Achieve Enterprise Harmony: One Secure Network Serving Mac and PC computers
Apple's traction in the enterprise is accelerating rapidly - the growth of Macs is far outpacing that of Windows PCs. Not only in its traditional markets, such as advertising, publishing, media & entertainment, and education, but also across other industries as well, like financial services, manufacturing, and pharma, for example. In a large number of enterprises the Macintosh is being deployed to employees, driven by the consumerization of IT and bring your own device (BYOD) trends. The Mac is becoming a staple of the enterprise IT ecosystem and, as a result, access to enterprise file and print resources is now essential.
Mac computers offer a rich user experience that helps improves employee productivity and efficiency. And with Acronis ExtremeZ-IP, IT administrators can easily manage Mac users within their Enterprise server and storage environments. This drives higher productivity and efficiency for Mac users by opening up the enterprise to these users in a seamless and transparent way, while making life easier for IT administrators.
It’s easy with ExtremeZ-IP from Acronis.
With a simple server install and configuration process, ExtremeZ-IP empowers enterprise IT to seamlessly integrate Macintosh computers into existing Windows infrastructure, allowing Mac users to have the same access to Windows file and print servers as PC users and without the IT headache of overwhelming help desk calls and inaccessible and corrupted files. In addition, with the new ExtremeZ-IP 8.0, IT can now make files available that reside on NAS devices. This greatly extends the productivity of the Mac user and the IT organization by increasing access to greater numbers of storage devices within the enterprise. And all still controlled by Active Directory.
With over a decade of experience and more than 7,000 organizations worldwide, ExtremeZ-IP has become the industry standard for seamlessly integrating Macs into enterprise environments. ExtremeZ-IP is the solution of choice for thousands of production workflows and is the only Windows AFP server product being actively maintained and supported since 1999.
- ExtremeZ-IP eliminates problems with file corruption, file permissions, application incompatibilities and files disappearing.
- ExtremeZ-IP provides Mac users with the same access to file and print resources as PC users.
- ExtremeZ-IP includes support for Mac features, such as Time Machine backup and Network Spotlight full content search.
- ExtremeZ-IP remains the only Windows server to be fully compatible with the Mac OS X AFP protocol.
Speed and Performance
- ExtremeZ-IP consistently provides a higher performing experience than built-in solutions, such as the SMB client.
- ExtremeZ-IP provides the best performance and reliability for Mac clients on the market.
Management and Security
- For the IT organization, management is made easy and security is maintained with integration with Active Directory.
- ExtremeZ-IP provides DFS file share access to Macs running OS X 10.5 or later.
Reduce Help Desk Calls
- Mac users retain the full range of the Mac experience, resulting in a reduction of help desk calls, giving you more time to focus on other projects.
Increase User Productivity, Decrease IT Headaches with ExtremeZ-IP
If your organization is one of the estimated 80% + enterprises with Mac users that need to access content and files in a mixed server and storage environment, you know firsthand the issues that arise when Macs try to access corporate server resources, such as Windows servers, and files residing on NAS storage devices. These issues manifest themselves in a number of ways, but performance, data integrity, data corruption and loss of critical functions are amongst the most common. For example, when Mac users experience performance or data integrity issues, there are many ways in which the business is impacted:
- Helpdesk calls from Mac users regarding file, print and backup issues increase significantly.
- Additional file storage needs drive up loads on networks and servers.
- Productivity drops as users can't access files they need to do their jobs.
- End-user satisfaction plummets.
ExtremeZ-IP enables enterprises to simply, seamlessly and transparently make content and files - on Windows servers and NAS storage - accessible to Mac users. And it will bring your Mac users to a whole new level of access and productivity.
The Benefits of ExtremeZ-IP
Empower and enable Mac users to access files on Windows
servers and NAS storage.
Reduce administrative costs as the same administrator
can now support both Windows and Mac environments.
Reduce hardware costs as the need for Mac
servers to support Mac users is eliminated.
Reduce hardware costs as the need
for Mac servers to support Mac
users is eliminated.
Save space and reduce backup time
with filename policies that keep
improper files (e.g. MP3s) off servers.
Reduce help desk calls by as much as 40%.
Reduce downtime in case of server restarts.
Deliver enterprise-class IT services, such as Distributed File
System (DFS), Active Directory and network-based home
directories to Mac users.
Consistent file and print access for Mac and PC users.
Enable Mac users to self-restore files with Volume
Shadow Copy (VSS) previous versions support.
Support Compatibility with Mac OS 9
through the latest OS X 10.7 Lion.
Utilize Kerberos for single-sign on
capability to all Windows-based
Find files fast -- and even leverage
Mac's built-in Network Spotlight to help
find files even faster.
Maintain the integrity of the Mac experience.
Improve collaboration between Windows and Mac users.
Leverage Windows file servers as the target drives for Mac's
Time Machine desktop backups with simple, fully
Mac-compatible file servers access.
