Centrify takes to the cloud

* But open source cloud computing environment challenges the Centrify Suite for identity, access and privilege management

Centrify announced last week that it has added Ubuntu 9.10 Server Edition to the long list of non-Windows operating systems whose authentication it has integrated with Active Directory. It has supported Ubuntu for quite some time, but what really exited the Centrify folk was the fact that this version of Ubuntu includes an open source cloud computing environment that can be easily integrated with Active Directory through the Centrify Suite for identity, access and privilege management.

Since every one is saying that the cloud is our future, the ability to deliver granular, role-based access controls and privilege management that goes well beyond access controls (which is what the Centrify Suite does) becomes even more important. As David McNeely, director of product management at Centrify put it: "Security becomes increasingly important as organizations entrust their enterprise systems to cloud service providers."

While Centrify is basking in its success, though, it should also be looking over its shoulder as there's a relatively new open source company looking to muscle in on its space. 

Likewise Software was founded a couple of years ago by a group of Microsoft refugees who thought they knew a better way. CTO (and co-founder) Manny Vellon co-founded the Virtual Worlds Group in Microsoft Research and Engineering Vice President Krishna Ganugapati was an architect in the Windows Real-time Communications Group. There's a strong HP connection as well from Vellon (before Microsoft he was a developer for the Personal Software Division) an Sales Vice President Steve Young (a sales director at HP before joining Likewise).

What they've done is to produce Likewise Open, the first open source enterprise-class solution to address the authentication needs of organizations with mixed networks. For companies looking to move beyond the open source solution, there's also Likewise Enterprise, which adds the ability to use group policies to manage their mixed environment, as well as use the built-in audit and reporting features to gain visibility and pass audits. It is worth a look.

Learn more about this topic

Centrify unlocks more from Active Directory

Centrify enables AD-based authentication for Macs

Cedntrify introduces Linus auditing tool for Linux, Unix
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