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Acronis ExtremeZ-IP

Solves network performance degradation, file corruption, and other incompatibilities when accessing Windows file and print servers, and NAS devices from a Mac.


ExtremeZ-IP is the only enterprise – class software that solves network performance degradation, file corruption, and other incompatibility-related issues caused by the different communication protocols used when accessing Windows file, print, and NAS servers from a Mac. By resolving these incompatibilities, ExtremeZ-IP seamlessly integrates Macs in a Windows based enterprise infrastructure.



Proven & Supported

Remains the solution of choice for thousands of production workflows regardless of the number of Mac computers connected to the server. ExtremeZ-IP is the only Windows AFP server product being actively maintained and supported since 1999.

Network Reshare

Traditionally, ExtremeZ-IP has been able to share files that reside directly on the server ExtremeZ-IP is installed on, as well as on any storage that is directly attached to that server. New Network Reshare allows an ExtremeZ-IP server to make files available that reside on other Windows servers or NAS devices that support the standard Windows file sharing (SMB/CIFS) protocol. This capability allows a customer to deploy one ExtremeZ-IP server that can provide AFP access files on other Windows servers and NAS devices.

Full Support for the Apple Filing Protocol (AFP)

Designed for the Macintosh, AFP is the recommended file sharing protocol for Mac devices and has been enhanced with each release of Mac OS X. ExtremeZ-IP remains the only Windows server to be fully compatible with the Mac OS X AFP protocol, and includes support for:

  • Long File Names - allows Mac OS X clients to create files and folders that have names longer than 31 characters.
  • Large Files > 2GB - allows Mac OS X clients to access, create, and copy files on the server that are larger than 2GB.
  • Windows Shortcuts - ensures workflows and links set up for Windows clients can be accessed by Mac users.
  • Time Machine software - fully supports self-service backup and restore by Mac clients, including per-user backup quota management (10.5 or later only).
  • International Language/Unicode - fully supports the Unicode (and Kanji) capabilities of Mac OS X.
  • Manipulation of Windows Access Control Lists (ACLS).

Mac OS X Extended Attributes.

Integrates with Active Directory

Simplifies server administration by allowing Mac clients to be authenticated directly against Active Directory on logon. ExtremeZ-IP enforces the Windows file permissions configured on your file server for all Mac clients - you get exactly what you intended. File permissions can be set directly using standard Windows administrator tools.

  • Encrypted Logins & Long Passwords - Supports both long and encrypted passwords via the DHX/DHX2 UAM (user authentication module) built into Mac OS 9 and Mac OS X.
  • Password expiration notification.
  • Home Directory Support, including Accessed Based Enumerations (ABEs) - Simplifies the configuration of home directories, saving users from having to search through thousands of folders.
  • Support for Disk Quotas.

Kerberos / Single Sign-on (SSO) - supports Enterprise-class single sign-on authentication of Mac clients against Active Directory using Kerberos.

File Name Policy Enforcement

ExtremeZ-IP gives administrators the flexibility to define and enforce file naming policies on their server. Policy enforcement keeps files that break naming policies out of important workflows, delivers improved compatibility between Mac, Windows and other platforms without Administrator intervention, and results in better utilization of disk space by keeping files off the server that don't belong there. 

No Client Software is Required

ExtremeZ-IP's core file server functionality leverages the AppleShare client built into every Mac. 

Reconnect Seamlessly

Supports the innovative "reconnect" facilities of the AFP protocol, which allows a Mac that loses connectivity to the server to seamlessly re-establish connectivity, authentication, and all of its open files without data loss. ExtremeZ-IP is the only AFP server besides Apple's XServe that supports this technology.

Support for Microsoft DFS Namespaces and Home Directories

ExtremeZ-IP's DFSConnect is the only solution for providing Mac computers with access to DFS resources over the AFP file sharing protocol.

* DFS-based home directories are not yet supported for Mac OS X 10.7 Lion clients. Support for DFS-based home directories will require a follow-up release of ExtremeZ-IP and/or Mac OS 10.7.

