Now that our CephFS file store is in production and LCFG managed Ubuntu is available I began to experiment with running Samba on Ubuntu. The good news is that the LCFG samba component pretty much worked out of the box. The minor tweak that was required is going through the Informatics release process. Our test Samba server works just as well on Ubuntu as on SL7. The big improvement is that we will get a more modern ceph kernel client.
I did look into using the Samba cephfs snapshot VFS module to expose snapshots to Windows users. However, this will not work since it would require us to use also the ceph VFS module to access the cephfs directly. We would like to keep symbolic links working on both Linux and Windows systems. This works by using the same automounter maps on the samba server as on the Linux clients. Therefore, we cannot use the ceph VFS module since our filesystem layout in cephfs does not reflect the layout on the Linux clients. Users will need to find the snapshots on our Linux systems or ask the sysadmins for file recovery.
The other failed experiment was attempting to use the Unix extensions on Samba to replace our ganesha NFS servers. It looks like the unix extensions are not supported with newer versions of the SMB protocol. It is work in progress though. It does look like we are stuck with the ganesha NFS server for the foreseeable future.