For many years, the School of Informatics has provided Windows and MacOS users with access to its file and printing resources via Samba. Since the introduction of the OpenAFS file system and the CUPS printing system, there have been better methods available for accessing these resources. Given this, the intention has always been to withdraw the Samba service at some point and the forthcoming server upgrade to SL6 seems like an opportune time to do so.
This will not be happening immediately however as there are currently still two usage case where Samba is required. The first is access to the NFS mounted homepages web area from Windows and MacOS and to get around this, we will be moving homepages to AFS space in the next couple of months. The second is access to certain finance areas where several users need access data at the same time, something AFS cannot currently provide. This data will continue to be provided via Samba but will be relocated to the Central University Samba service. This move is currently taking place.
We will make further announcements closer to the time about exactly when the Samba service will be terminated. In the meantime, if you have any comments or questions, please get in touch.
Edit: Iain suggests that access to documents scanned via the MFDs is a third usage case. At the moment, he is quite correct but the University has changed its MFD supplier meaning that all of our MFDs will be replaced over the summer. Scanning to Samba will not be supported on the new machines, the most likely replacement being scanning to email. There will doubtless be a blog article about the new MFDs in due course.