downstream clone of Microsoft's Windows Update service.
The thing that is so impressive about this kind of integration, is that almost any problem that exists on my network or servers can be responded to in a matter of seconds with just a few clicks. For example, lets say that our line of business application gets an update and now cannot send drawings to our large format plotter because it requires a new version of the print driver. No problem, in about 10 clicks and less than 30 seconds I can have the new driver available to both print servers at both of our locations and the clients can pull them immediately. That's what makes it nice.
I've seen some stuff called gadmin-... in the repositories before, but when I tried to check out the homepage it appears down. I don't know if this is/was an alternative or possible alternative to MMC, but it looks like it isn't maintained anymore (unless Google's cache is lagging...)
Anyway, let me know what you think,
You may please try either Samba 4 Active Directory Domain Controller or Zentyal as a distro, which is a small business server as that of Microsoft product.