Open Enterprise News

Open the new about your Business

Enter text paragraph here

Member Login

Lost your password?
Enter 468x60 Ad Code Here

New Utility Enforces Policies Across Linux, Unix and Windows Networks

Enter 468x60 Ad Code Here

Symark’s new PowerAdvantage utility allows system administrators to centralize their authentication, authorization and access management across Windows, Unix and Linux networks. It provides cross-platform unified log-in — users can have a single log-in and password for all Unix, Linux and Windows machines. This eliminates the need to establish separate access credentials for each system.

Symark International on Tuesday released PowerADvantage, an integrated authentication and configuration tool that extends features of Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) Windows’ Active Directory to networks also running Unix and Linux systems.

PowerAdvantage adds centralized authentication, authorization and account access functionality to Unix and Linux systems. It’s also designed to bolster policy enforcement and infrastructure management functionality in the two non-Windows operating systems.

Among the chief benefits of PowerADvantage are the reduction in administration costs and security’s improvement, according to Symark. The new software also helps system administrators meet regulatory compliance efforts by centrally managing user identifications, authentication, security policies and automatic deployment of configuration settings across heterogeneous Unix and Linux environments.

“Why introduce this product now? The enterprise world is now ready to trim costs and make their networks more secure. Compliance laws now make it imperative to deal with situations such as five different user names for each worker needing access to Windows, Unix and Linux systems on the network,” Ellen Libenson, vice president of product marketing of Symark International, told LinuxInsider.

How It Works

PowerADvantage places an agent on Unix and Linux machines that communicates with Active Directory’s domain controllers. During the installation of the PowerADvantage agent, the Unix or Linux host is joined to the domain.

Then the host is configured to route authentication requests through the PowerADvantage agent. This allows the PowerADvantage agent to communicate with the Active Directory domain controllers to process authentication requests and access the Group Policy Objects used for configuration management.

After installation, the computer object for each Unix and Linux host can be moved to different organizational units in the Active Directory hierarchy, changing which set of Group Policy Objects apply to that host. The PowerADvantage Context of each host can also be changed, which will immediately change the log-in configuration for all Active Directory-based users logging in to that host.

Both of these changes can be performed without rebooting the host or restarting the PowerADvantage agent. Additionally, the PowerADvantage agent is configured by Group Policy. Thus, any changes in the configuration of the agents can be performed through Group Policy without the need to visit each individual host.

“The context feature in PowerADvantage can map to each user environment that has different user names for each system,” Jeff Nielsen, senior product manager of Symark International, told LinuxInsider.

Key Features

PowerADvantage provides cross-platform unified log-in — users can have a single log-in and password for all Unix, Linux and Windows machines. This eliminates the need to establish separate access credentials for each system and in turn increases efficiency and boosts productivity for end users while reducing calls to the help desk related to misplaced passwords, Symark said.

Easy installation allows system administrators to deploy the product quickly without making any irreversible changes to the Active Directory schema. The agent installation process eliminates complex, time-consuming configuration changes. Additionally, PowerADvantage’s intelligent import wizard streamlines and simplifies the importing and mapping of current Unix and Linux user information directly into Active Directory.

PowerADvantage provides corporate officials with detailed compliance reports. These help ensure that all activities performed on Unix and Linux systems are written to the proper Active Directory logs. It produces audit reports required by Sarbanes-Oxley, the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, providing a comprehensive trail for auditors. This simplifies the compliance process and reduces overall audit costs, said Symark, and it allows for the more rapid discovery of anomalies as part of a sound security posture.

“An essential advantage is the ability to disable access of former employees from one spot to each account. Administrators don’t have to worry about orphaned access,” Nielson explained.

Reduced Overhead

Comprehensive centralized storage keeps all user and group information within Active Directory. This reduces infrastructure costs by eliminating redundant identity stores, including legacy directories, unsecured network information system servers and locally managed files. Storing information within Active Directory, along with integrated use of existing Windows administration tools, enables IT managers to utilize applications with familiar interfaces.

This eliminates the need to license third-party synchronization products or to build and maintain in-house solutions. Operations, training and processes for provisioning, account maintenance and other administrative tasks are streamlined by standardizing on a single set of Active Directory-based tools.

Standalone or Integrated

“PowerADvantage is a standalone product, but it can be added onto PowerBroker,” said Nielson.

PowerBroker provides Unix and Linux workstations and networks with increased security and accountability by delegating administrative privileges and granting selective access to corporate resources without disclosing the root password. This reduces the risk of accidental damage and the threat of malicious activities.

This integration with Symark’s PowerBroker enhances security and compliance efforts by facilitating efficient management of both end-user and administrator account access from Active Directory while controlling access and tasks performed using the root account, he said.

Using either custom-created administrative templates or those provided by PowerADvantage, administrators create configuration settings that are automatically stored in Active Directory. This facilitates the rapid automatic deployment and maintenance of configuration settings across a large number of hosts, reducing administrative time and cost.

These policies are reapplied to each host based on a predetermined interval. The feature insures that any unapproved changes to the configuration items maintained by PowerADvantage will be reset back to the approved settings at the next policy refresh interval.

PowerADvantage is available for both server and work station pricing, according to Libenson.

For server installations the product costs US$290 per server. For workstation installations the product costs $45 per station.

Tags:

Related posts

Comments are closed.

Recent Posts

Apple Hints New Products Near With Bigger IPhones Looming

Apple Inc. (AAPL) signaled that the long wait for new products is nearing an end.With bigger-screen handsets in development, Apple said ...

10 Things You Didn’t Know You Agreed to via Terms of Service

The terms of service, also known as the document you're supposed to read before signing up for a site or ...

13 Thrifty Ways to Update Your Bathroom

Nobody likes a house with an outdated bathroom. Of course, you can use a blue toilet and bathe in a ...

The 9 Sacrifices You Must Make To Find An Affordable Home

Despite the bad rap homeownership – and particularly home affordability – has gotten in the last few years, it’s still part of ...

Hidden Biases and How to Combat Them

In the world of recruiting, hiring managers are constantly careful in ensuring that candidates are hired without any form of ...

Here Are the Other Companies Comcast Is Gobbling Up

Recent tech acquisitions put the cable giant in a position to dominate the digital video market and expand its broadband ...

7 Things About Landing Pages Your Boss Wants To Know

I was working with a startup company a few years ago, when they wanted to test advertising with Google Adwords. ...

A Beginner’s Guide to Navigating Office Politics

Executives often complain to me about the new generation of employees — they aren't as committed, sophisticated or knowledgeable as ...
We will keep You Updated...
Sign up to receive breaking news
as well as receive other site updates!
Featured Video
Enter 300x250 Ad Code Here
Popular Posts

New York area hospitals and physicians using Remote Access Software to help manage their patients

Area hospitals in New York are using Remote Access Software to manage their patient flow.

Immigrants See Open Doors to America through EB-5 Investor Visa Program

Increasing numbers of foreigners are entering the United States by obtaining the EB-5 gree

Remote Access and Security: an Issue to Reckon With

How many times have you been to a client's office to make a presentation and forgot to inc

How the iPad has Made Remote Desktop Software Even Better

Remote Desktop Software, also known as Remote Control Software or Remote Access Software,

What You Should Know About the EB-5 Investor Visa Process

This article will address important aspects of the EB-5 Investor Visa Program that you sho

What is the difference between SEO and SEM

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) represent two of the mo

Can Oracle be trusted with Java

With Sun gone, will Oracle wreck Java, or set it free? For years Sun dominated the Java wo

Don't Abridge Your Patients' Stories

The medical community is currently facing many simultaneous changes to the way it has func

Fully Charged - AT&T's new Solar-Powered Charging Stations to increase user connectivity

How many times have you been faced with the dilemma of choosing between using data connect

Microsoft Shares Secrets to Help Disabled Access Technology

Microsoft has opened up its usability specifications, the User Interface Automation (UIA),

Advanced Messaging & Routing with AMQP

Not all message queues are made equal. In the simplest case, a message queue is synonymous

Supreme Court may broach thorny issue for tech industry

SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) -- Technology firms will turn their attention Monday to the U.

Breaking Down Barriers in Mixed Environments

It goes without saying that while the cloud is coming on strong as the next major

Virtual Iron Offers Once And Done Virtual Server Environment

Multi-system virtual server and management environments can be quite complex to install.

Private Clouds Are A Fix, Not The Future

Over the last few months, there's been growing discussion over private and hybrid clouds.