Supports Apple's Innovative Network Spotlight feature

Full content searching is accomplished in ExtremeZ-IP by bringing the best of both worlds together for the user Network Spotlight on the Mac, and Windows Search* on the server. Mac users connected to an ExtremeZ-IP file server can type a phrase and immediately get back a list of all the files on the server that contain that phrase.

  • Only Windows Server solution on the market that allows full content searching from the Mac client to a Windows-based file share.
  • Allows users to find the files they need without wasting time browsing through 100s or 1,000s of files.
  • Leverages enterprise-class security of Windows Search.

* Windows Cluster does not support Windows Search.
* Requires activation of Microsoft Windows Search on the file server; please contact Acronis if you want to index more than 1,000,000 files on a server.

Supports Windows Server 2008

The only AFP server to support Windows Server 2008, providing the most compatible file and print sharing experience for Mac clients on Microsoft's groundbreaking new operating system platform.

  • Provides the best in class file sharing for Mac computers.

Delivers AppleTalk printing support for Windows 2008 servers, for those customers that need to continue providing the AppleTalk protocol for print service discovery but want to migrate to Windows 2008.

IPv6 Compatible

Insures Mac compatibility and compliance with the 2008 IPv6 Government mandate.

Bonjour Networking Support

Supports Bonjour, Apple's Internet standard for browsing and discovering devices over TCP/IP networks, allowing Mac OS X clients to easily find and connect to ExtremeZ-IP servers. ExtremeZ-IP File Server is the only Windows-based server to fully support Bonjour.

Scalability & Performance

Most Scalable AFP Server on the Market

Supports significantly more users than any other AFP server solution.

Immediate Startup

Eliminates the need to index volumes at startup, providing higher availability and significantly reduced downtime in case of server restarts. Other solutions require hours to index in some situations.

Unlimited Number of Files

Can share an unlimited number of files across the entire file server.

Supports Microsoft Clustering

Provides increased availability, scalability, and support for server consolidation efforts. ExtremeZ-IP supports fast failover with no indexing at startup, as well as multi-node clustering configurations. Multiple virtual servers can be supported per cluster node, with each virtual server running in its own memory space to provide for better stability and scalability.

Blazing Search Speeds

Offers increased search speeds significantly faster than SMB and Windows built-in Services for Macintosh (SFM). ExtremeZ-IP has unique, optional support for full content searching on Windows servers by Mac OS X 10.5 clients using Apple’s innovative Network Spotlight feature.

Tuned for Mac Clients

Leverages extensive knowledge of the unique behavior of Mac file sharing workflows with sophisticated caching strategies to provide the best performance and stability for Mac clients on the market. Caching allows more user requests to be handled without having to go to disk, which is typically the key performance bottleneck in modern server systems.

Print Features

Full Support for ExtremeZ-IP Zidget™

Users can browse for file servers through a simple Dashboard widget or web interface. The ExtremeZ-IP Zidget allows administrators to completely eliminate the AppleTalk protocol from their network, while preserving the simple-ease-of-use that AppleTalk provided for service discovery.

Users can quickly and easily discover and setup print queues - no configuration or end user PPD selection required! Administrators can:

  • Organize printers by "zones" to map to legacy AppleTalk services. 
  • Build a simple hierarchy so users can search on location or other characteristics. 
  • Set up maps or other web pages that allow users to browse directly to  printers and have them configured with a single click.
  • Overcome and workaround the limitations of Bonjour service on the WAN.

Force PPD Download

Reduces print errors due to incorrectly installed PPDs and improves ease of use for users by automatically downloading and installing the correct PPD and hiding all options from the end user. Administrators can specify which PPD is used for each print queue.

Built in Accounting

Increase your control over enterprise- wide printing with ExtremeZ-IP Print Accounting, our print-tracking software. ExtremeZ-IP Print Accounting is compatible with most software packages on Mac OS X, supports printing via TCP/IP or AppleTalk protocol, and works with any print spooler or printer.

Flexible Print Spooling Destinations

Including Windows print queues, LPR, AppleTalk and Drop Folders.

