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Getting a grip on mixed Linux, Windows administration

Posted by inet - 2006-02-04

As more companies realize the cost benefits of using open source software, mixed Linux and Windows environments are inevitable. Managing those environments, however, can be difficult for traditional IT shops, especially when it comes to getting Linux-based file, print, and Web servers to work well in a Windows network.
Startup Centeris aims to ease those woes with Likewise, its flagship product. With the Likewise Agent software installed on Linux servers, administrators are free to manage those servers using either the Likewise Console software or the familiar Microsoft Management Console interface.

Among other capabilities, Likewise allows Windows admins to configure server roles, integrate Linux servers with Active Directory environments, and manage the Apache Web server, all without the need for specific Linux training or expertise.

Likewise currently works with only Red Hat and Suse, but broader platform support is planned for future versions.

“We find our customers like our ‘Switzerland’ approach,” said Centeris CEO Barry Crist. “We really try to stay out of all the religious wars and concentrate on one thing, which is Windows/Linux interoperability.”

Customers are also likely to appreciate Likewise’s pricing. A perpetual license costs $350 per managed server, plus additional fees for support and product updates. An open source version of the Likewise Agent offers limited management functionality free of charge.

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