Re: Samba is still relevant?
Dude, if you think Active Directory "is dead", you're having a laugh. I don't care where in the world you upload your crap, if there's any security on it, you're using authentication and authorisation services.
As it happens, the core of Azure is still based on AD technologies - yeah, sure, SAML wrappers etc, but what do you think is validating your claims?
Having directory services combined with Kerberos with minimal configuration required was a killer feature. I still don't think Samba has caught up with AD services, except for basic stuff, but there's nothing wrong with the LDAP + Kerberos stack.
As for SMB, I don't think it's that great myself, but it's a sh*tload better than SharePoint. Try storing multi-gigabyte binary files inside a SQL database and see what your DBAs say. Try storing 27 million files of 5-150 bytes in size in SharePoint (which exactly what is in a directory on one of our file servers right now ... and I *wish* they'd ingest those into a database!)
And if you want to store a bunch of docs and spreadsheets on a web server, SharePoint is still shite. A simple WebDAV is better. The only benefit I can think of with SharePoint is in a clustered instance, where you've got your stuff spread across a large farm. And that's only because of the clustering technology, not because it's a great way to store and retrieve files.