R2D2 on God, 42, the Universe and everything else

Update Dec 2014 – I am seriously considering to abandon this project. Lengthy testing and trials seem to indicate the available alternative are not robust enough.

MS to FOSS (codename Sky)

” Neo: I know you’re out there. I can feel you now. I know that you’re afraid… you’re afraid of us. You’re afraid of change. I don’t know the future. I didn’t come here to tell you how this is going to end. I came here to tell you how it’s going to begin. I’m going to hang up this phone, and then I’m going to show these people what you don’t want them to see. I’m going to show them a world without you. A world without rules and controls, without borders or boundaries. A world where anything is possible. Where we go from there is a choice I leave to you”

Update 1 – VM server base build for DC step by step guide with doco released here.


As initially posted here, due to the “ambiguities” and recently discovered “hostility” in Microsoft’s new strategic direction through their Windows 8 and Server 2012 (including the retirement of Small Business Server), I consider my duty to “strike back” and find a complete infrastructure and services replacement offering based on GNU/Open Source. As a result, I intend to kick of a project whereby I use my own labs to test-drive and consume such solution – “practice what you preach” approach.

The scope of the project includes at the moment single domain (due to acknowledged limitations of Samba4), but I intend to cover the following:
– Active Directory and Group policy replacement – supporting MS-based member servers and clients to allow transition and choice flexibility
– Microsoft Exchange services replacement
– Microsoft SharePoint service replacement
– Microsoft SQL server replacement
– ISA/PROXY/Forefront replacement
– Microsoft Terminal Services replacement (on Linux-based virtual desktops as target)
– Linux-based desktop offering (replacement for Windows clients) with interface and functionality resembling current MS environments (less end-user shock) – this will include productivity applications that would replace the packages normally found on Microsoft-based desktops – and Wine for executing on Linux MS applications that cannot be migrated
– Hyper-V/ESXi replacement as a virtualisation platform
– File services/NAS replacement
– Print services replacement
– SCOM/SCCM replacement

The scope is still being formed, so please do send suggestions. Some of the scope elements will take priority over others (Ad, exchange, print, file, etc) but the aim is to produce a complete paradigm shift and lessen shock, thus a real alternative to existing Microsoft products, and thus “freeing” businesses from the licensing costs.

At this stage, it is early days. I would appreciate any contribution and feedback in regards to this pet project. Please drop me an e-mail with your comments or suggestion, or use the comments section of this page. As I progress, I will post updates and also build a whitepaper with the details, experiences, DOs and DON’Ts.

Let’s do this!