private sector - central bank of west african states

migrer de samba 3 vers samba active directory


The Central Bank of West African States is a network of 24 branches located in the main cities of the West African economic and monetary zone. The bank and its regional agencies are responsible for issuing CFA franc banknotes and collecting and destroying used banknotes. Finally, the BCEAO is responsible for issuing the bonds of its 8 member states, as does the ECB in Europe. Each of the 24 agencies operates an office domain based on Samba3 software, a highly critical and rapidly obsolescing software.

As part of the Samba-AD migration, it was:

  • Merge the office networks to allow VIPs to connect regardless of the regional bank visited
  • Improve network security by implementing 802.1x and Active Directory
  • Convert to industry technical standards
  • Continue with Samba as it has always worked for BCEAO

Extract from the project report:

The BCEAO has mandated TRANQUIL IT to accompany its teams in:

  1. the migration of the Windows domains Samba3-PDC-NT4 to the Samba Active Directory technology,
  2. renaming the main domain
  3. merge all 26 domains into a single BCEAO domain.

Denis CARDON, an engineer graduated from the ENS des Mines de Nancy and Managing Director of TRANQUIL IT, and Yvan KARMOUTA intervened in Dakar from mid-September to mid-October 2015. The BCEAO has long invested in open world computer technologies. This strategy offers the advantage of banking on the development of local skills and reduces the importation of technologies without the transfer of associated knowledge.

The Samba3 domain technologies are based on Windows Server NT4 operation, with several enhancements to allow for better load holding and security. However, NT4 is quickly becoming obsolete. For example, the latest Windows 10 version can only be integrated into a Samba3-NT4-PDC domain if you force the use of the old CIFS/ SMB1 protocol.

The choice to move to Active Directory was therefore a logical one. This is also one of the concerns of a large number of French administrations that have also made the historical choice of Samba. The choice of Samba4-AD rather than MSAD is not the most obvious choice and many structures are questioning this option.

Video feedback

Some of our clients agreed to talk about their experience in pictures. Find them in the dedicated Youtube playlist: