Guess who's working at Vintela

* Vintela snags Microsoft's Active Directory honcho

Last week, when I wrote about Centrify I made one glaring mistake and omitted an interesting question, so let me correct that right now. The mistake was in alleging that Julius Caesar said "Veni, Vidi, Vici" when he crossed the Rubicon River (after the Roman Senate had told him not to do so). What he actually said was "The die is cast" (or, at least, the Latin equivalent). He meant that he had decided to challenge the Senate for the leadership of the country.

Centrify ( was (and is) challenging Vintela ( for leadership of the "connect your Linux boxes to your Active Directory-controlled Windows network" segment of the networking market. In Rome, the Senate caved in and made Caesar the new emperor. I didn't think Vintela would give up that easily and should have asked what its reaction would be.

I found out that reaction late last week when I visited Vintela's booth at the RSA Conference and ran into my old friend Jackson Shaw. When I'd last seen Shaw he was the head guy, the honcho, the big chief for Active Directory at Microsoft. Since Vintela is a close technology partner of Microsoft, it didn't seem strange that Jackson was visiting the booth. But he wasn't just visiting. He handed me his new business card, which read: "Vice President of Product Management, Vintela"! Well, there might be one or two people who know as much about Active Directory as Shaw does - but you'd be hard pressed to find someone who knows more about the technology.

For Vintela to snag one of the world's foremost Active Directory experts is a major coup. And even if I didn't know that, the big smile on Vintela President Dave Wilson's face would have let me know. And not only is he knowledgeable, but Jackson was one of the top three most personable folks in the entire corporate structure in Redmond. Even when I was complaining mightily about Active Directory's shortcomings Shaw would always take the time to, gently, try to point out the error of my ways.

If this were a tennis match, I'd have to say the ball is now in Centrify's court and it'll have to stretch pretty far to hit a good return. Or, to continue the Caesar/Roman metaphor, it looks like Vintela won't rest on its laurels. We'll keep watching this match; it could get exciting.

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Identify, simplify, Centrify

Network World Windows Networking Tips Newsletter, 02/14/05

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