User scenarios

With the continued proliferation of Macs into the enterprise, IT departments are continually challenged with delivering a seamless experience to their users. ExtremeZ-IP is a must for any organization that wants to seamlessly integrate Macs into their Windows and/or NAS IT Infrastructure.

ExtremeZ-IP can help any organization that is challenged with any of the following issues:

  • Performance issues especially in the transfer of large files.
  • Mac users struggling with file corruption, file permissions, application incompatibilities and files disappearing.
  • Mac users wanting the same access to file and print resources as PC users.
  • Mac users who want to maintain the integrity of their Mac experience in Windows environments, such as Time Machine backup and Network Spotlight full content search.
  • Organizations experiencing high levels of help desk calls because of the above.

Customers stories

We’re very happy with Acronis ExtremeZ-IP. It makes a world of difference when things are reliable.

Craig Taylor, IT Director, Forward

Acronis ExtremeZ-IP is a great product. It’s stable, seamless and it works.

Adam Gerson, co-director of technology for Columbia Grammar and Preparatory School

For a significant problem, it was a simple solution. We would have gone to Acronis right away, but we have to ensure we’re spending money on the right solution

Gareth Edwards, Senior Analyst for University of Central Lancashire Learning and Information Services

After the Acronis ExtremeZ-IP deployment, Mac users on our network can access Active Directory and files with the same speed and ease as Windows-based PC users, while our IT staff is freed-up to focus on other priorities. This just wasn’t possible before the Acronis ExtremeZ-IP deployment.

Cindi Hotzinger, Senior Network Administrator and Server Team Lead

We just set it and forget it - it just works!

Jeff Beith, Iovate Health Sciences Business Analyst

If you've got a mixed [Mac and Windows] environment, you need Acronis ExtremeZ-IP and Acronis ArchiveConnect, there's simply no other alternative.

Richard Van der stap Project Leader

We couldn't be happier with how Acronis ExtremeZ-IP has performed. It has completely eliminated our cross platform fi le-sharing issues, and as a result has increased productivity, saved time and enhanced the overall performance of our prepress division.

Jeffrey Ding, Principal Technical Analyst


Achieve Enterprise Harmony: One Secure Network Serving Mac and PC computers

Take a closer look "under the hood" of ExtremeZ-IP, the most trusted solution for complete compatibility between Mac desktops and Windows servers. While the following are minimum systems requirements, the recommended systems requirements for a particular implementation or application can vary. Please consult with your ExtremeZ-IP team if you have questions or need assistance.


File & Print Server

  • Windows Server Platforms: 2012 (inc. Essentials), 2008 (inc. R2), 2003 (inc. R2), Windows Storage Server, Windows Powered NAS*

    • Not compatible with: Windows Small Business Server 2011 Essentials

  • Windows Professional Platforms: Windows 8, 7, Vista, XP Pro, XP Embedded*

  • Minimum processor - Pentium 4; Minimum RAM - 1 GB

  • Switched TCP/IP based network provides best performance - 100BaseT or 1000BaseT

  • ExtremeZ-IP volumes must be on NTFS formatted drives

* Please contact Acronis Sales if you need support for older versions of Microsoft Windows.

File Server Client

No additional software is installed on the client for file sharing.

  • Mac OS Classic

  • Mac OS X

    • Mac OS X 10.2.3 or later supported

    • Mac OS X 10.3 or later recommended

    • Mac OS X 10.3.5 or later recommended for single sign-on / Kerberos support

    • Mac OS X 10.4 or later required for Zidget support

    • Mac OS X 10.5 or later required for DFS and Network Spotlight support

AppleTalk support not available on Windows XP Pro. For file servers, AppleTalk is used by the Chooser on Mac OS 8/9 to discover servers, but alternative TCP/IP based methods exist.

Print Server Client

  • Optional for basic printing, required for Print Accounting feature

  • Mac OS Classic

    • Mac OS 9.0 or later

  • Mac OS X

    • Mac OS X 10.3 or later recommended

    • Mac OS X 10.4 or later required for Zidget support

    • Print Accounting is not compatible with applications running in 64-bit mode on Mac OS X 10.6

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