Features and Benefits
ExtremeZ-IP is the industry standard for seamlessly integrating Mac clients into Windows Server environments. ExtremeZ-IP 8.0 takes this to a whole new level. With our new Network Reshare capability, enterprises can now deploy an ExtremeZ-IP server that provides AFP access to files on other on NAS storage devices.
Only ExtremeZ-IP provides you with advanced features and capabilities that guarantee compatibility, reliable performance, and maintaining the integrity of the Mac user experience.
With over a decade of experience and more than 7,000 organizations worldwide, ExtremeZ-IP has become the industry standard for seamlessly integrating Macs into enterprise environments empowering Mac users and simplifying IT management and administration. ExtremeZ-IP is the solution of choice for thousands of production workflows and is the only Windows AFP server product being actively maintained and supported since 1999.
on Windows 2008 Server
What's new in ExtremeZ-IP 8.0?
Acronis is proud to introduce ExtremeZ-IP 8.0, which will move enterprises with Macs into a new era. With ExtremeZ-IP 8.0, enterprises can now enable Mac users to access files on NAS storage systems, such as those from NetApp or EMC Isilon.
This greatly extends the flexibility of both the Mac user and the IT organization by opening up access to virtually any file server or NAS storage device within the enterprise. And access is still controlled through Active Directory.
ExtremeZ-IP 8.0 includes:
- Network Reshare support. Network Reshare allows an ExtremeZ-IP server to make files available that reside on other Windows servers or NAS devices. More info.
- DFS namespaces can now be made available as ExtremeZ-IP Network Reshare AFP volumes. More info.
- ArchiveConnect is now compatible with ExtremeZ-IP Network Reshare AFP volumes. More info.
- Optimized how ExtremeZ-IP initially accesses files and folders to provide an improved client experience with ArchiveConnect. This change prevents files from being unnecessarily scanned by anti-virus applications or brought on-line.
- Additional performance optimizations, Spotlight search fixes, and Bonjour fixes.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 Apples innovative Network Spotlight feature.
- Unlimited Number of Files
Can share an unlimited number of files across the entire file server.
- Tuned for Mac Clients
Leverages Acronis 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.
- 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.
ExtremeZ-IP System Requirements
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*
- Currently 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
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
File 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
Self-Service File Restoration for Mac Computers
Do you use Microsoft Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) to enable your Windows users to restore server-based files? Are you planning to deploy this feature, but have both Mac and Windows users in your organization? Until now, the ability to self-restore files was limited to Windows PCs. ShadowConnect is the only application available that brings that functionality to Mac computers.
With ShadowConnect, Mac users now have the ability to browse and restore Windows server-based files right from the familiar OS X Finder interface.*
ShadowConnect is the perfect solution for allowing Mac users to bypass the help desk and gain instant access to previous versions of their changed and deleted files.
ShadowConnect delivers needed files now
Your organization can use ShadowConnect to:
- Enable Mac users to restore previous versions of changed and deleted file, directly from their computer
- Increase productivity by allowing users instant access the files they require
- Reduce the number of help desk incidents generated for file restores from central backup
- Allow common Volume Shadow Copy access across Mac and Windows platforms
Only ShadowConnect can:
- Allow Mac users to restore previous versions of files and folders.
- Extend VSS restore functionality beyond that offered by Windows, allowing users to directly browse and restore files that were deleted from a folder.
- Display previous versions of files and folders the way Mac users expect, using Finder interface integration, Cover Flow style browsing, and Quick Look previews.
* ShadowConnect is included with ExtremeZ-IP Server and requires ExtremeZ-IP to be installed to access previous versions on the Windows file server. A free Mac client-side application is also required to browse and restore previous versions.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
- How does ShadowConnect work?
- Why does ShadowConnect require ExtremeZ-IP?
- What versions of Windows are supported by ShadowConnect?
- What versions of the Mac OS are supported?
- How does ShadowConnect licensing work?
How does ShadowConnect work?
ShadowConnect integrates with the Shadow Copies of Shared Folders functionality provided by Microsoft Volume Shadow Copy Services. It can access the same previous versions of files and folders that Windows users are able to restore using the built-in Restore Previous Versions functionality in Windows. Mac clients that connect to ShadowConnect-enabled ExtremeZ-IP files servers can simply right-click on a file or folder and chose to restore a previous version or deleted files. At that point, the Mac client-side ShadowConnect application displays the available previous versions and allows the user to restore them to their original location or copy them to a new location.
Why does ShadowConnect require ExtremeZ-IP?
Volume Shadow Copy Services were designed for use by Windows clients accessing Windows servers while using the Server Message Block (SMB) file sharing protocol. This capability is not available in the Mac OS's SMB client. To provide Mac computers using Apple Filing Protocol (AFP) volumes access to the Volume Shadow Copy Service, a server-side application must interface with the Volume Shadow Copy Service and provide access to it over AFP. This is where ExtremeZ-IP comes in. ExtremeZ-IP integrates with the Volume Shadow Copy Service and can access the shadow copies stored in it. The Mac client ShadowConnect application communicates with ExtremeZ-IP so that it can display previous version of files and folders to the Mac user and issue restore requests to ExtremeZ-IP, which restores the file to the shared volume or the users local machine.
What versions of Windows are supported by ShadowConnect?
ShadowConnect can be used with any server capable of running ExtremeZ-IP 7.2 or later. This currently includes servers running Windows 2008, Windows 2008 R2, and versions of Windows 2003, and Windows Storage Server. ExtremeZ-IP can also be installed on Windows 7, Vista, and XP Professional. Be sure that you have the latest service pack for XP Professional installed and that the Volume Shadow Copy service is enabled.
What versions of the Mac OS are supported?
ShadowConnect supports Mac OS X 10.7 Lion, Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard and Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard. We recommend you have the latest Mac OS software update installed.
How does ShadowConnect licensing work?
Starting with ExtremeZ-IP 7.2, ShadowConnect is now included with every ExtremeZ-IP Server. Just make sure you've upgraded to 7.2 or later and ShadowConnect will be automatically enabled.
DFSConnect: DFS support for Mac clients
As companies with Macintosh computers look to deploy DFS in order to improve the manageability, reliability, and performance of their file server infrastructure, ExtremeZ-IP's support for DFS is critical to providing "compatibility without compromise."
DFSConnect allows your server to:
- Provide full virtual DFS Namespace access to Mac clients in a seamless and intuitive manner on Mac OS X 10.4 and later.
- Support full DFS replication and site costing.
- Provide support for Mac clients to DFS-based network or portable home directories when authenticating against Active Directory at login (DFS Home Directory support requires Mac OS X 10.5 or later). [*]
- Support DFS referrals to both AFP (ExtremeZ-IP) servers or native SMB servers for mixed environments.
- DFSConnect is the only solution on the market that allows you to utilize the AFP file sharing protocol in a DFS environment.
DFSConnect's DFS support is included in the trial version of ExtremeZ-IP.
DFSConnect's DFS support is included in the ExtremeZ-IP "Enterprise Solutions" class licenses; Unlimited-Client, Cluster or Enterprise License (ELP). Click here to request an Enterprise-Class License quote.
DFSConnect is available as an optional add-on for 10, 25, 50, and 100 client versions of ExtremeZ-IP. This add-on license can be purchased in the Online Store.
Any license of ExtremeZ-IP can be a DFS target.
For more details on ExtremeZ-IP's DFS support, see our DFS white papers in the Resource Center.
[*] 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.
Customer Success Stories
- Digital Media Firm Uses ExtremeZ-IP to Streamline Productivity and Efficiency – Forward (0.4 MB, PDF)
- ExtremeZ-IP Preserves School’s Tradition of Excellence and Dramatically Improves Reliability - Columbia Grammar and Preparatory School (0.4 MB, PDF)
- Leading UK Institution Improves Student Computing Experience and Eradicates File Issues with Windows Servers in One Fell Swoop - University of Central Lancashire (0.3 MB, PDF)
- Colorado School District Improves Mac User Communication & Productivity while reducing Server Hardware and IT Management Costs - Cherry Creek School District (1.9 MB, PDF)
- ExtremeZ-IP has been a win-win for Iovate’s Mac users and its IT administrators - Iovate Health Sciences, Inc. (0.4 MB, PDF)
- Malmberg’s Workflows are streamlined and productivity is improved – Malmberg (0.7 MB, PDF)
- NOK chose ExtremeZ-IP for seamless Mac-to-Windows integration - Bokförlaget Natur & Kultur (NOK) (0.7 MB, PDF)
- QuadGraphics implemented Group Logic’s ExtremeZ-IP solution to provide fast, easy and transparent Windows file access - Quad/Graphics (0.6 MB, PDF)
Videos & Demos
- ExtremeZ-IP vs SMB Performance Benchmark White Paper
- Sharing Mac Files on Windows Servers - A Technical Best Practices White Paper
- Active Directory Compatibility with ExtremeZ-IP - A Technical Best Practices White Paper
- The End of Services for Mac (SFM): Evaluating Your Replacement Options - A Technical Best Practices White Paper
- Simplify WAN Service Discovery for Mac Users & Eliminate AppleTalk - A Technical Best Practices White Paper
- How Microsoft DFS Home Directories Work with ExtremeZ-IP 7.0 - A Technical Best Practices White Paper
- Integrating Macs with Microsoft DFS - A Technical Best Practices White Paper
- Network Spotlight Best Practices – A Technical Article
- Maintaining Native Mac File Sharing in an Enterprise Storage Environment - A Technical Best Practices White Paper
- Enabling Mac client self-service file restoration with ShadowConnect
- ExtremeZ-IP 7.0 Quick Start Guide (0.2 MB, PDF)
- ExtremeZ-IP 7.0 Users Manual (2.9 MB, PDF)
- ShadowConnect User Guide
- ShadowConnect Installation and Administration Guide
Click here for latest releases.
Click here for our Knowledge Base.
Mac is a trademark of Apple Computer, Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. The Built for Mac OS X graphic is a trademark of Apple Computer, Inc., used under license.
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The current version of ExtremeZ-IP Server is 8.0.