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ExtremeZ-IP 6.0 adds DFS for Macs, Spotlight for Win servers

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Yesterday, Group Logic released ExtremeZ-IP 6.0, a major update to the AFP server for Windows servers supporting Mac clients. The new version features the addition of native support of Microsoft Distributed File System (DFS) for Mac clients. It also adds the ability for Mac clients to do full Spotlight searches of content of files located on Windows Servers--a feature that is unique to ExtremeZ-IP 6.

Microsoft's DFS file sharing technology creates a virtual file directory (the DFS root, or DFS Namespace). Administrators can move files between multiple servers, but the user continues to see one server, provided by the DFS root. ExtremeZ-IP 6.0 provides full Mac OS X 10.4 and 10.5 client access to the full virtual DFS Namespace. It is the only solution that allows Macs to access DFS servers using the Mac-native AFP protocol.

ExtremeZ-IP 6.0 also provides supports Mac clients in the DFS feature known as site crossing, a feature in WANs that looks at where a client is located and direct it to a file server that is closest.

Access to the DFS feature requires one copy of ExtremeZ-IP 6.0 Enterprise Class site licensing, unlimited version. ExtremeZ-IP 6.0 does not need to be installed on every server in the DFS system. (Related story: Group Logic Offers Site License for EZ-IP)

ExtremeZ-IP 6.0 also features new support for Apple's Network Spotlight full-content file searching feature that was introduced in Mac OS X 10.5. Up until now, Mac users only could use Network Spotlight with Apple's Leopard server. ExtremeZ-IP 6.0 essentially connects Apple's Network Spotlight to Microsoft's Windows Search technology built into Windows Server 2003 and 2008.

ExtremeZ-IP 6.0 lets Network Spotlight search an index created by Windows Search on the server. This allows Mac users to use Mac OS X's Spotlight to search for a phrase and quickly see a list of files with contents relevant to the phrase. The company said that this new use of Network Spotlight and Windows Search together lightens the load on the Windows Server when Mac users search for files.

The company said that the new version also provides various bug fixes and enhancements.

ExtremeZ-IP 6.0 is a free upgrade for customers with an active support contract.

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