Likewise Bridges the Gap Between Windows, Mac and Linux

Likewise says its Samba competitor allows Linux and Mac clients to participate as full citizens in Active Directory environments.

 By Sean Michael Kerner
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The practical reality of many enterprises and datacenters today is that they use heterogeneous operating system environments. Having the disparate systems can sometimes present challenges to users and administrators from an access and authentication standpoint.

One solution to the problem comes from open source vendor Likewise. The company released Likewise Open 5.3 last week under the GPLv2 license, providing a new open source solution for access and authentication across Windows, Mac and Linux platforms.

Likewise developers see their solution as being competitive with Samba which ships with all Linux distributions, but note that Likewise Open does the directory piece as well.

"From a pragmatic standpoint, there is really just one directory infrastructure that is the corporate mainstay. That is Active Directory," Krishna Ganugapati, vice president of engineering at Likewise told InternetNews.com.

"Over 90 percent of the Fortune 1000 deploy Active Directory as their primary directory. Likewise is an authentication agent for non-Windows systems that allow them to become first class citizens in an Active Directory environment," he said.

Likewise Open is the open source umbrella project sponsored by Likewise Software that builds a Windows compatible distributed systems framework. There are two key components to the Likewise Open effort, which debuted with the 5.2 beta release in July of this year. They are LWIS, an Active Directory authentication engine for Linux/UNIX/Mac and Likewise-CIFS, the SMB/CIFS file server stack.

With the 5.3 release, Likewise is adding Mac and Linux Server Message Block (SMB) support as well as what Ganugapati referred to as significant performance enhancements.

Likewise also has a commercial Enterprise release providing Active Directory integration for Linux. Novell has been shipping Likewise Enterprise as part of SUSE Linux Enterprise 11 Desktop (SLED). A Novell spokesperson told InternetNews.com that the firm see Likewise Enterprise as a great complement to their Windows integration strategy for SLED customers. Novell had no specific comment on the Likewise Open effort or Likewise-CIFS.

Likewise Vs. Samba

Samba is part of every Linux distributions and for millions of Linux users, Samba is often the glue that enables them to share files across Windows and Linux. So how is Likewise Open different? Read the rest at InternetNews.com.

This article was originally published on Sep 14, 2009
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