A couple of months ago I enthused (some might say "gushed") about Vintela Authentication Services, which enables you to efficiently - and securely - manage a single logon\/password for Unix, Linux and Windows applications. In essence, it integrates the Unix and Linux platforms into Windows' Active Directory. The boys in Linden, Utah didn't rest on their laurels very long, though. Just last week came the announcement of a new add-on to VAS - Vintela Group Policy, which provides a framework for Unix and Linux policy-based management through the Windows Group Policy system. All integrated, of course, through Active Directory. I've been telling you for years that Active Directory was not only useful, but necessary for your network. Do you believe me yet?For those who napped through the Windows network management class, I'll remind you that Microsoft Group Policy allows administrators to define user and computer configurations for groups or users and computers in Windows Server 2003 and Windows 2000 Server networks with Windows XP and Windows 2000 clients.Among other things, Group Policies are used to deliver a standard set of security, controls, rules, and options to a user. They can be used to configure everything from logon scripts and folder redirections to disabling Active Desktop and preventing users from installing software.Vintela, with VGP, has now extended this control to Unix and Linux desktops. Among the features of VGP are:* Support for the Windows Group Policy Framework including a fully pluggable framework that provides a Unix Client-side Extension (CSE) interface, policy processing that mirrors Windows, a Group Policy Editor extension that allows easy authoring of additional Unix settings interfaces, and support for ADM template extensibility.* Support for Native Unix\/Linux Capabilities including policy settings for generic scripting, file copy and permissions, as well as sudo, cron, and administrative templates (ADM) for quick extensibility.* Configuration Management for VAS-enabled Unix hosts including logon access control, account overrides, full VAS configuration customization, and policy-based licensing.And you can control it all from the familiar Windows Group Policy Management Console. Get more details about Vintela Group Policy at https:\/\/www.vintela.com\/ but be sure you fully understand the power of group policies before implementing not only VGP, but also any policies on your network.Visit the Microsoft Technet Group Policy page (https:\/\/www.microsoft.com\/technet\/prodtechnol\/windowsserver2003\/technologies\/management\/gp\/default.mspx) for the resources you'll need to properly implement this technology.